[News] China limits gaming time for minors to 3 hours a week

China limiting gaming time for minors to 3 hours a week. Thoughts and implications for the future because of this law?

Japan and South Korea have the same cram school culture. In the end it's just another means for companies to suck up money from already struggling families. All for the purpose of memorising a bunch of stuff to pass entrance exams. Certainly, if you're looking for a reason for the low birth rate, here's one. I would be all for some kind of government crackdown here but it will never happen.

Culturally, though, Confucianism is thousands of years old, right? The idea that testing across society is the way into government service and a better life, starting with education, is on par with the American belief in Christian principles. How would you even *begin* to change either of those?

I think it simply comes down to crisis. Once things get out of whack enough that folks are checking out, then it's on society to change, not the people.

It's almost as if this might also be happening in another country I know of, but for different reasons. What's the name of that country? It's on the tip of my tongue. Something about United Pants or something like that.

Mr GT Chris wrote:

Japan and South Korea have the same cram school culture. In the end it's just another means for companies to suck up money from already struggling families. All for the purpose of memorising a bunch of stuff to pass entrance exams. Certainly, if you're looking for a reason for the low birth rate, here's one. I would be all for some kind of government crackdown here but it will never happen.

This is one of the main reasons we decided not to raise our kids in Japan.

My hot take on China, and I'd welcome correction from folks who (unlike me) actually know stuff:

Most of the problems China is trying to solve through authoritarian repression were caused by authoritarian repression. The CCP has a lot of truly world-class awful crap in its history- collaboration with imperial Japan, backing the DPRK, the mass starvation of the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, Tiananmen Square, the Uighur genocide. But, with certain notable exceptions, things have gotten a lot better for a lot of Chinese over the last generation. Without the repression, and with at least a fig leaf of anti-corruption effort, I suppose the CCP'd have a darn good shot at winning fair elections.

But the people in charge apparently don't think a 'darn good shot' is good enough, and have exchanged ideological for oligarchical authoritarianism. Mao certainly believed "Mao should be in charge" but he believed other things too; I don't know that the current leadership there does.

China has structural issues with its population and economy. It's not so much a political thing unless you're one of the oppressed minorities. I know that sounds rough but you're looking at ruling a nation of 1.4 billion which is not a monoculture despite modern efforts to create a national identity.

If you go back through their past leaders from the 70s, you'll find that all of them were engineers and only the last two I believe were/are economists.

The easy gains from becoming the world's factories have tapered off, and now Chinese firms set up in impoverished nations because cost of labour domestically is higher. A lot of that growth was fuelled on debt. We pretend the US and other modern nations can pay their ever increasing deficits but that thinking isn't extended to China.

Pushing jobs offshore has a tendency to leave behind the workforce that is unable to upskill. This has been true across the world and unemployment creates instability especially when it's in the tens of millions of people.

It's true that meritocracy concepts led to a focus on education but this has long been the case in China since their ancient times as Robear mentioned. On top of that, the turmoil from Japanese imperialism through to the 70s made a nation that emphasizes saving wealth. This combined with economic reforms into wealth investment / speculation. That in turn makes rich people and of course wealth disparity only grows worse over time.

Rich and educated people have thoughts about the limits of government. Rich people make the less wealthy workforce jealous and unsettled, and in turn they strive harder to climb the ladder. That means sacrificing family goals for career and once they succeed why should they have to give up their gains instead of continue trajectory and enjoy their higher standard of living? This kind of individualism is the standard model outside of authoritarian nations. One can attempt to filter as much external cultural influence as possible but it's impossible to achieve on a grander scale.

In the meanwhile you have a large aging population from the baby boomer period and less young people due to the one child policy's lasting impacts. Thus, the families that do have children conduit their wealth into their children's advancement. It's nothing more or less than what happens in Sydney for example with tuition businesses becoming a feature in school life as parents target academically selective high schools.

Umm so to summarise? Although it is wrong to say the average Chinese is wealthy, it's absolutely correct to say the average standard of living and welfare level has skyrocketed and that combined with wealth inequality and foreign freedoms is putting pressure on the population profile of the nation. They need young people to have babies but young people are too busy working the 996 and trying to save up for an apartment - the equivalent white picket fence dream. At the same time their leadership think that young people are not making babies because of too much idol culture (women spend big on this) and gaming (men may spend less on this but commit their time).

I find it fascinating because it's real time social engineering with a sledgehammer and not small reforms in an effort to recalibrate. Only time will tell if it succeeds.

Vector wrote:
Mr GT Chris wrote:

Japan and South Korea have the same cram school culture. In the end it's just another means for companies to suck up money from already struggling families. All for the purpose of memorising a bunch of stuff to pass entrance exams. Certainly, if you're looking for a reason for the low birth rate, here's one. I would be all for some kind of government crackdown here but it will never happen.

This is one of the main reasons we decided not to raise our kids in Japan.

This is tangential to the topic of this thread, and there's only so much trust I feel like I can put in Western reporters trying to get the inside scoop on what's happening, but in so many ways, it feels like China/Japan/SK are facing an enormous problem, specifically in terms of what is facing their younger generations.

I would love to see a doc about what it's like for young people entering the workforce in those nations now. The extreme focus on testing and the incredibly stressful high school-to-college pipeline, the pressure to get a job, even if that job is demanding borderline insane hours out of you, plus familial commitments. (And let's not even discuss housing.) It seems like it's a whooole lot.

Like, I have no idea how actually influential the "lying flat" thing is, but it definitely seems like being, say, 24 in some of those countries is tough (although many of the issues that they're facing there can be easily found here.)

GT Chris and Vector are probably better placed to talk about the Japanese male "herbivore" phenomenon; in both Japan and SK I understand the problem may stem from sexism and the pressure to maintain a patriarchal society and some young women are refusing to conform to the double standard. By and large though, I understand the Chinese lying flat phenomenon is not a huge movement at present.

More interestingly, I heard there is major power rationing in China with residential sites being cut off to balance their grid. It seems to be due to a lot of factories cranking up production to meet the COVID recovery internationally. The power crisis has already led to cryptocurrency bans due to various reasons but given the power situation is so dire before the cold season really sets in, we could be looking at a rough situation globally as it impacts manufacturing and social unrest; Europe and particularly the UK are already being impacted by both shortages in goods and gas.

Also, I know it's supply chain issues, but seriously, it's f*cking insane that Crypto dudes are a chunk of the reason why, when I tried to look up a new GeForce last night, a good one is now over $2,000.