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China’s ‘Youth Retirement Homes’: A Growing Trend Amid Economic Pressures

“Youth Retirement Homes” have recently emerged across China, offering young people a space to relax and recharge from over competition in urban life. These facilities, which charge only a few hundred yuan per week, provide outdoor activities, social events, and opportunities for like-minded young people to interact.

The primary clientele includes freelancers, artists, photographers, and young people facing life challenges. The topic has gained significant attention on Chinese social media, with over 5 million views on Xiaohongshu.

While some view these homes negatively, labeling them as “lying flat” centers, supporters argue they provide necessary respite from the intense pressures of modern life in China, including high housing costs and demanding work schedules (996 culture).

Surprisingly, Chinese officials have shown a positive attitude towards these facilities, seeing them as potential drivers for rural revitalization.

David Xu, founder of IMC Talent in Hong Kong, attributes the popularity of youth retirement homes to increased competition for jobs, devalued university degrees, and economic downturn, leading to disappointment and a desire to escape among young people.

Wang Guochen, a researcher at Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research, warns that prolonged absences from work could hinder human capital accumulation and potentially slow China’s long-term economic development.

Source: Central News Agency (Taiwan), July 8, 2024