Differences Between Chinese Men and ‘Laowai’ Foreign Men

An Asian woman between an Asian man and a non-Asian man.

An Asian woman between an Asian man and a non-Asian man.

The following is a translation of a popular 2012 post on major Chinese discussion forum Tianya that relates one Chinese man’s thoughts, findings, and advice on Chinese women dating foreign men, including the differences between Chinese and foreign men, especially when it comes to successfully picking up girls.

Due to the length of the original post, our translation has been split into four parts. Below is Part 1:

From Tianya:

From a laowai‘s own mouth, how to get girls for just 17 yuan, China girls, please don’t earn the reputation of being “free” in laowai circles

I just came back from abroad, and I keep hearing my Chinese male compatriots in China say our Chinese girls are relatively materialistic, practical [vs. idealistic], and gold-digging, that its impossible for men without an apartment/house to get married, that one can’t find a girlfriend if they don’t spend money, that its easy to be dumped just for failing to give gifts to one’s girlfriend every holiday etc. etc. etc.

But frankly speaking, I have no serious objections to this, because I think actually all women throughout the world are materialistic. After all, who doesn’t like rich and capable men? American women are the same, European women are the same, they all favor rich men, and it’s always easy for generous men to find girlfriends.

But what left me flabbergasted was that I also know a lot of laowai who are fooling around in China and they tell me China has a lot of “free girls” who don’t want any money and only want to go to bed with them, who want to marry laowai even if it means paying instead of getting money [to the foreigner], and who will take even the poor, the old, the fat, the disabled, as long as they’re laowai.

For laowai in China, the success rate for getting girls is around 50-100 times higher than those of local men, and the women that our compatriots can spend thousands or tens of thousands on but can’t get laowai can get with just a cup of coffee. Many of male compatriots are extremely angry over this, so let me share the ways laowai pick up girls and the reasons they succeed easily. You guys should also find your own shortcomings, and not just blindly complain.

In addition, I want to make it clear that I am not against my fellow female students [referring to others as “fellow students” is common in casual Chinese speech] sleeping with laowai, but your sleeping [relations] should be of value, meaning, tactful, and fruitful, for example Ms. Wendi Deng and the Facebook owner’s girlfriend. These are all women who have made achievements from sleeping with laowai, unlike some female compatriots in China, who sleep around blindly, sleeping without meaning, sleeping while paying money for it, sleeping too eagerly, sleeping with nothing to show for it, ultimately tarnishing the image of Chinese girls, leaving in laowai circles the impression of being “free”, “cheap” and “SB”. China is after all a big and important country, so when female compatriots sleep with those black, white, or any color laowai, you should still be mindful of your image and the consequences.

So then, why is it that Chinese girls are more easily picked up by laowai while our own compatriots have difficulties even approaching them? The reasons are plenty, but let me talk about some of the differences between laowai men and Chinese men, and everyone can improve where they are lacking and those who aren’t lacking can keep up the good work but I hope everyone can improve their ability when it comes to picking up girls. Also, I hope girls will be more careful/conscientious and don’t give foreigners the impression that Chinese girls are stupid and brainless allowing them to sneer at us.

1. The first reason is experience. With anything, practice makes perfect, and picking up girls is the same. In the West, young people start dating and losing their virginity at around 14 years old, but for many in China it is 20 years old or even later, so first the starting point is already different. Laowai have 10 more years of experience on Chinese men, and during those 10 years, laowai have already dated multiple girls, getting to know the minds and G-spots of women like the back of their hands, having experienced cohabitation, abortion, drugs, and promiscuity, whereas Chinese people during this time are still in school studying hard, warned by the teachers and parents against premature love [dating too soon].

In other words, when laowai men reach their early twenties, their experience with picking up girls, dating, and having sex are already at what Chinese men would have in their early thirties. Chinese girls are the same too, no experience at the beginning of their 20s, whereas laowai are already seasoned veterans.

So when Chinese girls develop a relationship with or go on a date with a laowai, they are already not on the same level in the first place. Then add on that, for whatsoever reason, age-gaps abound in international relationships, which leads to even greater differences in intelligence, experience, and standards. Under these circumstances, it’s very easy to be taken advantaged of and deceived.

2. Many Chinese girls don’t understand the art of sleeping, and therefore get derogatorily dubbed “easy girls” and “free girls”.

The laowai who come to fool around in China can all be described with one word, “shrewd”. The girls who fool around with laowai, many can only be described with two words, “SB”.

Are there fools/idiots among laowai? Yes, but those fools normally would not come to China. They all stay in their home countries. The laowai in China are one and all adept with the skill of picking up girls without having to spend money. This I’ll talk about this later in this article.

First let me tell you guys what kind of people the laowai who come to China are. Let’s not say “LOSER”, but they are a group of laowai who are all quite shrewd and materialistic. Only they would come to China. It’s like asking you to leave China, to go to Africa to make money, would you be willing to go? The average person would not be willing to go. Only those people who are adventurers, shrewd people, and really want to make money will go.

What do Chinese men value when it comes to marriage? Ordinarily the first thing is outward appearance. Height, appearance, educational level—in other words, someone they can be proud of “taking out of the house” [someone who reflects well upon them to others].

But laowai–especially the laowai in China–aren’t particular about these things. They don’t care about a girl’s appearance, nor do they care about empty things like educational level or birthplace, only caring about her practicality, that she can make money, raise children, do housework. So many laowai like girls who look strong and thick, because they can work hard and endure hardship after all. Having a life with this kind of girl would be more leisurely and less worrisome. Especially when it comes to finances, while laowai abroad don’t care, laowai in China are very calculating about that.

If you don’t believe me, just pay attention to the laowai in China around you who have married Chinese girls, and see which kinds of girls they’ve married. Basically they are all girls who are capable of making money, from rich families, or at least are financially independent.

At least the ones I know are all like this. An American guy married a Shanghai girl whose father owns a company; a French guy married a girl, and this girl owns three clothing stores herself; a German guy married a girl, and this girl’s father has a factory in Dongguan. The other laowai, if the women they married aren’t really good at making money, then she at least are very good at doing housework, adept at doing the laundry, cooking, etc., and can be treated like female servants.

Which is to say, those girls who are relatively poor can stop dreaming of marrying those China laowai, [because] the probability is fairly low.

So many girls that fancy laowai and have been tricked, bedded, and dumped still can’t figure out the reason: I love him so much, but how come he doesn’t want me?

To be frank, it is because you don’t have money, that you’re not able to be independent enough financially, so the shrewd laowai in China will only have casual fun with you.

Chinese men are SB for being too direct. Many of them even ask on their first meeting, “What’s your salary? Is your danwei [work unit, workplace] doing well?”

This very easily annoys girls, and is also very impolite.

But laowai are very shrewd. No matter how many times you and him have gone out, he will not ask about your income, but he will secretly pay attention to the caliber of your clothes and other purchases, to discern if you have a relatively high income, or if your family is rich.

Laowai in their home countries are not like this. They like playful and fun girls with whom they can hang out, chat, and sleep with, not really considering the financial aspect.

But the laowai who come to China, some are losers, which is to say they have no job, no house, not even a car, or even in debt in their own countries. Of the remainder, some are money grubbers, who came to China to start businesses and make money, so they are not willing to consider girls from poor families…

English handbook on Chinese phrases for sex, love-making, and making out.

3. Laowai and Chinese men spend money on different things.

Laowai can be very poor but they still have very high consumption, even surpassing how much they earn. Chinese men usually give you the impression during the first few dates that they are stingy, not as high-class as laowai are, not wearing brand name clothes and even taking the girl to dirty and filthy small restaurants.

But the actual reason is that Chinese men save their money, saving it so they can buy you a house and car in the future, to be spent on their wives. Whereas laowai don’t save money, their monthly incomes used for eating, drinking, having fun, and picking up girls. They basically live from paycheck to paycheck.

Laowai are indeed more generous. They usually will take a girl to upscale restaurants, or if not at least a Starbucks. Many Chinese girls will very easily be attracted by this, feeling that laowai are classy, have taste, thinking if they stay with the laowai, their future life will always be like this.

But the reality is, taking you to upscale restaurants happens only before getting you into bed. This is the capital they invest. Laowai will not keep treating you to meals, because they only have so much money, which they have to spend on many other different girls. Therefore, as soon as they get you, they will start saving money with you, to invite other girls to upscale restaurants.

Some laowai treat 6 or 7 different girls to meals in a week, so don’t even think about them giving you gifts or buying a house to marry you.

Laowai in China treat all women as short-term, diversified investments. They’re not going to invest everything on you alone.

4. Laowai and Chinese guys differ in terms of online dating skills.

Many Chinese men are very SB and direct, especially on the Internet. Some Chinese men see a girl dressed relatively sexy and directly ask, “Young lady, how about a one-night stand? I’m 18 centimeters long.” And the result of which is being cursed and spat on.

When it comes to hitting on girls, laowai emphasize art and skill, when actually their goal is simply to get you in bed, but they will do their best to give you a comfortable and natural impression, making sex seem like a natural progression.

When a Chinese man gets horny, he’ll say vulgar low-class things, for example: You are so sexy. Can you be my lover?

When a laowai gets horny, he’ll say lofty high-class things, even according to different situations, even though his goal is the same, such as:

  1. The friendly approach, which is also the most often seen. A laowai will write an email saying: Hello, you look like an easygoing and cute girl. I am a French man, who just came to China. I really like China’s culture. Can we be friends? Or language exchange. You teach me Chinese, and I will teach you French.
  2. The flattery approach. A laowai will write an email saying: Hello, the most beautiful girl in China. When I first saw you, my breath was taken away, I couldn’t believe my eyes, I was floored by your beauty. You’re simply a sexy goddess, a fairy who combines both spirit and beauty. For you, I’d be willing to do anything, I’d even kiss your feet.

These two approaches are the most often seen, and they’re also the approaches most irresistible to Chinese girls. I saw with my own eyes a laowai friend writing messages to girls on a social network, using these approaches. With girls that looked more conservative, he’d use the friendly approaching. With girls that looked more sexy and liberal, he’d use the flattery approach, fooling countless women.

Many girls upon seeing these kind of messages will immediately have a favorable impression towards the laowai, thinking the laowai is very romantic, elegant, and totally different from those vulgar Chinese guys. So they meet, have sex, and then are dumped.

More often than not, even after those girls are dumped, they still don’t understand the truth behind being dumped, thinking: Is there something about me that isn’t good enough? What did I do wrong?

The truth is, it is not you who did anything wrong, nor are you not good enough, but that it was a ruse from the very beginning. Doesn’t matter if it was the friendly type, the romantic type, the chivalrous type, or the gentleman type, most laowai make friends on social networks for the sole purpose of sex, for one-night stands, to use these girls to satisfy their physiological needs.

If you thought the laowai was enamored with you, wanted to make you his girlfriend, wanted to marry you, then you’re simply a SB.

5. Laowai in China are generally not willing to get married. One very important reason is simply because Chinese girls are poor, and going out means spending their [the laowai‘s] money. However, if you are from a rich family, laowai will see you differently.

The richer a laowai is, the less willing he is to get married. What kind of laowai in China are most willing to get married? Generally they are English teachers. These laowai are very poor, where they feel even rent is a heavy burden, so they hope to find a girl to split the financial burden, to pay rent together, to lessen the stress in their lives.

What I suggest is that the Chinese girls who genuinely like laowai should marry abroad [or marry to go abroad].

One of my friends said it well: Ever since China opened up, beggars have disappeared from the streets in the West.

Especially with the current economic crisis in the West, unemployed laowai who are unable to find jobs all want to come to China to make a living, and the large influx is worth our increased vigilance.

Don’t be fooled by foreign beggars, who also go around saying Chinese people are SB, that Chinese girls are cheap or free.

I suggest that Chinese girls be more realistic, materialistic, and smart when dating laowai.

Also, learn from those shrewd laowai. Don’t continue being a SB, without an end in sight.

Why do I understand laowai attitudes, habits, and behavior patterns so well? Very simple, I have a lot of foreign friends. Among them there are also some honest and dependable people, “as rare as the hair of a phoenix and the horns of a kylin” [Chinese idiom], but the majority of the laowai in China are ultimately unreliable.

In Part 2, the original poster provides examples and conversations he’s had with his foreign friends. Part 3 features what the original poster believes are myths Chinese women have about foreign men. Part 4 translates a collection of netizen comments reacting to the overall post.


Written by Rensi

A translator of trending Chinese Internet humor and Chinese pop music.

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