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.
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.
A newborn baby is transported along a corridor of Rome's Santo Spirito Hospital, Italy, on 14 November 2022. (Remo Casilli/Reuters)

Mismatch between women's wants and social support cause of Italy's demographic woe

Italy is facing a major population challenge in late marriages and low birth rates, as young people struggle to start their own families given low incomes and larger global issues such as war and climate change. Can the conservative party Brothers of Italy convince young people to have more children?
A couple poses with their marriage certificate during a photo shooting session on a snowy day in Beijing, China, on 11 December 2023. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

[Big read] Young people in China unwilling to settle, not inclined to marry

Even as Chinese parents and the Chinese government are encouraging — and pressuring — young people to get married and have children, an increasing number of young people are more aware of themselves and what they want to get out of relationships, and are saying no to simply getting married for the sake of it.
People watch the sunset at Dadaocheng Wharf along Tamsui River, Taiwan, on 11 December 2023. (CNS)

Taiwanese art historian: Remembering my dear Arian friend, Cheng Shu-min

Art historian Chiang Hsun shares his memories of former Taiwan politician Cheng Shu-min, who had passed away in July 2023. Shu-min had the true heart of an Arian woman, driven towards success and poised against woes in her private life and political career.
Visitors look at festive installations for Chinese New Year in Shanghai, China, on 2 February 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

In China, no break on Chinese New Year’s Eve next year

Employees in China have little annual leave to begin with — what happens when the Chinese authorities announce that Chinese New Year’s Eve will not be a holiday in 2024?
An employee works on a large construction equipment at a factory in Haian, Jiangsu province, China, on 16 October 2023. (AFP)

China’s family-run businesses face succession issues

China's economic boom has driven the flourishing of private entrepreneurship and led to the emergence of tens of millions of family businesses in the country. But many of these businesses are facing a challenge now: who will be their successor? Caixin journalists tell us more.
Hing Chao, executive chairman of Wah Kwong Maritime Transport Holdings. (SPH Media)

Grandson of HK shipping tycoon returns to steer Wah Kwong into new era

Hing Chao, the grandson of one of Hong Kong’s four shipping tycoons, Chao Tsong-Yea, is the current executive chairman of Wah Kwong Maritime Transport. He was previously focused on preserving culture and promoting martial arts, and did not have much corporate management experience. Even so, since taking over, Wah Kwong’s new asset management business grew rapidly within a few years. Today, the company manages more than 80 ships, a manifold increase from the 20 or so vessels under its management before the pandemic. The company is also looking into setting up an office in Singapore. Zaobao senior correspondent Chew Boon Leong speaks to him to find out what inspired him to take on the family business.
A couple prepare to pose for photos near the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, on 24 June 2023. (Greg Baker/AFP)

Regular phone calls and cash incentives: China goes the extra mile to encourage childbirth

Local governments in Chinese cities are taking extra measures to encourage couples to marry early and have children. However, given the youth’s shifting values and society’s tolerance for singlehood, these measures are falling short. Meanwhile, netizens are lamenting that government policies should not be coercive or objectify women.