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 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.

The Biggest Losers From China’s Aging Crisis? Millennials.


SHANGHAI — As she turned 30, Shen Feifei’s life was right on track. She had graduated from a top university, landed a job at a multinational, and started a family. But two years later, things are very different. Both Shen’s parents have been diagnosed with cancer, and the stress has become overwhelming. She often suffers from insomnia. Her sleek black hair is streaked with gray. … Continue reading The Biggest Losers From China’s Aging Crisis? Millennials.

For China’s Middle-Aged Women, Depression Is an ‘Invisible Killer’


SHANGHAI — It took less than two months for menopausal depression to push Xu to the brink of killing herself. The 55-year-old, a teacher from the southwestern Yunnan province, first began feeling unwell in May 2018. Initially, her only symptom was a loss of appetite, and she assumed she simply had a stomach problem. She took a few pills, and thought nothing more of it. … Continue reading For China’s Middle-Aged Women, Depression Is an ‘Invisible Killer’