How do Chinese and foreigners react when their friends ask them to lend money?

By Zhou Xinyu Source:Global Times Published: 2018/3/4 18:58:39

A matter of money

Borrowing and lending money are inevitable in our daily life. But there are emotional and financial risks to such generous acts. Borrowing and lending between friends could inevitably strain the relationship, or worse, end up in court. The Global Times recently asked both foreigners and Chinese in Shanghai about their attitudes toward lending and borrowing.

American national Kim said that whether she would lend a friend money or not depends on the friend and their reasons for borrowing. "If there is a really good reason, like a medical or a family emergency, I may consider lending more to him," she said.

Similar sentiments were echoed by Indian Satheesh, American Calli and Vykintas from Lithuania. Satheesh, for instance, said he would try to figure out his friend's situation first.

"I will ask what they're doing now and what is their problem; why they are short of money," Satheesh told the Global Times. "Nowadays, making money is not an easy thing. Everybody is hard working. But I will try my best to help them based on my capacity."

Calli added that if a friend really needs money and it was for food or something necessary, she will give 400 yuan. "If you haven't seen that person in a while, and they are short of cash or something that they really need, I will help him," Vykintas said.

But he added that he won't give all of his money. "Up to a couple of hundred euros is fine. But if it's thousands, it's too much. But of course I would try to assist as much as possible."

Some interviewees told the Global Times that it all depends on the closeness of a relationship. "If it was a good friend, I would lend them the money, because I know that I could trust them to pay me back. But I don't have much money," American interviewee Allison said.

Leva from Lithuania added that if she knows that person quite well, then she knows if he or she is honest and trustworthy. "Or they can just ask for a loan at a bank."

Jasper from the Netherlands is a generous guy, and also realistic. He said, "I will probably give them money instead of lending it to them, because I probably won't get it back anyway."

A friend in need

In terms of lending money in China, do Chinese hold a more cautious attitude than foreigners? Local female Xiu Deping, a recent graduate, joined the job market in 2017 and said she'd be apprehensive about lending or borrowing.

"I don't have much money now, but maybe I'd lend someone a few hundred yuan," Xiu said.

Li Shangpeng, an IT guy working in Shanghai, pays more attention to the character of a person and how close they are. "If we barely know each other and only have a general relationship, I won't lend money, because I think it is risky."

Li has his own understanding about borrowing. "Maybe they can't borrow from their close friends, so he just comes to me. That means he is of bad faith."

Chinese national Chen Heting believes it is important to know the person's real situation, but she needs to confirm that she is lending her money to a trustworthy person.

An old Chinese saying is that even reckoning makes long friends. Meaning that if someone does not repay money they borrowed from a friend, that relationship is likely to end.

The question, then, is how should the lender ask the borrower for their money back?

"When they actually have the money, I would ask them to pay me back in the due time," Allison said.

Is a friend indeed

Vykintas does not agree with Allison. He thinks time is not important. "After a year, even if they haven't paid me back, I think it will be fine. And if he asks for more, it's also fine, as long as he always admits that he owes you and he stays in touch with you."

"Of course I will ask them to repay," Satheesh said. "But sometimes they just don't repay. This will hurt our relationship."

Xiu will ask the person to repay only when she herself really needs money. "I will explain the reason to him clearly."

"When people borrow money from friends, they usually don't have a receipt for the loan. So generally I won't ask them to repay. Because if I ask, they may think I'm mean," Li said. "I'll remind them every six months or so if they are my close friend. If they still do not repay me after a year, I will keep away from them."

Some experts advised that people should be acquainted with a few trusting friends who can share both their joys and sorrows with each other.

That way, when one is in trouble, they know exactly whom they should ask for help. And when these friends are in trouble, one should also try to help them as well.

The story was written by Zhou Xinyu.



Photos:Lu Ting/GT

Photos:Lu Ting/GT

Photos:Lu Ting/GT

Photos:Lu Ting/GT

Photos:Lu Ting/GT

Photos:Lu Ting/GT






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