Why China’s youthful workers prefer to “rot” rather than work hard, from 996 to “bai lan”

Published on:

Last Updated on September 3, 2022 by Bitfinsider

A “tedious” life is led by Li Xiaolin. Six days a week, at nine in the morning, he arrives at his uncle’s factory for vehicle inspection. He finishes his work, checking for mechanical issues like worn tires or fuel leaks, and leaves for home by 5 o’clock to eat and rest.

Li, 25, is the antithesis of the young people in China who are studying for the notoriously difficult gaokao (college entrance exams) or doing onerous “996” jobs that require them to work from 9 am to 9 pm six days a week.

He represents the new mentality of his generation, known as Bai lan, or “let it rot.” The phrase first appeared in basketball, as teams would voluntarily leave a losing position.

The fight is visible to the youth in China as 10.8 million graduates enter the workforce this year, but the youth unemployment rate is at an all-time high of about 20%. Since 2010, the nation’s economic growth has slowed down, and most recently, its COVID-19 lockdowns have contributed to this.

China has some of the highest levels of income disparity in the world.

President Xi Jinping, who is focused on reviving the nation, is concerned about this youth disenchantment. In May, at the Communist Youth League of China’s 100th anniversary, he urged them to put their passion and ingenuity into the cause of revitalization rather than letting obstacles frighten them.


Hardware wallets are safe and secure devices that can be used offline. They keep your cryptocurrency offline, making it impossible for you to be hacked.

To find out more on the leading hardware wallets, you may view our reviews here: Ledger & Trezor


Are you new to investing and would like to find out more about investments and cryptocurrency? If you know nothing about a topic and want to become an expert on it, one fool proof way to start is to read good books about the topic.

If you read one book about a topic, you will be able to share knowledge or discuss the topic at an elementary level with almost everyone.

Read three books and you will likely know more than the majority of people and will be able to discuss the topic at an intermediate to expert level.

  1. The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
  2. Crypto Investing Guide: How to Invest in Bitcoin, DeFi, NFTs and More by Ian Balina
  3. The Basics of Bitcoins and Blockchains: An Introduction to Cryptocurrencies and the Technology That Powers Them by Antony Lewis

Disclaimer: Above are some affiliate links and we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author, or any people mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only, and they do not constitute financial, investment, legal, tax or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptocurrency or stocks comes with a risk of financial loss.


Hardware wallets are safe and secure devices that can be used offline. They keep your cryptocurrency offline, making it impossible for you to be hacked. To find out more on the leading hardware wallets, you may view our reviews here: Ledger & Trezor
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author, or any people mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only, and they do not constitute financial, investment, legal, tax or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptocurrency or stocks comes with a risk of financial loss.

Related