Society

A customer tries on gold jewelry in Huzhou, Zhejiang Province, China. (Screen grab from CCTV)

[Video] How are China’s youths spending their money?

Amid a challenging economic landscape, China’s youths (aged 16-24) are grappling with a 14.9% unemployment rate as of December 2023. Feeling the impact, the younger generation has made saving a top priority and are reevaluating their spending habits. This shift has seen them transition from "wild spending" to "reverse spending", from "impulsive consumption" to "rational spending", and from "revenge spending" to "experiential consumption". Here's a glimpse into how they are navigating this change.
Workers polish steel rims at a factory producing bicycle parts for export in Hangzhou, in eastern China's Zhejiang province on 18 February 2024. (AFP)

Younger and better educated migrant workers still having hard time in China

Chinese academic Han Heyuan notes that new-generation migrant workers in China are at a clear disadvantage, due to policies and systems that make it doubly hard for them to get jobs, training, and education for their children, or even find a partner.
The “kemusan dance competition” at Ningxia Night Market in Taipei, in January 2024. (SPH Media)

[Big read] Will Taiwan ban TikTok and Douyin for fear of mainland China's influence?

Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Miao Zong-Han notes that as TikTok and Douyin grow in popularity in Taiwan, there are concerns about mainland China’s influence in terms of cultural invasion. Is this really a "subtle" way to guide society towards eventual reunification, or is it just pure entertainment for young people?
Visitors walk past ice sculptures at the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, Heilongjiang province, China, 24 December 2023. (Liz Lee/Reuters)

[Video] China's Harbin pampering visitors to win tourism battle

Harbin has seen an explosion of tourists this Chinese New Year season, and it is pulling out all the stops to welcome them, sometimes to the chagrin of locals. However, can this wave of tourism be sustained, and improve Harbin’s economy? Lianhe Zaobao correspondent Daryl Lim takes a trip to China’s land of snow and ice.
A God of Fortune distributes hongbaos to visitors at Liandao Scenic Area in Lianyungang city, Jiangsu province, on 14 February 2024. (Xinhua)

Rising hongbao rates are putting pressure on Chinese youths

As China’s tradition of giving red packets or hongbaos during festive occasions puts young people under pressure, they are pushing back by giving fewer hongbaos or none at all, hoping that their refusal to conform will help to bring the focus back to the sentiment behind the giving.
Villagers sell agricultural products on train, Guizhou province, China, on 25-27 January 2024. (Screen grab from CCTV)

[Video] Farmers’ markets on China's 'slow trains': Going places

In today’s fast-paced world, China's “slow trains” remain essential. They stop at many otherwise inaccessible areas, providing transport for rural residents and a means for them to bring their agricultural products to nearby towns. Designated cabins on the train turn into makeshift farmers' markets, especially in the run-up to Chinese New Year.
Pedestrians at the Dongmen Old Street shopping area in Shenzhen, China, on 18 January 2024. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

China's youths seek divorce and retirement buddies in uncertain times

As youths in China come into their own, they are finding their own ways to make connections. The latest trend is seeking activity buddies, or dazi culture, which offers companionship based on common interests and needs.
Customers wait outside a restaurant at a shopping mall in Shenzhen, China, on 19 January 2024. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Hong Kongers flock to Shenzhen for value-for-money CNY reunion dinners

As the Chinese New Year approaches, many Hong Kongers have the tradition of travelling to Shenzhen to enjoy reunion dinners at lower cost with better service compared with back home. Lianhe Zaobao journalist Daryl Lim speaks with diners and restaurant managers to find out more about this trend during the festive season.
People walk outside Grand Central Terminal in New York on 26 January 2024. (Charly Triballeau/AFP)

US elite schools churning out 'perfect followers', not change makers?

Commentator Wu Guo notes how Ivy League schools in the US have churned out people who are academically brilliant, but unable to connect with real life or relate to real issues around them. Such indifference is symptomatic of US elites from top backgrounds.