The most common Chinese term for foreigner. Also used extensively by Westerners, Expats, living in China when talking about other Westerners. Before 1980s it was pejorative, now its neutral or only slightly pejorative. From lao, old, respectful way of addressing ppl and wai, outside/foreign
Only laowais hang out at that shitty Shanghai bar.
I had to pay a high laowai prize for this stuff.