Some Chinese shy away from grueling careers for ‘low-willed lives’ – Times of India

Beijing: Tired of work stress, goo Jianlong quit a newspaper job in Beijing and moved to “lie flat” in China’s southwest.
Guo joins a small but visible handful of Chinese urban professionals who are troubling the ruling Communist Party by rejecting grueling careers for a “low-desire life”. It is clashing with the party’s message of success and consumerism as it celebrates the 100th anniversary of its founding.
Guo, 44, became a freelance writer in Dali, a city in Yunnan province known for its traditional architecture and picturesque scenery. He married a woman he met there.
“The job was fine, but I didn’t like it much,” Guo said. “What’s the harm in doing your own thing, not just looking at the money?”
The novelist Liao Zhenghu wrote, “Lying Up” is a “resistance movement” to a “horror cycle” from high-pressure Chinese schools to endless working hours for jobs. CaixinThe country’s foremost business magazine.
“In today’s society, our every move is monitored and every action criticized,” Liao wrote. “Is there a more rebellious act than just ‘telling a lie’?”
It is not clear how many have so far left their jobs or moved out of big cities. Given the crowded subways in Beijing and Shanghai, most young Chinese slog over the best jobs they can get.
Nevertheless, the ruling party is trying to discourage this trend. Beijing needs skilled professionals to develop technology and other industries. China’s population continues to grow and the pool of working-age people has declined by about 5% from its 2011 peak.
“The struggle itself is a kind of joy,” the Southern Daily, a newspaper published by the party, said in a commentary. “Choosing a ‘flat lie’ in the face of pressure is not only unjust but also shameful.”
This trend is equally echoed in Japan and other countries where young people have adopted anti-materialistic lifestyles in response to stiff competition for job prospects and shrinking economic rewards.
Official data shows China’s economic output per capita has doubled over the past decade, but many complain that the gains went mostly to a handful of tycoons and state-owned companies. Professionals say their income is failing to meet rising housing, child care and other costs.
In a sign of the issue’s political sensitivity, four professors cited by the Chinese press declined to discuss it with a foreign correspondent, talking about “lying lies”.
Another possible sign of official outrage: T-shirts, mobile phone cases and other “lay flat”-themed products are disappearing from online sales platforms.
Urban workers complain that working hours six days a week have been “996,” or increased from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
“We generally believe that slavery is dead. In fact, it has only adapted to the new economic era,” writes one woman under the name Zia BingBao, or Summer Hailstones, said on the Douban social media service.
Some elite graduates in their 20s who should have the best job prospects say they are tired of the “exam hell” of high school and university. They don’t see any point in making more sacrifices.
“The pursuit of fame and fortune doesn’t appeal to me. I’m so tired,” said Zhai Jiangyu, a 25-year-old graduate student.
Some professionals are shortening their careers, which removes their experience from the job pool.
Xu Xunjiang, a human resources manager in Shanghai, said she is leaving at age 45, a decade before the legal minimum retirement age for women, to move to her homeland with her Croatia-born husband.
Xu said, “I want to retire early. I don’t want to fight anymore.” “I’m going somewhere else.”
Thousands expressed dismay online after the Communist Party announced in May that the official birth limit would be relaxed to allow all couples to have three children instead of two. The party has imposed birth restrictions since 1980 to curb population growth, but China worries, per capita economic output is still below the global average, and more youth workers are needed.
Minutes after the announcement, websites were flooded with complaints that the move would cost parents child care, long working hours, cramped housing, job discrimination against mothers, and poor care for elderly parents. Help didn’t help.
Xia writes that she moved to a valley in Zhejiang province, south of Shanghai, for a “low-willed life” after working in Hong Kong. She said that despite a high-ranking job as an English language reporter, her rent eats up 60% of her income and she has no money at the end of every month.
She rejects the argument that young people who “lie” are giving up on economic success, when an economy with a growing gulf between a wealthy elite and the majority is already out of reach for many.
“When resources are focused more and more on a few people at the head and their relatives, the workforce can be cheap and replaceable,” she wrote on Douban. “Is it wise to entrust your destiny to the small gifts of others?”
Xia declined an interview request.
Dali’s writer Guo said he spends more hours as a freelancer than he does in a newspaper. But he is happier, and life is more comfortable: He and his wife eat breakfast on the balcony of a sixth-floor apartment overlooking the trees.
“As long as I can continue writing, I’m very satisfied,” Guo said. “I don’t feel suppressed.”
The handful of people who can afford it withdraw from work almost entirely.
A 27-year-old architect in Beijing said she started saving as a teenager to achieve financial independence.
“Since last September, when I saw that all my savings had reached 2 million (yuan) ($300,000), I lay down,” said the woman who gave only the name. maternal grandfather, in an interview on his social media account.
Nana said she turned down a job that paid 20,000 yuan ($3,000) per month because of the long hours she saw as limited opportunities for creativity.
“I want to break free from inflexible rules,” said Nana. “I want to travel and amuse myself.”


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