Living Information  

Climate

Most of China experiences monsoons, with cold dry winds from the north in the winter, while with warm, humid winds from the south and southeast, in the summer.

Tianjin experiences all four seasons with an average annual waterfall of 561.3 millimeters. Below is a chart which best describes the average temperatures and climate in Tianjin/Beijing, during the Four Seasons of the year.

Season Months Temperature Notes
Winter Nov - Mar (-)15oC - 5oC Snow/Windy/Dry
Spring Apr - May 8oC - 25oC Rain/Windy
Summer Jun - Aug 22oC - 39oC Rain/Humid/Hot
Fall Sept - Oct 10oC - 20oC Fine/Cool

Currency

The basic money unit is the "Yuan"(元), which in everyday language is referred to as "Kuai"(块). It is divided into 10 "Jiao"(角)(more commonly refered to as "Mao"(毛). The smallest sub-division is the "Fen"(分)or Cent.

1 Yuan (Y) = 100 fen (cents)

1 Jiao (mao) = 10 fen

Notes are issued in denominations of: Y100, Y50, Y20, Y10, Y5, Y2, Y1; and 50, 20 and 10 Fen. Coins are issued in 6 denominations. The Y1 coin is made of polished nickel with a smooth edge. It is marked Y1 Yuan and shows the numeral 1. The 5 Jiao coin is worth 50 Fen or half a Yuan. It is made of brass and inscribed with Wu Jiao and the numeral 5. There are two 1 Jiao coins worth 10 Fen or 1 Mao. One is aluminum with the numeral 1 and the other is larger with an octagonal pattern around the edge, also made of aluminum. It is marked with the numeral 1 and Yi Jiao. There are coins for 5 Fen, 2 Fen and 1 Fen.

Electrical voltage

Electricity in China is 220 volts, 50 cycles AC. Outlets come in at least 4 designs: three-pronged angled sockets (Australia), three- pronged round sockets (Hong Kong), two-pronged flat sockets (US) and two-pronged narrow round sockets (Europe).

Conversion plugs and battery chargers are available at most large shopping centres in Tianjin. Industrial converters for larger appliances, such as computers, are also available in Tianjin and Beijing.

Language

The official "common language" of China is Putonghua (普通话). In English it is usually called Mandarin. Pinyin is the name given to the written script using Roman letters to represent the pronunciation of characters. The sounds are as they are pronounced in English but with a few exceptions:

c is pronounced ’ts’ as in "its"

q is pronounced ’ch’ as in "choose"

x is pronounced ’sh’ as in "short"

z is pronounced ’ds’ as in "bids"

zh is pronounced as the initial ’j’

Local time

One time operates across all of China. Tianjin is eight hours ahead of GMT and thirteen hours ahead of EST.

Property investment

Non-Chinese passport holders are allowed to do property investments in China. As the real estate in Tianjin is booming, quite some expatriates, especially Korean, consider buying or have already bought a property in Tianjin. There is no price difference between local buyers and non-Chinese passport holders. A mortgage is available for expatriate’s investors.

Security

The crime rate in China is low, and in Tianjin, it’s even lower. Although crimes against non-Chinese passport holders are not so common, common sense should prevail and normal precautions should be observed. Identification or a copy should be carried with you at all times.

According to the regulation from the Public Security Bureau (PSB), if a non-Chinese passport holder lives in or moves to an accommodation other than hotels or serviced apartments, within 24 hours after arrival, he/she shall apply a residential registration at the living district’s PSB office.

Television and radio

Satellite broadcasts are available in most hotels and apartment complexes with non-Chinese passport holders. Chinese Central Television (CCTV) airs one television channel in English – CCTV9 – including news, cultural, current affairs and general entertainment programs.

Television transmissions in China use the PAL system that differs from the North American NTSC system. Most apartment complexes include a Chinese system TV (PAL) which will pick up broadcasts from Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and the US. Not all cable channels are available in each apartment complex. You will need to check with the management of your complex for this information.

Tipping

Tipping is becoming more common in places frequented by foreigners e.g. restaurants and taxi services. It is not customary to tip in purely Chinese settings. A 10-15% surcharge is normally added to the bill in hotel restaurants, so in this case tipping is not customary.

Weights and measures

China has converted to the metric system but a domestic system is also in use.

Weight: 1 Jin = 0.5 Kilogram

Length: 1 Li = 0.5 kilometer

1 Mi = 1 Meter

Area: 1 Mu = 0.0667 hectare (15 Mu to hectare)

 

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