China's Generation Y

China's Generation Y

China's Generation Y (Gen Y) is a generation of approximately 240 million people born between 1980 and 1990, although characteristics of Generation Y people have also been seen in those born after 1990 but before 2000. Growing up in modern China, China’s Gen Y has been characterized by its optimism for the future, newfound excitement for consumerism and entrepreneurship and acceptance of its historic role in transforming modern China into an economic superpower.

Gen Y teens are also distinguished by their increased access to the Internet, high-tech MP3 players, computers, and mobile phones. The book "China’s Generation Y" (Michael Stanat, 2005) explores the adolescent generation in urban Chinese cities. Generation Y teens in China often experience a palpable generation gap between them and their elders. Growing up under Mao, Gen Y’s parents experienced famine and political instability. Many lack an education because of the policies set forth under the Cultural Revolution. On the other hand, China’s Generation Y increasingly lives in an environment of tremendous economic growth and social change, high technology, and rigorous education requirements. A clash between tradition and modern influences is noticeable in purchasing habits, career pursuits, and daily interaction between child and elders. Furthermore, young adults have been indirectly affected by forced government shutdowns of thousands of Internet cafes each year that prevent the excessive use of the Internet. Young people are also affected by China’s large socioeconomic divide between urban and rural residents and societal problems resulting from modernization. The conflict between Gen Y teenagers and China’s government has also contributed to the idea in the West holding that the communist government will collapse during their lifetimes.


China’s Generation Y illuminates important questions not only about China’s future but also those of the United States and the global economy. Several factors that may influence the generation are individualism, consumerism, modernization, and technology. Commentators have indicated several of the advantages that follows the generation, including China’s extremely wealthy business, rich and fascinating culture,and the education system’s extended teachings that allow kids to think more creative and smarter than those in United States.Fact|date=May 2008

Little emperors

Some parents over-indulge their only children. The media referred to the indulged children in one-child families as "little emperors." Since the 1990s, some people worry this will result in a higher tendency toward poor social communication and cooperation skills among the new generation, as they have no siblings at home. However, no social studies have investigated the ratio of these over-indulged children and to what extent they are indulged. With the first generation of one-child policy children (those born in the 1980s) reaching adulthood, such worries are reduced.


*Stanat, Michael. "China’s Generation Y: Understanding the Future Leaders of the World’s Next Superpower". Paramus: Homa & Sekey. SIS International Research New York, 2005. ISBN 1-931907-25-0
* [ China's Generation Y book website]

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