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I must say my experience in china has been pleasent so far with the general attitude of people. About the only place that I had some indication of non friendly faces is in banks, seems that bank employees must be sad faced to work there, number one requirement.|
In most restaurants I visit the waitress always ends up laughing with me and my friends by the end of the night. Maybe it is my generaly friendly and funny style. You will find a big smile on my face pretty much most places I go to, and I think people respond similar when seing a friendly face. Maybe on top of that my feeble attempts in mandarine to communicate with them make them laugh, who knows.
I think if you greet people with a big smile and attitude, they will respond. The most unfriendly people I have ever meet where the people in Moscow Airport, Russia. Oh my god, no matter how friendly I was, I always had the feeling they would rather slit my throat then talk to me, very very shooking.
if you do run into a person that seems unfriendly, try to say stuff to them they would not expect, something to shake them out of the foul mood. Woman you can compliment, on their cloth, hairstyle and such, Men you can appeal to their knowhow, experience and such. A simple compliment combined with a big smile can make many people feel better about themself, and then of course cause them to be friendly to you.