As a foreigner, coming to China can be overwhelming; different culture, change in diet, and new habits to adapt to the new environment. At first, the attention gained from locals were welcomed because of their excitement to see a foreigner. Being stopped to take photos and being asked if you play a sport or where you from makes you feel like a celebrity.
WeChat Official Account: ExpatRights
However, fast forward a couple of months or even a few years and it’s 8 o’clock in the morning during rush hour on the metro. You’re hungover from the weekend and late for work.
Then all of a sudden, your sixth sense begins to tingle and you notice someone in your peripheral view is attempting to take a picture without your permission. When you block their camera and repeatedly tell them to stop, they pretend to not understand and laugh it off.
Foreigners are sick and tired of locals taking pictures of them. It is rude. Point blank, and simple. It’s an invasion of privacy and weird. It’s 2019 and China has had foreigners around long enough for people to be used to them. Foreigners are not zoo animals, they are people.
There have been countless stories where a foreigner’s Chinese friend messages them saying they were seen on someone else’s WeChat Moments without their permission.
If a native wants to take a photo of a foreigner or with a foreigner, the respectable procedure is simply asking for permission. If they agree then awesome. If they refuse, then leave them alone; don’t walk away and sneak behind a pillar and take a photo anyway.
No means no.
This is a huge issue among foreigners and shines a negative light on the manners of natives.
WeChat Official Accounts: ExpatRights