On Chinese Dating Shows, the Stars Are Old, Single, and Ready to Mingle


Inside a colorfully lit TV studio, a middle-aged woman dressed in a tight-fitting silk dress is trying to convince an older man to loosen up. “Can we hold hands and hug right now?” she asks, stepping toward him. The man, a 60-something wearing a traditional Tang jacket, looks visibly shocked by how forward she’s being. “Holding hands is fine,” he replies awkwardly. But the woman … Continue reading On Chinese Dating Shows, the Stars Are Old, Single, and Ready to Mingle

China’s Elderly Have a New Obsession: Video Games


Old Man Yang can barely contain his excitement as he tries out the racing video game Gran Turismo Sport. The 86-year-old has hooked up a steering wheel and set of pedals to his PlayStation 5, and is now fighting to keep a Volkswagen sedan from swerving off the track. As the car lurches toward the barriers, his entire body sways from side to side. “This … Continue reading China’s Elderly Have a New Obsession: Video Games

Mental Health Used to Be a Taboo in China. That’s Changing Fast.


SHANGHAI — In 2021, China’s most talked-about new gallery wasn’t based in Beijing’s trendy 798 Art District or in the laid-back southwestern city of Chengdu. It was inside a Shanghai mental hospital. The No. 600 Gallery — a small space in the Shanghai Mental Health Center’s (SMHC) downtown facility — opened its doors to the public in August. It began with a tiny budget; its … Continue reading Mental Health Used to Be a Taboo in China. That’s Changing Fast.

China’s Solution for Loneliness: Play Time for Grown-ups


SHANGHAI — Inside a downtown community center, eight retirees are sitting around a table, each clutching a length of plastic drainpipe. “Everyone pass the ball through your drainpipe one by one,” a social worker instructs the group. “Anyone who fails to catch and pass on the ball will receive a ‘punishment,’” she adds with a smile. It’s playtime at Huayang Integrated Elder Care Center, and … Continue reading China’s Solution for Loneliness: Play Time for Grown-ups

Who Will Care for China’s Aging Population? The Elderly.


SHANGHAI — At 71 years old, Pan Guoli is over a decade into her retirement. But in her neighborhood, she’s now considered a prime job candidate. Hongqiao, a subdistrict of western Shanghai, is one of many places in the Chinese megacity struggling to cope with a rapidly aging population. Nearly four in 10 residents are over 60 years old — and the social care system … Continue reading Who Will Care for China’s Aging Population? The Elderly.