Understanding People's Gestures in China
Chinese don’t gesture very much and regard a lot of hand movement as excessive. Winking and whistling are considered rude. Eye contact tends to be indirect.
Both the thumbs up sign and tugging on the earlobe are signs of excellence. An outward pointing and raised pinky means you are nothing, poor quality or not very good at something.
Some Chinese point with their middle finger without realizing that it has a vulgar meaning in the West. Conversely, a thumb placed between the middle and index fingers (the "nose stealing" gesture) is on obscene gesture in some parts of China.
Don't point or use your finger to beckon someone (this gesture is used for dogs). To get someone's attention and tell them to “come here” place your palm down and move your fingers towards you. This gesture is used with children, taxis or waiters but is considered very rude when directed at an older person. The most polite way to attract someone's attention is to make eye contact and bow slightly.
Holding your fist up is an obscene gesture in Hong Kong and some parts of southern China. Also in southern China, people say thank you by tapping two fingers on the table. Many people in the north, however, are not familiar with this gesture.