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What things can you do in China that you cannot do in the USA?




Brian Sloan, Lived in Beijing 2007-2016. Sex toy manufacturer. Profiled in Playboy.

I lived in Beijing from 2007–2016 and I had a couple of tiny electric cars that would not be street legal in the USA. They are also probably illegal to drive in China but that doesn’t stop anyone from driving them.



The first one, pictured above, cost about $2,000 and was powered by a removable lithium ion battery that weighed around 30 pounds. It could go about 15 km per charge per battery. I had two batteries so that I could swap on the fly if necessary. To swap, I had to fold up the seat to reach the battery compartment, unplug one battery and plug in the other. The batteries were homemade by some guy. He bought individual cells and taped them together using black tape, and attached a circuit board that regulated the power output.

A week after I bought this car, the seller frantically called me and said he wanted to meet me to “fix” the wiring in the car. Long story short, that week, this type of car made the news because several of them had caught on fire. The reason was that the wiring was too thin for that amount of current. I think the batteries output 12 A 48 V and he used a gauge of wiring that saved him some money but put his customers at considerable risk. Because he was afraid that the government would come after him if I was killed, he decided to fix my wiring by putting in thicker wires.


我买了这辆车一个星期后,卖主疯狂地打电话给我,说他想跟我见面“修理”一下车上的电线。长话短说,就在那个星期,这种汽车因为好几起着火事件而成为新闻。事故原因是电线太细了,无法承载那么大的电流。我想电池的输出功率是12 A 48 V,他使用了某种规格的电线,虽然为他节省了一些成本,但也让他的客户面临相当大的风险。他担心如果我遇到不幸,政府会逮捕他,所以他决定用更粗的电线来修理我的线路。

This car only lasted about 18 months before it started leaking pretty badly when it rained and the batteries started dying because of who knows what. I was not about to spend $400 on a new battery and I didn’t want to deal with selling it so I parked it somewhere I knew it would be stolen. It was stolen within 2 weeks.



I then decided to spend a bit more ($5,000) on the car pictured above. This thing is amazing and could revolutionize transport in crowded cities. The company that makes it is called Dayang, which is also one of China’s largest motorcycle brands. There is an Italian version of this thing that costs around $17,000 because it uses a removable Lithium Ion battery. Mine used a huge rechargeable lead acid battery that was not removable. It plugged into any regular wall outlet, not one of those car charging stations. To charge it, I paid a man who owned a small shop selling brooms and stuff a bit of money and parked it outside his shop once a week or so. I got 75km per charge. It had heat. It was made of a very heavy plastic with steel roll bars and glass windshield and glass roof. Search the brand name online, its called Dayang Chok. There are also many other models. It needed zero maintenance. I think there must be hundreds of thousands of these in use all over China because they are the most effective form of transportation ever, both cost wise and speed-wise. Max speed is 40kph.

The reason you cannot drive these in the USA is because in case of even a not very serious accident, you would probably be smooshed to death. I miss living in China.




Daniel Walzinski, lived in China (2015-2017)

Originally Answered: ​What things can you do in China that you cannot do in the USA?

Drinking Beer in Public

Go to Family Mart and buy a single beer from the cooler. (They typically don't sell 6 or 12 packs). Then walk down the street with your beer drinking it after a long day of work. Buy another beer and sit down at any local restaurant and drink it. BYOB is almost always accepted unless you're going to a bar.





Go to hospital without insurance

There are a variety of hospitals that you can choose from depending on your needs. You can go and pay cash for most occurrences. Expect to get a good deal for seeing the doctor and medication. You more than likely will have enough cash in your pocket to pay the bill.





Travel from city to city quickly

Since most everyone uses public transit the system runs at high speed, capacity, and frequency.





Damien Defranco, Serial Entrepreneur, Venture Capitalist, Consultant & Mentor

When it comes to China, it’s really the opposite of the USA. There is a ridiculous amount of things you can do in China freely that you couldn’t possibly do in the USA (and even Canada.)

Having been in and out of China myself since 2010, more times than I can count. Being in an our of China since 2010, I own factories, warehouses, retail stores, farm land/rural land and much more. So I’ve experienced/seen everything.



As an authority on this topic I’ve put together this list. Based on my experiences, my friends experiences, my staff/employees in China, my business partners in China. This list views as the majority of China - this is a generalized list. While some areas it doesn’t apply to, it applies to most of China (China is very big).


  • Break/overlook rules, and bend laws. China is very flexible when it comes to laws. Money and relationships can solve everything. There is NOTHING in China that cannot be solved with money. Money solves everything. US is pretty strict, you can’t pay your way out of things, and often relationships may not be enough.
  • Drive the way you want. In the US, you’ll get traffic violations/tickets for not following the rules. In China, you can make your own rules in many areas. As I have said for the last 8 years about China; Green means go, yellow means go, red means go. Want to drive on the other side of the road? go ahead. Want to drive on the sidewalk? go ahead. This is true for almost all cities/rural areas except the big ones (tier 1, tier 2).
  • 违背/藐视规章制度、徇私枉法。中国在法律方面非常灵活。金钱和人际关系可以解决一切问题。在中国,没有钱解决不了的问题。钱可以解决一切。美国的法律是相当严格的,你没办法花钱摆平,而且通常关系可能还不够。
  • 驾驶时随心所欲。在美国,你会因为不遵守交通规则而被罚款。在中国很多地方,你可以随心所欲。正如我对过去8年在中国的经历所总结的:绿灯行,黄灯行,红灯还是行。想在马路对向开车吗?尽管开。想在人行道上开车吗?没事。几乎所有的城市/农村地区都是如此,除了那些(1、2线)大城市以外。


  • Open/start any business anywhere. It’s relatively easy to start a business and begin making money in China. You don’t have all that red tape like the US has to get registered, accounts created, and government filings right away.
  • Walk around at night. China is very safe, especially in tourist areas. My apartment in China I could leave, and walk for an hour and always have a police in my sights at his station/post no matter where I went, no matter the time. US can be dangerous at night.
  • Easy travel between cities. China is the king of transportation. Buses, subways, trains, they are everywhere. You really don’t need a car, there is more rail systems and buses in China then the rest of the world combined. US you pretty much need a car if you travel far.
  • 在各地做生意。在中国创业赚钱相对容易。不像美国有那么多的审批,可以马上注册、创建账户和提交政府文件。
  • 晚上在外头散步。中国非常安全,旅游地区尤其如此。我可以从我在中国的处所离开,步行一小时,无论我去哪里,无论何时,总能在视线范围内发现站岗的警察。在美国,晚上很危险。
  • 旅游城市之间的交通极为便利。中国是交通之王。公共汽车,地铁,火车,无处不在。你真的不需要拥有汽车,中国的铁路系统和公共汽车比世界其他地方加起来的总和还要多。如果你在美国要出个远门,就非常需要有辆车。


  • Drinking. You can buy drink, and drink at any age. I always had a beer at 6am with my breakfast. I gained a lot of weight, but it was a great time. And I still do it every time I am there. No ID. I’ve seen 8 year old’s get beer for family/parents. Most minors in China don’t drink, China is responsible overall. US has age restrictions (21?) and ID requirements.
  • 喝酒。不管你几岁,都能买到酒。我总是在早上6点吃早餐的时候喝啤酒。我长胖了不少,但那是一段美好的时光。每次我在中国,我就会这么做。无需身份证明,我看到过8岁孩子给家人/父母买啤酒。在中国,大多数未成年人都不喝酒,整体而言中国是负责任的。美国有年龄限制(21岁?)和证件要求。


  • Open carry drinks. Expanding on the drinking, you can take your drink with you public. Walk to the mall, take a taxi, drinking wine, beer, whatever. While you can do this in China, many people don’t. Can’t do this in US.
  • Smoking. Same as drinking. You can smoke anywhere pretty much. I used to carry 1–2 packs of smokes with me at all times, and I’ve never smoked in my life. They’re great for business meetings, or buying expensive stuff. It’s a social thing. Gifting cigarettes are good if you want to lower cost of items when buying. US has a lot of smoking restrictions.
  • Buy anything you want. You can buy anything you want, including replicas and knockoffs and never get into any trouble. US has a lot of restrictions on this too.
  • 带着酒水到处走。关于酒多说一句,你还可以把你的饮料带到公共场合。走路去购物中心的路上,坐出租车的时候,喝葡萄酒,喝啤酒,什么都可以。虽然在中国你可以这么做,但很少有人这样。在美国,这样做是不行的。
  • 抽烟。跟喝酒一样。你几乎可以在任何地方吸烟。我过去总是随身携带1-2包烟,但从来没有抽过烟。香烟非常适合商务会议或购买昂贵物品的时候。这是种社交手段。如果你买东西时想要砍价格,给对方递上香烟是不错的办法。美国有许多吸烟的限制规定。
  • 可以买到任何你想要的东西。你可以买任何你想要的东西,包括冒牌货和仿制品,而且绝不会遇到任何麻烦。美国对此也有很多限制。


  • Fireworks whenever you want. I once set off over 2000 fireworks outside one of my hotel I was staying at one time. It was loud and fun for about 8 minutes. The kids loved it. Anytime of the year pretty much, anywhere you are. People are always setting off fireworks, every day. US has laws and regulations for each city that determine when and where/how to set off fireworks.
  • Almost no harassment at airports. Security at airports are very relaxed. USA I’ll get scanned, padded down, luggage scanned, I’ll get into secondary and get interviewed, and bags searched. In China, I just go through, other then showing a single person your passport with valid visa for stamping, and walking past a drug sniff dog at all airports, China’s security is the non harassing type.
  • Haggle. You can haggle for everything you buy in China. The price is never the price. This goes from food at a market, to buying a car or apartment rent, even hotel costs. Haggle. They want your business an will lower price to ensure you don’t go elsewhere. US doesn’t really believe in bartering.
  • 随时可以放烟花。我曾经在我住的旅馆外放了2000多支烟花。持续了大约8分钟的时间里,声音很大,很有趣。孩子们非常喜欢。一年中随时随地,都可以放。人们每天都在燃放烟花。美国的每个城市都有针对燃放烟花的时间地点的法律法规。
  • 机场基本没有烦人的事。机场的安检很松懈。在美国的话,我得接受身体扫描,行李扫描,进入二级安检,接受盘问,检查包包。在中国,我一次就能搞定,然后给一个人出示一下护照和有效的签证,让他在上面盖章,再走过所有机场都配置的毒品嗅探狗就行,中国的安检并不烦人。
  • 讨价还价。你在中国买任何东西都可以讨价还价。标价永远不是实际售价。小到市场上出售的食物,大到购买汽车或公寓租金,甚至酒店的费用。都可以讨价还价。他们想要你这单生意,会主动降价让你不会去其他地方购买。美国不吃这一套。
  • No line-ups. China has no line ups really, fast food, trains, buses, you just need to get to the front and push other people politely (usually elbows). US has a line system, wait your turn.
  • Jay-walking, that’s fine. You can walk wherever and however you want in China. US you can get ticketed for jay walking. I played Frogger a lot in China. Though you don’t want to do it on faster speed roads.
  • Customized food. In China, restaurants will often allow you to custom order something, even if it’s not on the menu. They’ll do you up something as long as they can get the ingredients. US, not so much, if it’s not on the menu, they won’t serve it (higher end restaurants, and hotels sometimes take custom orders).
  • Car/bike security. China has paid parking everywhere, but it’s not always to a machine. Often time you pay a certain person that watches a ‘zone’. You pay them and they stand there all day (or their team) and watch the cars/bikes. No one will steal or break into your car/bike. US, not so much, you can get your car broken into easy in the US.
  • 不排队。中国真的没有排队的概念,快餐,火车,公共汽车,你只需要走到前面礼貌地推别人(通常是肘部)。美国有排队制度,你得等着。
  • 乱穿马路,也没事。在中国,你可以想去哪儿就去哪儿,想怎么走就怎么走。若在美国,你会因为乱穿马路吃罚单。我在中国经常干青蛙过街的事儿。不过在高速公路上可千万别这么干。
  • 定制料理。在中国,餐馆经常允许你定制不在菜单上的料理。只要能弄到原料,他们就会给你做。美国则很少有这种情况,如果菜单上没有,他们就不会提供(高级餐厅,酒店有时会接受定制订单)。
  • 汽车/自行车的安全。中国到处都有付费停车场,但并不总是把钱付给机器的。通常情况下,你需要付钱给某个看管“某个片区”的人。你付钱给他们,他们(或他们的团队)就会整天站在那里看管汽车/自行车。这样就没人偷或损坏你的汽车/自行车了。在美国则比较少见,你的车子很容易就让人撬了。


  • Spank and properly punish kids. China allows parents to discipline kids as they see fit. Spanking is very popular, and effective, and is very positive on everyone. People are brought up proper, with respecting authority/parents/elders. US is the opposite. People will call police and Child Protective Services if they even think you spank your kid. Which is why there is so much crime, disorder, and entitlement in the US.
  • You can eat ANY thing you want. You can eat anything you want in China, including Dog if you so please. China doesn’t waste anything, all organs, brains, intestines, every aspect of every food is utilized. US has food and health/safety regulations.
  • 打屁股并适当惩罚孩子。中国允许父母在他们认为合适的时候管教孩子。打屁股很常见,也很有效,对每个人都有积极的影响。人们受到良好的教育,尊敬权威/父母/长辈。美国恰恰相反。如果有人认为你打了孩子,他们会打电话给警察和儿童保护机构。这就是为什么美国有这么多的犯罪、混乱和权利。
  • 你可以吃任何你想要的东西。在中国你想吃什么就吃什么,如果你愿意的话,连狗。肉都可以吃。中国不浪费任何东西,所有的脏器,大脑,肠子,所有食物一切都被利用。美国有食品和健康/安全法规。


  • Sell anything at night on streets. At night in China, vendors come out, setup and sell just about anything. From jewelry, to souvenirs, household items and food. Popup shops. Anyone can do this, police won’t enforce it at night, they’ll even be your customer. But in the US, you’ll get fined for operating a business without a license and outside a zone/event.
  • 晚上的街道卖什么的都有。在中国,小摊小贩们会晚上出动,摆个摊位卖什么的都有。从珠宝,到纪念品,家居用品到食物,应有尽有。任何人都可以这么做,警察不会在晚上执勤,他们还可能会成为你的客户。但在美国,如果你无照经营,超范围经营,都会被罚款。


  • Gamble/play cards on the streets. You can get your friends and setup a card game and gamble on just about any side street. If police catch you, they may just take a bit of money and leave and let you continue. But nothing major (in most cities, harder to do in Tier 1 cities). In the US this is like a criminal offense.
  • Use any of the billion public washrooms that are everywhere. China has a massive amount of public washrooms. And in cities with KFC, McDonalds which are all basically 24/7, you can use these. US you are limited to like gas stations and very few 24/7 places if you buy from them.
  • 在街边赌博/打牌。你可以找一些朋友,在任何街头摆个摊打牌和赌博。如果警察发现了,他们可能会没收一些钱,让你继续下去。但不会有大的惩罚(在大多数城市都可以,在一线城市比较难)。在美国,这就像是犯罪。
  • 十亿公共卫生间随处可见,可随便使用。中国有大量的公共卫生间。在有肯德基和麦当劳的城市,这些餐厅的卫生间基本上7*24小时都可以使用。在美国,只有加油站和少数7*24的商店,如果你在那儿消费,才能使用那儿的卫生间。


  • Are not expected to tip. China doesn’t except tips on services/food. In fact, most places will refuse or get angry if you try to tip. US’s culture is that they expect tips, regardless of how good the service is. Even if its poor service they expect 15–20% minimum tip.
  • Calling out for your restaurant server loudly. In China, you get your servers attention to your table by calling out “waiter/server”, and they come. It’s normal there. In US it would be very rude, you have to wait, and wait, and wait, and hope they eventually make it around to your table.
  • Download/stream anything. China you can download/stream ANY thing
  • 不会惦记你的小费。中国没有为服务或食物付小费的习惯。事实上,如果你想付小费,大多数地方都会拒绝或感到生气。美国的文化是,不管服务怎么样,他们都希望得到小费。即使服务很差,他们也希望得到15-20%的最低小费。
  • 在餐厅大声呼叫服务员。在中国,你可以喊“服务员”,让服务员注意到你这桌,他们就会过来。在中国这是很正常的。在美国,这是非常不礼貌的,你必须等待,等待,再等待,盼着他们走到自己餐桌附近。
  • 什么都能下载到。中国你可以下载任何东西


KTV Night and KTV Girls

In some cities you can still find KTVs that with entry, includes a girl that you choose to accompany you. This is popular for guys night out. KTV night is also one if the most popular events to have in China for businesses and friends.




Eat Chinese Food

Even in Chinatown it can be difficult to find a meal that represents true Chinese cuisine. Chinese cuisine is influenced by the economy of food and dining culture. Many things that are served in China are not typically found in the United States. Anyhow it's a great experience.




Jacob Bertrand, Live life with no regrets

Things you can do in Beijing:


  • Sell anything on the streets at night.  The police rarely scan the streets for vendors.  Most street vendors hang around metro stations, especially in the more popular areas.
  • 100% agree with safety peace of mind.  At most you have to worry about pick pocketed.  Not so much being mugged, assaulted, or killed over your wallet. 
  • Most KFC and McDonalds are open 24/7.  You can also get street food all through the night pretty much everywhere within a short walking distance. 
  • Easy and cheap transportation.  There are plenty of Metros, Taxis, Trains, and Bike-Cabs that go pretty much everywhere. 
  • Public restrooms are literally everywhere. 
  • 晚上在街上卖任何东西。警察很少会上街驱赶小贩。大多数街头小贩都在地铁站附近出没,尤其是在比较热闹的地区。
  • 我100%同意中国人安全平和的心态。你最多只需担心扒窃。你不太可能会因为钱包而被抢劫、袭击或杀害。
  • 大多数肯德基和麦当劳是7*24小时开放的。你步行很短的距离就能吃到街上的食物。
  • 方便和廉价的交通工具。有很多地铁、出租车、火车和自行车,它们几乎无处不在。
  • 公共厕所简直是无处不在。
  • See ancient historic sites and structures are within a 15 minute ride
  • Don't have to tip anywhere
  • Get to call the waiter "WAITER!" (in Chinese) without being disrespectful
  • Stream or download anything copyrighted easily without having to worry about getting sued
  • Walk around drinking a bottle of beer in public
  • Easily lose weight with all the walking you do compared to living America.  You rarely see anyone obese or even chubby. 
  • Get full (eating) off $1 USD, or buy $1 beer at a bar
  • Buy counterfeit clothes easily
  • Jaywalk wherever and whenever
  • Spit anywhere you feel like without getting dirty looks from others
  • Cut in lines as queues are almost nonexistent
  • Smoke in most places
  • 15分钟旅程内就能看到古老的历史遗迹和建筑
  • 不必付小费
  • 叫服务员“服务员!”(用中文)不会失礼
  • 下载任何受版权保护的资料很容易,也不必担心被起诉
  • 可以一边走,一边在公共场合喝啤酒
  • 跟在美国生活相比,走路很容易让你减肥。你很少能看到超胖,甚至丰满的人。
  • 花1美元就能吃到好吃的,或在酒吧买到啤酒喝
  • 很容易买到冒牌的衣服
  • 无论何时何地都能看到乱穿马路的事
  • 任何地方你想吐痰就突然,不能担心别人会翻白眼
  • 随便插队,因为排队是不存在的
  • 大多数地方都能吸烟


Maureen Jan, Travelled Europe,UAE, India, China, USA, Canada, Taiwan, SEA

Take a modern super fast bullet train from city to outskirts of town and back to city at 310 km per hour. China has more bullet train rail tracks then any place on earth. They are helping Indonesia to build their speed rail network.

Eat yellow eel rice every day in the county of Taishan in Guangdong province. I couldn't find this (Dad's favourite dish) highly nutritional and delicious dish while in Guanzhou, however it is very popular in the county.

Have authentic and incredible variety of delicious freshly made dimsum. Food in southern China is awesome. Some of the best tasting dishes in the world.




Be helped with advice on directions by a friendly stranger on the street and be asked how old are you, are you married, where are you from, how many children do you have. All within two minutes crossing the road with this person. It is very normal for people in China to ask you these questions upon first meeting.

See gatherings of senior citizens come out at night and dance, sing, some even play saxophone while tourists and residents sing, clap, dance and be happy. This I observed in Shanghai. Fun!

Hear a myriad of accents from people from far and wide including visitors from New York to France as you climb the Great Wall. You hear exclamations like 'la vue est magnifique!'




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