As China’s Economy Stutters, the Elderly Are Emerging as Big Spenders


Zheng Peijun hasn’t let China’s “zero-COVID” restrictions stop her 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 her … Continue reading As China’s Economy Stutters, the Elderly Are Emerging as Big Spenders

In ‘Zero-COVID’ China, the Elderly Are Becoming Ever More Marginalized


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

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.