Living Information  

Basic information of Tianjin


With an average altitude of 2-5 meters above sea level, Tianjin is the lowest city in China. The Jiushanding Mountain in the north is the highest peak in Tianjin at 1,078.5 meters above sea level.

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

Tianjin has a semi-humid continental monsoon climate in the warm Temperate Zone. Tianjin features four distinct seasons with an average annual rainfall of 500 millimetres and 200 frost-free days per year. The average wind speed throughout the year is 2-4m/s.

Below is a chart which best describes the average temperature and climate in Tianjin/Beijing, during the four seasons.

  1. Season
  1. Months
  1. Temperature
  1. Notes
  1. Winter
  1. Nov – Mar
  1. (-)15oc – 5oc
  1. Snow/Windy/Dry
  1. Spring
  1. Apr – May
  1. 8oc - 25oc
  1. Dry/Windy
  1. Summer
  1. Jun – Aug
  1. 22oc - 39oc
  1. Rain/Humid/Hot
  1. Fall
  1. Sept – Oct
  1. 10oc - 20oc
  1. Fine/Cool


The basic money unit is the “Yuan”(元), which in daily oral language is referred to as “Kuai”(块). It is divided into 10 “Jiao”(角)(more commonly referred to as “Mao”(毛)). The smallest sub-division is the “Fen”(分)or Cent.
1 Yuan (Kuai) =10 Jiao (mao)
1 Jiao (mao) = 10 fen
Notes are issued in denominations of: ¥100, ¥50, ¥20, ¥10, ¥5, ¥1; 5 Jiao, and 1 Jiao. Coins are issued in six denominations. The ¥1 coin is made of polished nickel with a smooth edge. It is marked ¥1 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 aluminium with the numeral 1 and the other is larger with an octagonal pattern around the edge, also made of aluminium. 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 Hz AC. Electrical sockets come in at least four designs: three-pronged angled sockets (UK/Australia), three-pronged round sockets (Hong Kong), two-pronged flat sockets (US) and two-pronged narrow round sockets (Europe).

Conversion plugs, battery chargers, and industrial converters for larger appliances, such as computers, are easily available at IT and electric appliances shops in Tianjin.
The official “common language” of China is Pǔtōnghuà (普通话) or Mandarin as it is called in English. Tianjin has its local dialect, but Pǔtōnghuà is widely used in daily work. Pinyin is the name given to the written script using Roman letters to represent the pronunciation of characters. 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 standard time operates across all of China. Tianjin is eight hours ahead of GMT and thirteen hours ahead of EST.
The crime rate in China is low, and in Tianjin, it is even lower. Although crimes against expatriates are uncommon, common sense should prevail and normal precautions should be observed. Identification or a copy should be carried with you at all times.
IMPORTANT: According to the regulations from the Public Security Bureau (PSB), if a non-Chinese passport holder lives in or moves to an accommodation other than hotels or serviced accommodations, within 24 hours after arrival, he/she shall apply for a Residence Registration Card (Bèichákǎ备查卡) at the living quarters district’s PSB office. This is compulsory and not negotiable and it is a must later when applying for your residence permit or extending your visa. E-SMART will assist our clients with such applications.
Public satellite TV programs are available in most decent hotels and serviced accommodations. Individual satellite TV system can be subscribed if you live in private accommodations. Chinese Central Television (CCTV) airs in three foreign language channels: CCTV-9 in English, CCTV-E in Spanish and CCTV-F in French, with news, cultural, current affairs and general entertainment programs.
Tipping is becoming a common practice at places frequented by expatriates e.g. restaurants, hotels, taxi service and travel services. It is not a local custom to tip. A 10-15% service surcharge is automatically added to your 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. For example:
Weight: 1 Jin = 0.5 Kilogram
Length: 1 Li = 0.5 Kilometer
Area: 1 Mu = 0.0667 hectare (15 Mu equals to one hectare)