China is home to 400 million 20 to 36 year olds verses the 80 million in the US.
They are digital natives with an eye on the outside world as compared to their parents. While only 6% of the Chinese population has passports, two thirds of them are held by millennials. They represent the surge in international travel coming out of China.
Theirs is a “rags to riches story [that has seen the country move] from rural to urban, bikes to cars, tenements to high-rises — in their lifetime.” It affects their outlook on life. While they are aware of the desperate past, they have experienced nothing but positive growth. Rags to riches have turned into rose colored glasses.
On the negative side, Chinese millennials have the challenge of caring for their aging parents. In the bad old days (50 years ago) when life expectancy was 36 years old and Chinese families averaged 6 kids, it wasn’t a problem. Kids were expected to and did take care of their elderly parents. Today with the consequences of the one child policy, a relatively small group of millennials are responsible for the care of a massive population of aging parents who are now living to an average age of 76. The pressure to succeed is enormous.
Chinese millennials live in a kind of psychological conflict. On one hand, they are full of cultural pride stemming from the re-emergence of their country; while they live with concern being caught between the old values of service to family and the new values of personal accomplishment. Source: New York Post