The Chinese symbol for tiger hu is a fierce animal. This can be seen clearly in the original Oracle Bone inscriptions.
The Chinese symbol for tiger has a big mouth, sharp teeth, powerful back, strong claws and tail and spotted fur. Later on this pictographic form was lost as it became simplified.
Because of the tiger's strength, courage and savage qualities the tiger symbolizes the military. Hence we have "brave general" hu3 jiang4 and "tiger's power" hu3 wei1.
Since olden times, the tiger has been paired with the dragon to represent yin (tiger) and yang (dragon), the dual forces that direct the movement of qi (energy) in the universe.
In Daoism, the tiger and dragon also symbolizes the west and east respectively as well as the elements of fire and metal.Tigers are said to scare away evil spirits and so their image is often painted on doors of houses in olden times.
Sometimes in Chinese art a sage is shown leaning against a tiger or napping beside a tiger.
The Chinese symbol for tiger is used in expressions such as
hu3 dan3 = as brave as a tiger
hu3 kou3 yu2 sheng1 = escape from the tiger's jaws - extricate onself from a dangerous situation
hu3 shi4 dan1 dan1 = eye greedily and menacingly like a tiger eyeing its prey
hu3 xue4 long2 tan2 = tiger's den and dragon's pool - precarious situation