After college, Zhao Junru made the selfless decision to move back to her hometown in central China’s Henan province. As an only daughter, she felt duty bound to live close to her aging parents, even though she longed for the freedom of big city life. Yet two years later, Zhao’s relationship with her parents has collapsed. Things have gotten so bad recently, she’s no longer … Continue reading In China’s Hinterlands, Young Women Can’t Find a Man. Literally.
Zheng Peijun hasn’t let China’s “zero-COVID” restrictions stop her from having a good time. Before the pandemic, the 60-year-old used to go on vacations all over the world: to the United States, Southeast Asia, and a dozen different European countries. This year, she’s had to stay within China, but she’s traveling even more than before. This week, she’s spending the National Day holiday hiking with … Continue reading As China’s Economy Stutters, the Elderly Are Emerging as Big Spenders
It sounded too good to be true, almost like finding a cheat code for Chinese real estate. Tired of big city life after years in Beijing and Hangzhou, freelancer Pan Deng set out as a digital nomad in 2019. The Hebei native decided to go to Guangzhou, seeking warm weather and delicious Cantonese food. But when he got off the highway on the outskirts of the southern … Continue reading The Winners of China’s Housing Bust: Burnouts and Beach Bums
When Yu moved to the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou to start her first teaching job in 2021, she arrived full of hope and idealism. The fresh graduate was determined to educate the next generation and treat every teenager under her care as an individual. That didn’t last long. Within weeks, Yu found herself struggling to cope. She had 80 students to teach, a rigid, … Continue reading In 2022, China’s Students Are Struggling to Cope. So Are Their Teachers.
SHANGHAI — For years, Gu Hong has enjoyed visiting the local deli near her home. Whenever the 73-year-old didn’t feel like cooking, she’d wander down the street to buy a steaming plate of sweet-and-sour ribs. Then Shanghai went into lockdown, and everything changed. When Gu returned to the deli in June, she found herself barred from entering. “The staff said I had to scan the … Continue reading In ‘Zero-COVID’ China, the Elderly Are Becoming Ever More Marginalized