Disclaimer: I've spent too much time over thinking the differences between Japanese and Chinese martial arts
To quote Bruce Lee's opinion on the styles, getting hit by a Karate punch is like getting hit by a crowbar, while getting hit by a Kung Fu punch is like getting hit by a ball on a chain. Both hurt. You don't want to be on the receiving end of either. But they are different enough that you should not be surprised if a group of Chinese martial artists have a different opinion than you have been brought to by your Karate training.
I studied very little Karate, so the rest of my Karate information is "textbook information." Use your own judgement about what I have to say. However, from what I've read, Karate seeks a unification of the entire body when you strike, so that you can hit them with every ounce of Self you have. Accordingly, at the end of a strike, the striking leg is still a very important part of the body. It's actually the weakest, because it's in such an awkward position and so close to the opponent. Thus, you want to get it back reasonably fast.
In Chinese approaches, there is more of a wave of energy striking outward from the tips of your toe on the ground to the striking surface. However, once you have struck, that limb is not actually all that important to you. The energy has already gone through it, and you're already starting the next attack (originating elsewhere, such as the toes on the ground, or the lower Dantien).
The idea seems to be that, if you try to grab someone's kick in kung fu, you're already not paying attention to the next attack, and it's going to clobber you. Thus, the opponent really doesn't have much of an opportunity to grab it, so why waste motion to get it back until doing so is actually useful.
Realistically, I think any kick is going to fit somewhere between those two extremes, rather than on one end or the other. You'll just see the Chinese drawing attention to one side, and the Japanese drawing attention to the other. Understand both ways of thinking, and you'll start to find your personal balance between them to adapt to your individual body structure.