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Why do Chinese fight over the bill in restaurants?

It is considered polite to offer once or even twice to pay the bill in China, even if you are the guest. So you might see people try to pull the bill away from someone else at their table and shout with red faces at each other.


If you would like to pay the bill without a fight at the table, you can sneak off to the washroom and pay the bill at that time. Your Chinese companions will likely show displeasure when they find out, but it will often be welcomed. You have to use your own best judgement when to pay and when not to pay. It is not appropriate to always be on the receiving end.

Chinese Culture
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