BEIJING, May 4 (Xinhua) -- Many young Chinese have jumped on the bandwagon of the new economy, pushing the boundaries of traditional sectors by exploring internet-related technologies.
As the country embraces Youth Day, which falls on May 4, a glimpse into the life stories of three young Chinese will show how their youth is blossoming in a time of changes and challenges.
DIVING INTO "EAR ECONOMY"
Every day at 7 o'clock, Cui Tong, a 29-year-old in northeast China's Liaoning Province, sits in front of the microphone and starts his audio livestreaming.
Listeners await his talk show "Da Tong is Coming" on Lizhi.com, an online audio-sharing platform covering diverse topics, ranging from weather to pop music.
Cui quit his corporate job to become a full-time podcast host in 2015, and now he has almost 310,000 followers on the platform, which has brought him a comfortable income.
"A voice can be powerful," Cui said, adding that many of his listeners mustered up the courage to face up to life after getting encouragement from his show.
Audio shows like Cui's gave rise to a booming "ear economy" in China, as some shows offer a source of relief and relaxation while others align life in lockdown with pre-pandemic routines, such as online education and skills training.
Data from iiMedia Research showed that the number of users in China's online audio market had reached 640 million in 2021 and is likely to increase to 690 million this year.
Cui set up his own media company in 2020 to provide training for young podcast lovers, and now his company has expanded to take up 560 square meters with over 1,400 podcast hosts.
"I'm optimistic about the online audio industry, as more young people are drawn to the industry, and more listeners are willing to pay for high-quality content," Cui said confidently.
Profoundly influenced by the internet, today's young people in China are shaping new economic trends. They make up the majority of the users of short online videos and live-streaming viewers, improving their lives and the lives of many others.
CULTIVATING RURAL LIVE-STREAMERS
Since the COVID-19 pandemic caused disruptions to the agricultural industry, farmers found it harder to sell their products. With online selling in vogue, sometimes profit is just a click away in China's rural areas.
Young people, like Fu Guangjie, a girl from the northeast Heilongjiang Province, are there to make the change.
Born in the 1990s, Fu took the lead in helping local villagers sell their products through live-streaming with her expertise in modern technologies.
Fu set up a vocational skills training school in 2018 to teach villagers how to build brands for their agri-products and sell them through online platforms, equipping local farmers with e-commerce operation skills and marketing techniques.
It has given rural areas a bright and new image. Up to now, 50,000 young farmers have received training from the school, and 76 online agri-product stores have been set up under its guidance.
With the help of Fu's vocational training school, around 500 new job opportunities such as logistics specialists, e-commerce operation specialists, and customer service specialists have been created. The turnover of some stores can reach 500,000 yuan (about 75,555 U.S. dollars) per month.
With government support, farmers have ample opportunities to live a better life by building and running their businesses, said Fu. "We live in a great time, and I'll make full use of my knowledge in the e-commerce field to build a better future for China's rural areas."
SMART GUARD FOR AIR QUALITY
Backed by a raft of policy incentives, young people in China are also at the forefront of driving innovation and entrepreneurship with their rich imagination, creativity, open-mindedness, and pioneering spirit.
Born in 2001, Chi Muzi is one example. As a senior student at Harbin Institute of Technology in Heilongjiang Province, he started his own company at 18.
Concerned about the environment and its impact on people, Chi and his team launched a company to improve indoor air quality in 2019.
While doing market research, they found there was no air purifier on the market to remove inert harmful substances at a reasonable price. They decided to fill the gap.
Through independent research and development, Chi and his team developed an air purifier called the 5G Intelligent Indoor Air-quality Monitoring Robot. It is portable, affordable, and monitors the concentration of pollutants in real-time.
Over the past three years, Chi and his team acquired more than 20 intellectual property rights and expanded the company's market coverage to more than ten cities across the country. Nowadays, his company is listed as a national-level small and medium sci-tech enterprise.
"Our company is committed to making positive changes and creating a better world," Chi said while explaining the aspiration of his entrepreneurship.
According to the recently published white paper titled "Youth of China in the New Era," among the founders of market entities registered since 2014, more than 5 million are college students and new graduates.
In creative industries such as IT services, culture, sports, entertainment, and sci-tech, young people account for half or more of the workforce. They are at the helm of many unicorn and gazelle companies, said the white paper. ■