More and more Chinese workers are opting for a work lifestyle far from the big cities.
“People are really sick of the company culture in China like 996 (9am to 9pm,” 6 days a week) stated co-founder Ng, who is from southeastern Fujian province and has lived in Malaysia for several years.
“Because of Covid, everyone is struggling, stuck in the cities,” people also need the ability to choose where they work and live, according to Ng. “If you work in a cube, you don’t really have that kind of creativity.”
Although remote workers have increased significantly in countries such as the U.S. and Croatia, where special visas are offered to attract them, it is still uncommon in the world’s second-largest economy.
According to Gartner Inc., 31% of the world’s workforce will be working remotely this year, either entirely or part-time. According to the report, 53% of workers in the U.S. will work remotely, compared with 28% in China.
Being a digital nomad in China is difficult for a number of reasons. Many workers still prefer the security of working for the government, especially in tough economic times. Recent graduates are increasingly looking to work in the public sector, despite the lower salary, as private entrepreneurship and the country’s large Internet companies are increasingly suppressed.
Nevertheless, more and more co-working spaces are starting to appear in rural areas, in part because of better Internet connectivity. According to the China Internet Network Information Center, a government-backed organization that conducts industry research, 28% of Internet users in China lived in rural areas as of June.
A government-backed hub in Anji, a city in eastern China’s Zhejiang province, offers co-working spaces and creative labs to nomads who want to live in harmony with nearby tea producers. Anji is famous for the bamboo trees that appeared in Ang Lee’s film “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”