Young people

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

32 min listen

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

Young people have never paid attention to the BBC

In January, the director-general of the BBC, Lord Hall of Birkenhead, announced that the corporation intended to shift away from making programmes enjoyed by older members of the public to concentrate on the ‘lives and passions’ of young people, in particular 16- to 30-year-olds. Of course Hall was not the first BBC employee to take an obsessive interest in young people, and nor was his mantra anything other than the norm in a country where older people, who are comparatively well off, pay their taxes, commit little crime, consume like crazy and indeed pay the licence fee, are held in a certain contempt. A month before Hall made his statement,