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China’s Post-90s Generation Optimistic About Country’s Future

Posted: 10/23/2014 9:05 am

Two Chinese teenagers

Chinese born in the 1990s are more optimistic about the country’s political and economic future than those born in the 1950s to 1980s, claims a Fudan University Study. Oddly, however, the study also reports that those born in the 1990s showed the least amount of interest in issues related to justice and social equality.

Data collected over eight months and involving surveys of 1,800 online users was compiled into a report titled “Chinese Online Mentality Report”. Researchers studied users’ Weibo posts over a two year period and categorized them under headings such as social issues, social emotions, group identity, online behavior and social ideology, according to project leader, Dr. Gui Yong, a researcher with the University’s communications and state governance center.

The study found that 76.7 percent of post-90s online users were optimistic about the country’s political future, while 85.7 percent were confident about China’s economic prospects. By comparison, only 70.6 percent of post-80s online users said they were cautiously optimistic about the country’s political future.

The post-90s generation showed the lowest levels of negative emotion toward social inequality, social injustice, and issues related to officials, the rich, and technocrats. Not surprisingly, their posts included far fewer mentions of government and media Weibo accounts.

Again, perhaps not surprising, surfing the net and entertainment were at the top of the post-90s’ radar: 95.2 percent of the group used Weibo to record their life events; 92.8 percent like to express themselves emotionally on Weibo; and 92 percent use Weibo for fun, scoring the highest among the five generations.

People born in the 1960s approached social media fundamentally differently. They expressed disdain with the younger generation’s reliance upon social media to express themselves when it came to social issues. Predictably, those born in the 1960s (that used Weibo) dedicated most of their posts to public opinion leaders, government accounts and media accounts.

Those born in the 1970s dedicated the majority of their posts to housing prices, household registration, food, income, and employment. And while not terribly insightful, the study found that those born in the 1950s dedicated the majority of their posts to issues related to social security.

Photos: CNN; Reuters 


Shenzhen feels the pinch of tough job market: one in four wants to quit

Posted: 02/12/2014 9:06 am

One in four Shenzheners wants to quit his or her current job and look for a new one, Chinese newspaper Southern Metropolitan News reported on February 11. But it is not going to be easy.

China’s employment situation is quite grim given that 2013 was described by the newspaper as the country’s “toughest employment season ever”. Almost seven million college graduates flooded into the country’s various job-hunting markets.

But the situation might be worse than what we had imagined, especially when Shenzhen, the country’s traditional boom town, is seeing 24.28% of its residents putting tiaocao, meaning job-hopping, on their New Year’s wish lists, according to a survey conducted by the newspaper.

The findings were echoed by a survey by Zhilian Zhaopin, a job search website. Zhilian’s results showed Shenzhen’s white-collar workers at among the least happy with their salaries.

Now that one has secured a year-end bonus (an important reason not to quit around the end of the year), job hunting in the city is in full swing, the newspaper said.

Dong Shasha is a case in point. A graduate from a Beijing college three years ago, Dong has changed jobs three times since graduation while working in the city’s advertising business.

Now she is hunting for another one, but is more cautious this time. As the job market gets tougher, a “naked resignation,” meaning quitting a job without another one lined up, is gradually losing its allure, the report said.

“I have been keeping an eye on various job posts since the end of last year. I am juggling between job interviews and my current job. A naked resignation is quite risky,” Dong said.

Yang Aogang, who received a job offer last year in the city’s telecommunication industry, is still weighing the pros and cons between his old job and the new one.

But compared with the 6.99-million graduates, who are probably still pounding the pavement for a job, Yang should be considered lucky.

Home page photo credit: Southern Weekly 



Report on Guangzhou youth suggests changing attitudes to work and marriage

Posted: 05/7/2013 10:00 am

Sun Yat Sen Institute of Administrative Research released its Guangzhou Youth Development Status Research Report on Sunday and there were some interesting findings. Entering the civil service is no longer the ideal job for the majority of youth, and only 28% of people aged 18-35 are opposed to the idea of a naked marriage, which is defined as a marriage between two people who don’t have a house, a car and sometimes even a ring, Guangzhou Daily reports.

The people questioned in the survey came from a wide range of backgrounds, careers and marital statuses. 4,315 of them filled out questionnaires and 135 gave in-depth interviews.

One theme that repeatedly cropped up was that of pressure. 70.3% of people said they were under pressure but they could handle it, while 9.2 % said they needed somebody to help them overcome their pressure and 7.1% said they were overwhelmed with it.

Courtesy of Guangzhou Daily

One of the biggest sources of pressure was to get married before they are too old. According to psychologist Yu Huihui, the group under the most pressure is students studying for master’s degrees, as they are at the age at which they are expected to marry and their employment prospects are actually no better than most undergraduates.

In terms of careers, 24% want to own their own business and 22% want to work for a foreign company. Only 18% wanted to work in the civil service, which strikes an interesting contrast to attitudes popularly held in China’s recent history as well as its ancient history.

30% are in favor of naked marriages, 32% are open to the idea of naked marriages, 28% are opposed and 10% are firmly opposed. This contrasts with a 2010 survey in which 70% of women said a naked marriage is not practical.


Guangzhou’s inscrutable post-90s youth reach out to us through film

Posted: 01/12/2012 11:54 pm

——“We are young, we are passionate, we are the masters of ourselves and the masters of our youth. We are the post-90s!”

So goes the spirit of China’s post-90s generation, as well as their portrayal in Transposed Life (换位人生), an original film now in production, writes New Express, by a crew comprised of post-90s kids in Guangzhou.

Small as it is, a sparrow still has all the vital organs

No studio, no professional producers, no famous movie stars, but with all the necessary components such as hair and makeup, photographers, stage managers, writers and directors, Transposed Life is an amateur work shot in and around the Huangpu Garden community in Guangzhou’s Huangpu district, with the stated goal of proving that China’s ‘brain dead generation’ can make a movie on their own—but also as a means to give viewers a glimpse of youth identity today.

As it goes, the post-90s generation is a rather unique group, both for coming of age at the turn of the century and as a generation profoundly influenced by a variety of fluctuating factors, such as the sharp upheavals in both economics and cultures brought about by years of development and reforms.

According to these filmmakers, what distinguishes them from those born in the 1970s and 1980s is their yearning for freedom, and that they have their own ideas about the new kind of lives they want to live.

To a certain extent, China’s post-90s generation are leaders in shaping a new ideology, one in which China is more esoteric, more shared and globalized. Based on this background, the funders of Transposed Life say they look forward to seeing these heated subjects touched upon through the medium of a film made by youth, by providing them with a platform and the encouragement to reveal and express themselves——to find their own “role” and “position” both in the movie and in their own lives.


Transposed Life tells the story, one morning, in which the the roles of the male and female protagonists are transposed, with each having to live the other’s life. Together, the swapped pair overcome obstacles, which they previously found insurmountable.

The leads, Luo Jiarao and Tang Xiaotong, are both juniors at the Guangdong University of Technology. Of her role, Tang says:

“As a daughter or a son, as somebody’s friend, or as a classmate of your peers, everyone has various roles to play in his or her life. How to play your role well is something everyone needs to try and figure out by themselves. What the fate of your role is is also something you need to experience by yourself. It’s your role, your life, so which road do you want to go down? What kind of life you want to live? These are all decisions you have to make by yourself.”

Shakespeare said that the world is a stage, and all men and women are merely players on it. We’ll see if this holds true in this post-90s film Transposed Life, the trailer for which should be released this coming weekend.

Is the post-90s so alien and worthy of independent observation? After a quick browse through Weibo, we noticed that KFC has also been active lately in reaching out to Guangzhou’s post-90s market, putting together this 43-minute-long original film about them…


Post-90s Guangdong couple sells their three children for video game money

Posted: 07/21/2011 2:30 pm

The girl who sold her 3 children for computer game money

Much ink has been spilled (or pixels have been illuminated) about China’s post-80s generation, but it’s the post-90s who might prove to be the most controversial. It’s hard to believe, but those born in the early 1990s are already in their 20s, or approaching them quickly, and they grew up in a much different society than even their post-80s counterparts.

A case-in-point is the story below, which was found in the Sanxiang City News and translated by @MissXQ (Twitter, Weibo, blog). A couple, both of whom were born in the 1990s, sold all three of their children for cash so they could afford to play online games at internet cafes. The story is resonating in China because it deals with changing attitudes towards sex, money, and responsibility by China’s youth.

Here is the story, translated from Chinese:


Chinese parents born after 1990 (known as post-90s) sold three children for money over three years. When asked whether they missed their kids, they said: “We don’t want to raise them, we just want to sell them for some money.” What do they want the money for? To spend it on computer games in internet cafés.

Li Lin, the father, was born on March 12, 1991 in Yongzhou. Li’s dad died 18 months later. Li quit school when he was 13 years old and followed his mom to Huizhou in Guangdong Province, where she found work as a migrant worker.

That’s where Li Lin met Li Juan in an internet café in 2007. Li Juan was 15 years old at the time and had sex the day after they met. Li Lin and Li Juan both quit their jobs and moved in together. In 2008, they had their first son. Both of them were obsessed with playing online games, so several days after they had their son, they left the child at home and traveled 30 kilometres to an internet cafe to play online games.

Li Lin and Li Juan then moved to Dongguan while Li Lin’s mom took care of their son. Life didn’t change much in those days; they still hungout in internet cafes most of the time.

In 2009, they had their second child, a baby girl. Li Lin and Li Juan sold the girl for RMB 3,000 and spent the entire sum shortly thereafter. After selling their daughter, the young parents sold their son for RMB 30, 000 and then their third child, a baby boy, also for RMB 30,000 in Huizhou.

Li Lin’s mom, the grandmother of their three children, brought the young parents to the local police department after she learned they had been sold. The police were stunned that they had sold their own children and had no remorse. They weren’t even aware that it violated the law.


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