Chinese Whispers

Young and jobless: Is the government letting down China’s Generation Z?

32 min listen

In This Episode

Hidden in March’s GDP figures was a shocking statistic – a fifth of Chinese 16 to 24 year olds are out of work. This is a near record high, and the economic background to a fresh wave of disillusionment among China’s young.

It has led to the creation of a new meme – you’ve heard of lying flat, but young people are now comparing themselves to a Republican-era literary character, Kong Yiji.

On this episode, I’m joined by the journalist Karoline Kan, author of Under Red Skies: The Life and Times of a Chinese Millennial. We talk about the Kong Yiji trend, why prospects are so thin for the most educated Chinese generation, and what this all means for the government’s claims to economic competence.


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