fredag 28. mai 2021

For Young Chinese, 2021 Is the Year of the Digital Nomad

Before the pandemic, the digital nomad lifestyle was almost unheard of in China. Baidu, the country’s most popular search engine, shows only a handful of results related to the term “digital nomads” posted before 2020 — most of them translations of overseas blog posts. But that’s changed rapidly over the past year. Remote working — once frowned upon by most Chinese companies — became normalized amid extended lockdowns, with an estimated 200 million people working from home at the height of the crisis.

Meanwhile, thousands of young people found themselves unexpectedly stuck in China, but able to book domestic flights and hotel rooms at bargain-basement prices. For those curious about alternative lifestyles, it was a golden opportunity. “2021 has been a great time to promote digital nomad culture,” says Daniel Ng, a pioneer of the nascent movement in China. “A lot of young Chinese who used to work or study overseas had to go back to China to survive the pandemic, and make new plans for the disrupted year.”