Why Are Chinese Youth Throwing ‘Resignation Parties’ And Dropping Out Of The ‘Rat Race’?

ED Times
3 min readOct 6, 2023

By Chirali Sharma

The issue of rising unemployment in China is not a new one, in fact, it has been troubling the Chinese working force for some time.

That, along with, the working conditions not improving, low pay and more, the youth of China is reportedly not very happy with the professional sector and have started doing something called ‘resignation parties’.

Apparently, there’s a trend going around the Chinese youth where young professionals are throwing grand lavish parties after quitting their jobs that outwardly look stable and well-paying. Some of these parties have even been said to be on the scale of traditional wedding celebrations but they are all about celebrating the resignation, as the name suggests.

What Are These Resignation Parties?

A growing trend on Chinese social media is one where people are uploading photos and videos of them having big parties celebrating their resignation from their jobs, sharing stories about their last words at their workplace, what all they went through, and more.

According to Sina News, China’s youth has been “stressed and overworked” despite just being a few years into working and are choosing to celebrate quitting jobs they cannot do anymore.

Reports also claim that some of the factors for these resignations have been

  • toxic work environments
  • unrealistic targets
  • bullying
  • long hours
  • poor work-life balance

As per a CNN report, when a person named Liang (pseudonym) resigned from his job at a bank in China’s Zhejiang province his friends who’d also quit their jobs all had a big party where they put up banners reading “We’re done with this bullsh*t job!” and “double happiness” signs with big lanterns.

The signs are usually seen at weddings and each invitation reads like “Hope you eat well and drink well, escape from the bitterness as soon as possible.”

The 27-year-old Liang who is now working as a content creator and running a cafe told CNN “I fell into mechanized, repetitive work. It consumed a lot of my energy. Your innovative ideas would have been dismissed and vanish eventually.”

Not just the parties, but some are also using their last day of work as a way to let out their feelings to their managers and other co-workers as some type of protest.

A South China Morning Post report revealed how a person from China’s southwestern region of Sichuan after resigning changed his company profile photo to read “A humble servant could not serve his master any more.”

Another woman put up the words “I will leave my job next week, please stop bothering me,” on her desktop wallpaper and on her last day added “I am removed from the WeChat group for colleagues in southeastern China — please stop bothering me.”

According to Maimai a professional networking app, sort of like China’s LinkedIn, around 28% of people out of 1,554 employees surveyed from various areas resigned between the period of January to October 2022. The people who were considering quitting but hadn’t done so were double of this.

An AP report also claims that many Chinese youths are moving overseas to escape their “country’s ultra-competitive work culture, family pressures, and limited opportunities after living in the country under the strict pandemic policies for three years.”

Concerns also started to rise among the public when in July the government stopped releasing age-specific data about employment after just releasing in June how the urban unemployment rate for the 16–24 age group hit a record high of 21.3%.

Originally published at https://edtimes.in on October 6, 2023.