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Facts: How old to … in China?

Drive a car: 18

Drink Alcohol: 18 Get married: Men 22, Women 20

Smoking: 15



Some related notes...


Driving: The teenagers here aren't in a hurry to get a driver's license. Transportation isn't a problem for anyone with the extensive subway systems, rental bikes, and super cheap taxis. That said, we have a few kids that drive to and from school events. No liscense. During a round of golf this weekend Leo and Athena both confirmed that not all laws in China are strictly enforced. Lots of teens drive without incident and it doesn't appear to be a big deal. I'm told that even getting caught driving underage will only result in monetary fines.


Alcohol: The drinking age exists legally, but practically it's not real. Anyone can purchase alcohol and have it delivered anywhere. That sounds like a recipe for disaster, but it's really a non issue here as far as I know. Again, the kids both confirmed that it's another law that most people ignore and it's not a problem here in China. There's no moralistic fervor centered around "Won't somebody think about the children!?!" It's not an issue and nobody seems interested in making it an issue.


Marriage: To get married in China at least one of the two people (hetero couples only) must be a Chinese citizen. Most teenagers don't really "date". Parents won't let them and they don't have the opportunity. Their focus is 100% school 100% of the time. There's sort of a running joke here that parents don't want their kids involved with the opposite sex at all until they are out of college, but once they are out of college there's an expectation of marriage and children immediately.


Smoking: An enormous percentage of Chinese men smoke cigarettes. Rarely do you see a Chinese women smoking. The statistics I've found show something like a 90 and 5 percent ratio for the genders. I haven't seen even one person that looks like a teen smoking anywhere in any city that I've been in.

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