Languages › Mandarin How to Use Discounts Properly in Mandarin Chinese The Opposite of Western Discounts Share Flipboard Email Print Dan Dalton / Getty Images Mandarin Vocabulary Mandarin History and Culture Pronunciation Understanding Chinese Characters By Qiu Gui Su Chinese Language Expert Qiu Gui Su is a native Mandarin speaker who has taught Mandarin Chinese for over 20 years. our editorial process Qiu Gui Su Updated March 12, 2019 Everyone loves a discount. The bigger the better. When you're shopping, it's always a good idea to keep a lookout for good deals and discount signs. If you're shopping or bartering in China or Taiwan, make sure to understand how discounts work in Chinese. Otherwise, you might end up paying for a price much higher than you expected! When it comes to Mandarin Chinese discounts, they are expressed the opposite of English. In English, discount signs are labeled as X% off. In Chinese stores, discount signs will tell you the percentage of the original price that you now have to pay. So don’t get too excited when something is marked 9 折 (jiǔ zhé); that doesn't mean 90% off. It means you can buy it for 90% of its regular price – a 10% discount. The format for discounts is number + 折. Western (Arabic) numbers are used instead of Chinese characters. Here are some examples: 7 折qī zhé30% off5 折wǔ zhé50% off2.5 折èr diǎn wǔ zhé75% off You might be confused as to how 7 refers to 70% rather than 7%, 5 refers to 50% rather than 5%, and so on. This is because 7 折 means 0.7 times the price. If an item originally costs $100 but has a 7 折 discount, then the final cost is 0.7 x $100, or $70. So when looking out for discount signs in Chinese, remember that the smaller the number, the bigger the discount.