You are fully understanding it. That is exactly as you described. If they fall into that category I explained, they must find (or even create) things to complain as to show others they are on the top so they can differentiate what is good or bad, even if they have no idea what they are talking about.
I hate to judge based on stereotypes, but unfortunately more often than not that is what is expected in Chinese culture, especially in mainland China. I did have great guests from China but even those, when talking in person at home (we live in the apartment) I could feel the tendency to go that way when they described places. I had to maneuver my way to acknowledge their so called ‘ability to complain disguised as upper class citizen’ so that i could avoid bad reviews in those areas. Unfortunately this girl still went ahead and made a completely inaccurate review. I am OK receiving bad reviews if I had failed, but everything stated was outright lying.
A major thing happened today: one of our guests, who is also Mainland Chinese and is our routine guest, he is here every week, contacted me and asked what had happened for such a bad review. Then I really decided to reply to her in the Public response. My routine guest said that he saw the review and he wouldn’t book me if he was seeing it (as a Chinese himself), he’s booked already many times with us in the past and he has many reservations with us in the future too, all through Airbnb. He said he was checking other rooms because he stays in different places on different days due to his work and he stumbled on our listing again and opened out of curiosity. He then decided to contact me. Now, I think if a routine customer would have this concern, of course other Chinese would think similarly.
I know for many westerners (although I am Asian, my wife is a Westerner) a detailed response would be too much, like we are trying too hard, but for Chinese people it is totally different.
In the end I decided to contact her via Air messaging system and she, as I expected, denied everything, and said that she didn’t know how the review appeared there. Talk about Poker Face… So I replied to her in detailed about each item and she said that my house and service is perfect. She said she didn’t write it (oh yea, a ghost did maybe). She was so embarrassed that she couldn’t even talk about it, just denied.
That’s a lesson learned for me, more of a confirmation actually about the Chinese behavior and maybe you who host them may be alert that this might happen.
Of course not everyone from a large nation is the same but we are product of the ambient. Do all German love beer? Do all Brazilians party and love carnival? Do they all love soccer? Do all Americans have guns? We can’t generalize or stereotype all but culture means that most people share the same set of tradition.
Currently having another guest from China as we speak. Nice woman and polite. Lets see the result. Didn’t have time to talk to her so no time for the ‘acknowledgement’ I mentioned.
As for the shower experience, even the most polite of my Chinese guests couldn’t handle the dry/wet shower as we have and they prefer to use a handheld shower head to put it out near the toilet to shower, I still haven’t found out why it is so, maybe I will just ask next time. And no, up to now no geographic segment of the ones more or less prone to behave like that.
As to how another Chinese would know if she is bluffing or if she is reliable, well, this I can say for sure. In all cases, they look down upon service people. Anyone providing them anything. If you are not a maker (manufacturer, big company office person etc) you are pretty much non deserving of credibility. Although I have a job that would ‘grant’ me respect in their eyes, every host-guest contract with is service of lodging primarily, so you guests see hosts as such.