In our May 2017 Home and Relocation Guide we listed some laws, rights, and scams that every person new to China should know about. Below, we have written up some of the information in greater detail, and have also included some information which didn’t make it into the print edition.
Mothers on maternity leave will receive a maternity leave stipend rather than their usual salary. Chinese mothers will receive a stipend from the Social Security Bureau (SSB). The stipend is calculated by considering the employee’s monthly salary and the average monthly salary of all employees over the last 12 months. The SSB will then pay the higher amount, as long as that amount is no higher than three times the monthly salary in that SSB’s jurisdiction. In some places in China, if the amount is three times the average monthly salary, the stipend must then be paid by the employer. Foreign workers on maternity leave will also be permitted this stipend if they have contributed to maternity leave insurance. Both foreign and Chinese employees that have not contributed to the maternity leave insurance will receive their regular salary.
Teatime with New ‘Friends’
If a new ‘friend’ approaches you on the street and invites you into a tea house, watch out, because you may leave with a hundred dollars or more missing from your wallet. Often the person that approached you initially works for the tea house and has led you into a scam.
Beijing streets are teeming with private cars looking to drive unsuspecting persons around. These unlicensed drivers pose as accredited taxi drivers and mark up their fares. These cars are usually operated by private persons and have a red light in the front window, but no taxi cab licensing. The drivers will stop and solicit rides, negotiating prices with those that fall into their snares. However, while there have been stories of successful black cab rides, these drivers have also been known to take their customers miles outside of their destinations, and demand hundreds of dollars before they agree to take their customers back to the city.
Ordering from the ‘Foreigners Menu’
At foreigner-heavy, tourist restaurants, foreigners may be given a different menu than locals that lists higher prices than the ones on the usual menu. To prevent falling into this trap, it may be helpful to look up the average price for meals, or take a Chinese friend with you on your outing.
At airports, train stations, and other arrival spots, you may be approached by salespeople who will offer you discounted housing arrangements. Often these arrangements can turn out to be shoddy accommodation with abysmal service, for a high (or just not worth it) price.
Scalpers may be lurking in the shadows outside performance halls, hoping to sell fake tickets to unsuspecting tourists. To avoid falling into this ruse, purchase tickets from ticket booths/boxes and reputable online sources only.
Often beggars on the street (especially children) may be part of a systematized group of beggars across the city. While it may be hard to look away, it might be better in the long run for you to keep your money. If you spot a child beggar, please take their picture and post it to www.baobeihuijia.com as they may have been kidnapped and forced to beg.
Art Gallery Scam
If a student or someone you just met invites you to an art studio or gallery, it may be a scheme in play! These individuals will claim that they deal in rare Chinese art or that it’s the last day of their art show and then overcharge you for one of their art pieces.
Card Swipers at Secluded Stores
When paying at a store that is out of the way or in a secluded location, try to avoid using a card. Some of these stores have been known to use card swipers in lieu of credit card machines.
China does not have unified legislation dealing with landlord-tenant relations. The laws that make up this relationship generally vary based on localities. In most cases, Chinese property law favors landlords, but there are still some general rights that renters retain and others that they should be aware of that their landlords retain. It should also be noted that while these may be laws in some places on paper, the actual practice of landlord-tenant relations may be different at times in reality.
A landlord that wishes to prematurely terminate the lease agreement must pay double the down-payment (usually one month’s rent) and double the security deposit (usually two to three month’s rent). This is roughly eight-months of rent. Tenants that prematurely terminate the lease agreement forfeit both the down-payment and the security deposit.
Subleasing is usually not permitted. The landlord is entitled to three month’s rent if they find the tenant subleasing the apartment without approval.
Tenants can be charged 0.5% each day their rent payments are late. If the renter does not pay their rent 20 days after it is due, the landlord has the right to terminate the contract and retain the security deposit.
Property that is not removed 10 days after the lease expiration date can be disposed of at the discretion of the landlord without compensating the tenant.