As a person who’s interesting in the Chinese culture, it’s only natural to want to have Chinese friends since you’re interested in learning more about their culture and such. But the problem is, you don’t know where to start.
Before you dive in any further with this topic. There are some key facts you need to know first before looking for Chinese friends:
Chinese people tend to stay in closed groups
Based on observation, Chinese people are more likely to stick to the close group(s) of friends they have, most of the same gender. These groups of people more likely to have the same interests, work in the same department, or belong in the same class.
The things that they have in common is what makes them form groups and relate to the same things.
Language barriers will be a big problem
As a foreigner, if you’re not quite familiar with the Chinese language yet, then you’re about to have an extra hard time making friends with some Chinese locals. Though there are some who knows a little bit English or could speak it well, the locals would acknowledge and be impressed that you made an effort of mastering their language.
Yes, translation tools can help, but you can’t depend on that forever.
Chinese people value their real friends and they cherrish friendships
Valuing friendship is always a part of any culture. Everybody would cherish friendships that are true, genuine, and long-lasting.
What should you do to have Chinese friends?
There are certain etiquettes involved not only to show respect but to also to show that you’re someone who's great to be friends with.
Misconceptions and stereotypes can easily fester on people’s minds. But when you visit the country and see it as a whole, you’d be surprised how much of those were wrong.
Whether you’re currently staying in China or making Chinese friends online, try to keep an open mind and be respectful towards them particularly if your opinions on particular topics don't really agree with each other.
Learn the language
Learning the local language can give you a higher advantage of making friends with the locals. Generally speaking, the more of the language you speak, the easier it is to openly communicate with anyone. Since you don’t have to only look for people who could speak and understand English.
Just be yourself
If you want your new found friends to like you as yourself as a person, then be yourself. Be real and don’t pretend to be something you’re not just for them to like you or have more friends.
Show your funny side and your interests. By being real, you only attract the type of people you really want to stay friends with in the long run, and that’s how lasting and true friendships grow.
A few real friends are always better than hundreds of fake ones.
Where to make Chinese friends?
There are a lot of places to choose from when you’re looking for friends in China. You just have to figure out which would work best for you.
If you’re in China...
When you’re in China, you can practically make friends just about anywhere. You only have to find the best ones for you. For instance, if you’re looking to make friends with Chinese locals or fellow foreigners of the same interests, go to places that are usually the go-to places of these groups of people and start socializing there.
If you’re online...
When you’d preferably go look for friends online, this is how it gets a little bit more tricky. There are a lot of social and chatting apps available to find Chinese friends online, and each of them has a specific purpose, or rather a place for people of similar demographics gather.
Apps like WeChat and Weibo are two of the most popularly used in China, so you could actually start to interact and chat with Chinese friends there. Dating apps like TrulyChinese are also a great place to meet people and make friends. Just set the “Looking for” section on your profile with Penpal and/or Friendship.
Relate article: Best Places In China to Meet Singles
Wherever or however you decide to meet Chinese friends, remember that speaking a similar language is important. But that’s not always the case when you’re both trying to learn each other’s language. You also have to consider whether you have the same interest and if the right chemistry is there.
Never forget that making friends should always be fun. So don’t stress yourself too much.
Be yourself, and just have fun.