Red flags with five stars are everywhere. They hang from facades, street lamps and trees. In the sky, helicopters deploy a giant flag every day that flies over the skyline of Shanghai and the Great Wall of Beijing. At street level, delivery people carry them on motorcycles and people walk with them in their hands. There are many improvised street stalls with national flags. Many vendors have taken advantage of the patriotic explosion over China’s National Day holidays, which coincide with the Mid-Autumn Festival. At the end a long bridge comes together that gives millions of Chinese their longest vacation of the year. This is what is popularly known as the golden week. Eight holidays in totalwith 900 million trips planned, ending on Friday.
“So that then in Europe you say that we Chinese don’t have holidays,” jokes Sarah Fenglan, a twenty-something who works at an international consultancy in Shanghai. In reality, she knows well that this national recess, like all long holidays, has a catch. “Then they make us work several Saturdays and Sundays in a row to make up the days. This is normal in Chinese companies,” she acknowledges.
Sarah, trained in English philology, has been working at the consultancy for five months. She had been an accountant at a moving company that went bankrupt during the pandemic. Later, she opened a cosmetics store with a couple of friends in downtown Shanghai that she never finished starting. Diving into the job market again, found a job thanks to Tinder.
“I had never used the app before, not even to flirt. But several posts began to appear on social media with testimonies from young people who had found work by connecting directly with employers who are on Tinder. I started using the app. app and I met a guy who worked in a consultancy. I told him that he was looking for a job and he offered to help me. He passed my resume to his boss and two weeks later they called me,” explains Sarah. That guy from Tinder, in addition to being a co-worker, now he is also her boyfriend.
Last month, Sixth Tone, a Shanghai magazine that dedicates many reports to the problems of Chinese youth, published an analysis on how many kids, faced with growing unemployment, are turning to the dating application to look for work. Tinder is serving as a replacement for LinkedIn, which pulled out of the Chinese market this year.