Expand your social circle in China

Hello everyone,

Moving to China means leaving one's family and friends behind. Creating a circle of friends or joining an existing one should therefore be paramount in order to fight loneliness in your host country.

But how can one develop a social network in China? Where and how to meet people there?

How easy is it to meet locals? What about cultural specificities?

Share your advice and experience!

Many thanks in advance,


Hello, Priscilla.

First of all, I would like to know where do you live in China, because China can be divided into North and South. Southerners and northerners have differences in appearance, personality, generally speaking, the southerners are dark, small, North of tall, white; southerners are delicate and thinking, intelligent, bold, Frank, open-minded people in the North ... ....

Whether you live in South or North, and Mandarin is a must. If you live in Guangdong, learning Cantonese is a must. Chinese treat foreigners have been very friendly, general meeting is the smile, nodding his head. And then add one more sentence: "Ni Hao!" (Means Hello). If coupled with a handshake, then you respect the other party!

And the usual etiquette is too much, really for a short duration does not say. Chinese use of social software is: wechat, and QQ. Usually Exchange with WeChat, QQ for Office.

How can closer to local people? There is no need to worry! Chinese people have been very enthusiastic to foreigners, are very willing to help. After go live near the market, you will know a lot of friends. LOL。 Chinese people don't like being noisy, loud noise. Or too much enthusiasm! After all, most Chinese are more conservative. Too much to say, if you really want to know more, contact me! Email: jason[at] . I have been living in SHUNDE district, Foshan City, Guangdong Province, in southern China, it is a very good place!

Hope this can be helpful! :)

Jason Liao

Specially to the people living in places with high humidity, such as Guangzhou, try to keep the humidity in your home, office under control, below 70%. It will help to avoid the reproduction of nasty dust mites, bed-carpets bugs which can cause respiratory and severe skin allergy problems.  Whether you have kids, please take this advice much more seriously and let the sun shine in your spaces and heart.   Enjoy your summer time.

Hi Priscilla,

And all Expats within China.

Myself I am lucky in the sense, I am married to a local Chinese, whom conducts all my translations for me as and when needed. Also me being totally lazy with languages, I do the basic communications with people, handshakes, smiles, how are you and so forth.

Socializing has not been a problem for me at all really, even with the Chinese whom cant speak English, body language always works out great :) All I suggest is go where the crowds go, mingle as much as possible, as within China the younger generation all know some basic English, and some better than myself hahaha.

Join the local Gym, make new friends very easily, Go to the local bars, and sing, and sometimes dance, everyone will join in with you, and by all means DO NOT be shy, Chinese society are exceptionally friendly people, and most would love you to be their new friend. Then you get invited to all family events.

And please do not leave any rice in the bowl lol.

All the best


I would say it starts with colleagues, go for food or drink with them, invite them out, they maybe a bit wary at first but that will soon pass. If you can try and make it a western location at first, its maybe new to them and you will also feel more relaxed for first social meeting. If you can sing the Karaoke later

qq and wechat is really to keep in touch with people you have met, if you try to meet new people on these platforms you can find some very strange individuals  :lol: 

and of course the bar, pool table, dice and beer usually ends up with friends   :D

Hello Priscilla,

I have been living in China for the past 19 years.  The first two years in Guangzhou, the last 17 in Beijing.

The first thing I did when I relocated to Guangzhou and then to Beijing was to visit bookshops where foreigners tended to congregate.  Then to events hosted by local expat organizations, then to coffee shops frequented by expats and Chinese alike.

When I relocated to Beijing in 1999, I immediately enrolled in a six-month Chinese total immersion program, spending 7 days a week, 12 hours a day learning this extremely complicated language. I then began practicing my Chinese with whomever I could meet allowing myself to feel comfortable with the language.

Eventually my circle began to expand.  My work as a writer/editor brought me into contact with a number of culture clubs and organizations.

In Beijing, I became a member of the Bookworm, a delightful bookshop, restaurant/meeting place for Chinese and westerners alike.  My circle expanded again.

Being on LinkedIn gave me further exposure especially joining groups linked to the many interesting conversations about the goings on on the mainland.

Little by little, the circle continues to expand.

Since I travel a great deal throughout the country, I continue to meet new people and always remain in touch.

This is my way.

Kind regards,


hello priscilla
about china im please to tell you that china is a easy place to leave and make friends.chineese people themselves are very friendly and helpful;so to have locals friends will be easier than to have expats friends.

compare to dubai where i was before ,china is very free and every foreigners should follow the same doesn't have VIP foreigners here

sure leave your family and all your routines is far to be an easy thing ,especially if you never travel before.but you will quickly use to it

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