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Chinese "losers" share feelings of inadequacy online

(Xinhua)

14:39, October 07, 2011

BEIJING, Oct.6 (Xinhua) -- "Today, I bought seafood from Dalian to bring to my mother. When my aunt asked me if the presents were for my mother-in-law, she knew that I haven't managed to find a girlfriend," Kevin Lv recently wrote on an online forum where China's self-deprecating men and women go to commiserate.

The forum belongs to a group of forums run by Fudan University, where Lv went to school. Over 28,000 topics from 497 registered users have been posted on the forum thus far, with most of the topics centered around the users' so-called "loser" status.

"I am such a loser that I even registered on a match-making website to find a girlfriend." Lv said in one of his posts.

The 25-year-old Lv works for a venture capital company, earning a monthly salary of 20,000 yuan (3,132 U.S.dollars) in the city of Dalian in north China's Liaoning Province. Recent graduates like Lv, who have stepped into a world of sky-high property prices and rising inflation, mock themselves on the forum in order to vent their anger and frustration.

A user nicknamed "Kean" described his "loser" criteria as "never had a relationship before the age of 25, never received an annual salary before the age of 30, never published an essay in Science Magazine, never promoted to a higher position."

"People like me who struggle by themselves will find that the farther we trek, the harder it becomes to be a so-called 'winner,' especially in China's second- and third-tier cities," Lv said.

Lv also said that he lacks a sense of security, as he is worried that the achievements he works so hard to make can be obtained with little effort by other, more well-connected people.

Xia Xueluan, a professor of sociology at Peking University, said anxiety among "losers" has been aroused by the country's current social environment.

"Young, middle-class people in China often have reputable qualifications and well-paid occupations. However, this middle class has now become invisible," Xia said, adding that the expanding division between rich and poor has squeezed recent graduates into a small and overlooked segment of society.

Zhou Xiaozheng, a professor of sociology at Renmin University, criticized the forum's users, stating that they are "far short of being the best but are still better off than most."

"They are well-educated, have high incomes and few cares, in comparison to China's 260 million migrant workers," Zhou said.

A 2011 report published by the Chinese Academy of Social Science said that graduates from key universities will have to deal with lower starting wages when they enter the workforce.

Xia suggested that a better environment should be created for recent graduates by offering higher salaries and institutional support.

Lv said that despite his pessimism, he has been encouraged by the other "losers" on the Fudan University forum.

"Winners these days were losers just a decade ago," he said.

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JOE LIU at 2011-10-07113.64.107.*
THE WINNER IS THE ONE WHO SHORTENS THE "DECADE" BY QUADRENNIUM OR LUSTRUM.
  

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