Large metropolitan areas are increasingly similar to those in the rest of the world and people are living in the same way. That includes freedom of speech, except regarding issues that are mainly political of course.
To any visitor arriving in China, it is strongly recommended - in addition to setting up a VPN in order to continue using traditional services such as Google, read Le Monde, etc. - to create an account on WeChat, a Chinese digital Swiss army knife that allows you to pay, order a taxi (much faster than a VTC in France), read a menu in a restaurant, geolocate yourself, and an infinite number of other services. The WeChat platform is a deep ecosystem in itself, almost like Apple's AppStore or Google's PlayStore.