There are now moves to encourage hotels to have flexible check-out schedules. Cynically, you might think this will only happen when hotels are less than full. Once the hotels are full again you can be certain the regulations will be rigorously enforced. And you are probably right in thinking this way.
Beijing Times reported that in the latest version of professional standards of hotels, which was issued by the the China Tourist Hotels Association(CTHA) recently, hotels are allowed to arrange their own check-out schedules.
Previously, hotel guests in China were required to leave their room before midday. The former edition of the professional standards, which was issued in 2002, stipulated that half day room rate wass applicable for extended check-out until 18:00 and full rate for late check-out after 18:00.
The new standard, however, is not compulsory and only serves as a reference. It hotels should inform clients at prominent locations in the lobby of the check-out time schedule and room rate if a change is made and make sure the clients are informed in an appropriate manner.
On the one hand a hotel could use this as a differentiator. On the other hand it is going to bring confusion to clients
as they may face a variety of check-out schedules and differentiated room rates.
Bernama reported that in some places in China, practices such as negotiations with hotels on the check-out time and settlement method already exist.
Hotels usually offer a luggage storage service for guests if they are required to leave at noon.