4 min read

Tech Bro Is Out, Security Guard Is In

Tech Bro Is Out, Security Guard Is In

For those of you too busy to check in on the RADII website every day, we’ve got you every Tuesday with a summary of all we got on China’s youth culture from the last week. In this edition:

  • Chinese Gen Z has found an alternative career path: security guard (aka Baoan 保安).
  • Almost half of the internet users in China read serialized web novels, an obsession some see as an addiction, but others consider a harmless hobby.
  • Xbox apparel aims to capitalize on China’s growing love for 'Gorpcore'.
  • Tutorials on how to make delicious cocktails using only ingredients from convenience stores have taken Chinese social media by storm.
  • Chinese youth are indulging in ‘digital pickled veggies,’ internet slang for short videos that they can watch while eating during their precious lunch breaks.

Intrigued? Keep scrolling, my friend.

Instead of ‘Quiet Quitting’ Chinese Youth Become Security Guards

While the rest of the world is discussing quiet quitting, Chinese youth have found an alternative to their country’s involuted work culture: embracing the largely overlooked profession of guarding things and keeping places secure.

A ubiquitous role in China, security guards are stationed at the entrances of most housing compounds, companies, school campuses, and commercial complexes.

In recent months, some young Chinese netizens have begun to share snippets of their lives as security guards (保安, baoan) using the hashtag ‘Baoan Diary’ (#保安日记#). The hashtag has gained a staggering 3.6 billion views on Douyin, China’s version of TikTok, and 19 million views on the Instagram-like platform Xiaohongshu.

Young security guards who have gone viral online. Screenshots via Douyin

Besides posting pictures and videos of their uniforms and workplace (which is often a cramped roadside shed), users discuss their salaries, working hours, and what inspired them to become security guards.

A viral post on Xiaohongshu reads: “Monthly salary is 4,500 RMB (about 620 USD), there is AC, Wi-Fi, electric plugs […] Every day I sit there, draw, and learn some English. My life is so happy. No pressure at all!”

Following in the footsteps of the ‘cadre chic’ trend that saw young Chinese people embracing civil servant attire earlier this year, security guard uniforms have become a fashion statement. Netizens have been cosplaying as security guards on Douyin and posting bizarre thirst-traps while dressed in uniform.

The viral security guard trend is the latest chapter in a Chinese phenomenon dubbed ‘lying flat,’ which has many similarities to quiet quitting in the West.

‘Convenience Store Cocktails’ Are All the Rage in China Right Now

In light of rising unemployment and unpredictable lockdowns, which have been disrupting nightlife throughout China, what’s safer and cheaper than sourcing your cocktails directly from local convenience stores?

Recently, Chinese youth have done just that — taking to social media platforms to share creative drink ideas that only require ingredients from China’s ubiquitous convenience stores.

On the Instagram-like platform Xiaohongshu, a hashtag related to convenience store cocktails has racked up nearly 15 million views, while a similar hashtag on Douyin, China’s answer to TikTok, has amassed over 370 million views at the time of writing.

In addition to uploading tutorials on how to recreate classic cocktails like the Long Island iced tea, netizens have been sharing ideas for unusual and tasty pairings — Jägermeister and lemon tea, anyone?

On October 16, 7-Eleven, an American convenience store chain with more than 71,000 outlets in China, hopped on the bandwagon by inaugurating the first DIY cocktail machine at its storefront in Beijing’s Dongzhimen area.

Customers can purchase a cup of ice for 7 RMB (about 1 USD) and choose from four spirits: whiskey, white rum, coffee liquor, or Malibu, before adding their mixer of choice, which, according to pictures on the internet, includes primarily soft drinks, ice tea, coconut milk, and coffee.

  • From Starbucks and KFC to the Japanese convenience store chain Lawson, We listed down some unique Halloween treats in the Greater China market.
  • Designed in American vintage industrial style — sometimes called ‘Syrian style’ in China, new takeaway joint Cheers Burger is all the rage in Shanghai right now.
  • The new speech-to-speech translation tool developed by Meta breaks down language barriers for 46 million Hokkien speakers around the globe.
  • 🎃Halloween is right around the corner! Partnered with RADII China, Celia’s basement will be revealed for MET’s takeover, the underworld of the underground.

Are you a gifted meme maker? Or a storyteller crazy about Chinese youth culture? Take a look below, because we’re currently hiring for the following positions:

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