Upon your arrival into Beijing and after getting settled into your hotel, your guide will have you attend an orientation session. One of the surprises is that you are not expected to tip.
A big change is taking place, however. Due to the many new joint-venture, Western-style hotels and increase in American and European tourists, tipping is starting to appear as a normal practice, especially in the large cities.
The main fault has been caused by many of the Western guides who accompany the tours from America or Europe. At the end of each tour, the Western guide will make you feel that it is mandatory to give some "token of appreciation for these underpaid, poor people."
I don't mind tipping, especially if it is offered for good or exceptional service, but to have it mandatory as part of a trip, just to build up the ego and business connection between the escort and local guides, puts a different meaning and purpose on this custom.