The Gas Station in China

Gas Station in China
Gas Station Sinopec

Look at the picture and see what is different from any gas station you are used to from Europe or the US or most places in the world. Of course the Chinese characters are different, but that is mere cosmetics.

I think the most interesting visual item of the gas station as a roadside landmark is the absence of price. It is nowhere written how much the gas costs. Because it is the same everywhere.

In Sweden, where I grew up, the gas price varies around 5-10% between different gas stations, and it is a convenience trade-off, whether to take the full-service gas station along the highway with it’s cozy shoplet, or to stand in the wind at the JET station with no human being in sight. Convenience for cash, as the universal trade-off.

Not in China.

The ministry sets the price for each type of fuel, and that is that. No matter if it is a Sinopec, CNOOC, or any other “branded” gas station, the price is not theirs to determine. Therefore, neither for the customer or the gas station owner, there is any interest in displaying the current gasoline price.

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