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China's Unhappy Young

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China’s little emperors demand their due

By Geoff Dyer

Published: July 7 2010 22:48 | Last updated: July 7 2010 22:48

China’s youth can get a bad press. In most accounts, they are the “Little Emperors” or the “Me Generation”, the spoilt and apolitical offspring of one-child families who are interested in fast cars, video games and designer goods but little else. At the main Shanghai store of Louis Vuitton there is a queue to get in at weekends – young women wait patiently in the rope line, as if they were trying to get into the hottest new LA club.

Yet the Me Generation is beginning to show its teeth. Simmering discontent about soaring house prices and the recent wave of strikes at car plants and other factories both speak of the rising and sometimes frustrated expectations of younger Chinese, who want more from their lives than their parents could dream of. It is a phenomenon that could have all sorts of consequences for China’s future.

There are lots of good explanations for the strikes of the past two months, including low pay and a demographic shift that is reducing the number of young people entering the workforce. But there is also a generational shift at play. Chinese often talk about their capacity to chi ku, or “eat bitterness”, which helps explain their resilience amid the chaos and privations of the past century. But the generation born in the 1980s and 1990s has grown up among much wider prosperity, even in poor parts of the countryside.

Twenty years ago, the main goal of many migrant workers in city factories was to send money home to struggling village families. Now they see the factory as part of a personal project, a first step towards an urban life. Internet access has made them more worldly and since a labour law passed in 2008 they have a stronger sense of their rights.

Writing in Caixin magazine, the economist Andy Xie described the compliant labour force he saw at large Chinese factories a decade ago. The workers were mostly 18-year-old girls prized by their bosses for their “nimble fingers”. They had few toilet breaks and had to remain at their benches during breaks. In contrast, the recent strikes suggest a workforce much less willing to “eat bitterness”. “Today’s young adults and their parents may as well be from different centuries,” says Mr Xie. “They want to settle down in big cities and have interesting, well-paying jobs – just like their counterparts in other countries.”

The same generational forces have been behind the discontent over the cost of housing, which has forced Beijing to deflate the market and risk an economic slowdown. There have been no mass demonstrations about property prices but the tensions are real enough – one adviser to the central bank recently described China’s housing problem as being even worse than pre-crisis US, precisely because it combined elements of a bubble with these political pressures.

For the tens of millions of young Chinese graduates, buying a flat is a central part of their plan to live a modern, middle-class life. Young Chinese men feel the social pressure the most. The first time someone told me his chances of getting married would be ruined if he could not buy an apartment, I thought he was joking, yet it is a refrain one hears constantly. Chinese mothers-in-law to-be, it seems, can be an unforgiving bunch.

continued....

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/75b17614-89f7-11df-bd30-00144feab49a.html

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The wealth gap in China is huge. And it's a lot worse than just not having your own apartment meaning no sex. Most pretty Chinese girls would rather share rich businessman who could give them a comfortable life, take them out to nice restaurants and even give them a monthly 'allowance' which ends up being 5-10x what most jobs pay.

Having lived in China i've seen this for myself, I try to meet pretty girls who are not so materialistic which is usually the girls from middle class backgrounds who have more job security, better jobs generally and their parents to fall back on.

It's hard to hold it against the girls who want something better for their lives, at the same time I feel sorry for Chinese guys who have to compete with businessmen who have dozens of girlfriends each as many girls don't mind sharing for the 'nice life'. Problem is there is this macho 'eat bitterness' attitude in China and a wider culture that does not admit negative things, this is the perfect recipe for an immoral culture because no one will admit the bad in eachother and especially themselves.

And with such a large population in the countryside influxing into the cities taking up any employment they can find there are big unemployment problems but rather than manifesting as unemployment they show up as very low wages which barely get people by and long working hours.

I'd rather live in Japan than China once I can afford it, the new generation of Chinese people are more obsessed with money and status than any other which is saying a lot as most cultures obsess over these things.

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The wealth gap in China is huge. And it's a lot worse than just not having your own apartment meaning no sex. Most pretty Chinese girls would rather share rich businessman who could give them a comfortable life, take them out to nice restaurants and even give them a monthly 'allowance' which ends up being 5-10x what most jobs pay.

Having lived in China i've seen this for myself, I try to meet pretty girls who are not so materialistic which is usually the girls from middle class backgrounds who have more job security, better jobs generally and their parents to fall back on.

It's hard to hold it against the girls who want something better for their lives, at the same time I feel sorry for Chinese guys who have to compete with businessmen who have dozens of girlfriends each as many girls don't mind sharing for the 'nice life'. Problem is there is this macho 'eat bitterness' attitude in China and a wider culture that does not admit negative things, this is the perfect recipe for an immoral culture because no one will admit the bad in eachother and especially themselves.

And with such a large population in the countryside influxing into the cities taking up any employment they can find there are big unemployment problems but rather than manifesting as unemployment they show up as very low wages which barely get people by and long working hours.

I'd rather live in Japan than China once I can afford it, the new generation of Chinese people are more obsessed with money and status than any other which is saying a lot as most cultures obsess over these things.

Nice input from someone with first hand experience on the front line. Instead of some oik who thinks everything in China is ace, because a text book told him so.

Worldwide gaps between the rich and poor are stretching apart more each day, and yet some people still insist that global wage arbitrage will bring global prosperity and equality for all.

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The wealth gap in China is huge. And it's a lot worse than just not having your own apartment meaning no sex. Most pretty Chinese girls would rather share rich businessman who could give them a comfortable life, take them out to nice restaurants and even give them a monthly 'allowance' which ends up being 5-10x what most jobs pay.

Having lived in China i've seen this for myself, I try to meet pretty girls who are not so materialistic which is usually the girls from middle class backgrounds who have more job security, better jobs generally and their parents to fall back on.

It's hard to hold it against the girls who want something better for their lives, at the same time I feel sorry for Chinese guys who have to compete with businessmen who have dozens of girlfriends each as many girls don't mind sharing for the 'nice life'. Problem is there is this macho 'eat bitterness' attitude in China and a wider culture that does not admit negative things, this is the perfect recipe for an immoral culture because no one will admit the bad in eachother and especially themselves.

And with such a large population in the countryside influxing into the cities taking up any employment they can find there are big unemployment problems but rather than manifesting as unemployment they show up as very low wages which barely get people by and long working hours.

I'd rather live in Japan than China once I can afford it, the new generation of Chinese people are more obsessed with money and status than any other which is saying a lot as most cultures obsess over these things.

If China is really the future world super-power then based on this summery - we have a big problem.

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Nice input from someone with first hand experience on the front line. Instead of some oik who thinks everything in China is ace, because a text book told him so.

Worldwide gaps between the rich and poor are stretching apart more each day, and yet some people still insist that global wage arbitrage will bring global prosperity and equality for all.

+1

Just turn it into a more uniform and poorer Sh*thole and a smaller and even richer elite thats all.

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Guest DissipatedYouthIsValuable

Sounds like a good opportunity to sell around a quarter of a billion tents and fleshlights.

I'm going to be bigger than Microsoft.

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no sex?

so theres no brothels in china? :lol:

I guess you were being sarcastic, China has more prostitution than most countries with possible exceptions of Thailand and the Phillipines. It's all part of the wider cultural acceptance that sex and beautiful girls are for men with money and power. My Chinese friends tell me this is the influence of capitalism but I have a feeling adoration for money and status has been in China for a long time as my grandad was telling me how much the Chinese loved money back in his day.

If this sounds hard to believe you only have to come to China and see for yourself. On television the dramas are usually involving rich businessmen and pretty girls as the main characters. Out of the Western friends I had in China it was the ones who earned more money and accepted this culture that were most successful, I knew one Canadian guy who spoke fluent Chinese but hated materialism with a passion and as a result was uptight spending on dates etc and didn't really do that well wih girls.

Ofcourse there are exceptions just like with any generalisation, for example there are probably some pretty female university students who get with students instead of meeting businessmen in bars/ clubs. I get the feeling girls become more materialistic once they get into the workplace and realise their graduate jobs won't buy them expensive haircuts and clothes but there are loads of rich guys who will treat them to all that without them even needing to work.

I rarely saw a handsome couple in China, it was usually older men with pretty younger girls.

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This is no different to the UK.

Many women do not like it if their guy does not own property. Many women will simply not look at renters. Renters are regarded as "losers".

This article makes it sound like Chinese women are golddiggers. ALL women are golddiggers!

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I read that young men outnumber young women by a vast number due to the policy of having one child - so people used to leave baby girls to die.

This now means that youg women in China are much in demand. So expect to see a big increase in sex attacks on Chinese women... perhaps even the emergence of a Thai/Philipino ladyboy style culture in the years to come.

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Then there was the young Chinese guy who couldn't afford an apartment..

His girl went back to Beijing. He went back to Wan king.

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Then there was the young Chinese guy who couldn't afford an apartment..

His girl went back to Beijing. He went back to Wan king.

That'll go down well. All those No. 1 sons, the nation's future, turning Japanese.

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So expect to see a big increase in sex attacks on Chinese women... perhaps even the emergence of a Thai/Philipino ladyboy style culture in the years to come.

:lol:

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Then there was the young Chinese guy who couldn't afford an apartment..

His girl went back to Beijing. He went back to Wan king.

i chuckled

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Read the book

"The moon is a harsh mistress."

The themes are almost identical...

I've been on the reciving end myself as once seen as a good catch. The issue is though is it will all end in tears as women although many will not like me to say this are a ST super fast depreciating asset.

Also that many neighbouring countries women are taking advantage of this too!

Finally there is a nasty sting in the tale for this, in that it used to be very common for HK men who were comparatively wealth to marry Mainland girls take them to HK, the second they got old or refused to take it ******** or something they were dumped on a whim.

These rich man's girlfriends are no more that exclusive rights WGs and once they get old they depreciate through the floor.. added to the fact many women in such 'privileged positions' never really learn how to actually do anything work wise i.e. they don't study and have no work experience when they turn 30 and thus get a blissful period but end up losing for the rest of their lives.

In Chinese society you should get married before you are 25, there is also a nasty saying about second hand shoes which means women who were WG/GFs of rich men are often dumped when they get a touch saggy with NOTHING! Even worse as China has no welfare and even the men won't touch the porkchops!

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I read that young men outnumber young women by a vast number due to the policy of having one child - so people used to leave baby girls to die.

This now means that youg women in China are much in demand. So expect to see a big increase in sex attacks on Chinese women... perhaps even the emergence of a Thai/Philipino ladyboy style culture in the years to come.

Nope. You have good looking girls and you have ugly looking girls, in the mainland Chinese immigrant circles they simply share the women, as I said much like The story the moon is a harsh mistress.

This mainly happens in the mainland immigrants from China these days where a girl with have upwards of 10 boyfriends. I lived with such a girl, she got more pricks than a heroin addict with collasped veins. Sometimes ALL ten men would come round and they would wait in line and have sloppy seconds thirds forths fifths...

I was woken one night by a girlie screaming and reached for my axe and went out and saw them in a huge GBBBBBBBBBBBB arrangement. She was ugly as sin but did this for all of her boyfriends.

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This is no different to the UK.

Many women do not like it if their guy does not own property. Many women will simply not look at renters. Renters are regarded as "losers".

This article makes it sound like Chinese women are golddiggers. ALL women are golddiggers!

Erm they are.... the past 1000 years of Chinese culture has been a case of negotiation, you used to have to 'buy' the daughter giving her parents a shed load of money. The prettier she was or the more highstatus the bigger the bribe was, it was called dowry or berotheral.

It's just more overt...

I don't know though I think in UK society this is dying out. As many of the mid 20s women I've med don't care about houses and settling down, they just want mobility and opportunity to go out to the world and use it as their play ground.

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Erm they are.... the past 1000 years of Chinese culture has been a case of negotiation, you used to have to 'buy' the daughter giving her parents a shed load of money. The prettier she was or the more highstatus the bigger the bribe was, it was called dowry or berotheral.

It's just more overt...

I don't know though I think in UK society this is dying out. As many of the mid 20s women I've med don't care about houses and settling down, they just want mobility and opportunity to go out to the world and use it as their play ground.

Yeah dowries are common in much of the world and not just China.

But what I'm saying is: women love money, it comes before love for them. OR, real love = money for them.

A lot of women in their late 20s/early 30s in the UK will not consider a guy if he does not have a house. As house owning 20-something men start to disappear in the UK, maybe they are now narrowing their field and such men are becoming even more "exclusive" to have?

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  • 259 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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