Jun 5, 2021 • 8M

“No thanks, I'd rather lie flat." | TrendingChinese #5

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🔥 What’s hot on Weibo today: 🔥

👧⛔️ 🧒👎 👦🙅‍♀️ Weibo users respond to the Chinese government’s new “Three Child Policy” with an avalanche of snarkiness. What’s behind the bad attitude? Read on to find out…

Have more babies? I’d rather “lie flat…”

“生小孩吗? 我只想躺平。。。”

4.1M upvotes, 326k comments

“The Three-Child Policy is here! Proactively confront our aging population issue. The Central Government’s 5/31 meeting: Instituting the Three Children Per Couple Policy and associated support measures."


  • 热烈 |rèliè|heatedly, passionately

  • 发布  | fābù |  to release, issue

  • 生育  | shēngyù |  to give birth to 

  • 缓解  | huǎnjiě |  to alleviate

  • 人口老龄化  | rénkǒu lǎolíng huà |  population aging

  • 趋势  | qūshì |  trend, tendency

  • 竞争激烈 |  jìngzhēng jīliè |  fierce competition 

  • 撸起袖子加油生  | lū qǐ xiù zǐ jiāyóu shēng |  (slang) lit. “roll up your sleeves and get to work having babies.” The original slang is “撸起袖子加油干,” (lū qǐ xiù zǐ jiāyóu gàn), meaning “roll up your sleeves and work hard,” a famous quote from Chinese president Xi Jinping in his 2017 New Year speech. Its rustic straightforwardness caused it to become popular phrase on Chinese social media . 💪 👨‍🌾 🍠

  • 躺平  | tǎng píng |  (slang) lit. “to lie flat.” a new hot slang word among young Chinese people. It describes basically “giving-up” in response to social pressures, e.g. not buying a house, not buying a car, not getting married and having kids, not aspiring to consume more and more—basically just doing enough to maintain a basic standard of living, thereby relieving oneself of a lifetime of social climbing and competition. 🛌🙅‍♀️🙅🙅‍♂️

  • 社会期望  | shèhuì qí wàng |  social expectations 

  • 束缚  | shùfù |  to tie, to bind up, to fetter

Zuìjìn jǐ tiān, wēi bó wǎngyǒu dōu zài rèliè de tǎolùn zuìxīn fābù de “sān hái shēngyù zhèngcè”. Zhège zhèngcè shì zhōngguó wèile huǎnjiě rénkǒu lǎolíng huà qūshì, gǔlì yī duì fūfù kěyǐ shēngyù sān gè zǐnǚ. Hěnduō wǎngyǒu dōu rènwéi, zài shèhuì jìngzhēng jīliè, gōngzuò yālì dà de xiànzài, bǐ qǐ “lū qǐ xiù zǐ jiāyóu shēng”, tāmen gèng yuànyì zhíjiē “tǎng píng”--bù jiéhūn, bù shēng xiǎohái, bùxiǎng bèi shèhuì qí wàng shùfù. Ràng wǒmen lái kàn kàn tāmen dōu shuōle xiē shénme ba!


These past few days, Weibo users have been heatedly discussing the newly-announced “Three Child Policy.” In order to alleviate the effects of an aging population, the policy encourages each husband-and-wife pair to give birth to three children. Many Weibo users expressed the opinion that, with today’s intense social competition and high-pressure work environments, rather than “rolling up their sleeves and getting to work” making babies, they’d prefer to “lie flat”-to not get married and not have babies, refusing to be bound by society’s expectations. Let’s take a look at what they have to say!

Top Comments

If I had 3 kids, I’d have to pick up trash during the day and sleep under a bridge at night.

My friends are complaining about being unable to provide for even one child, now seeing three children everyone’s scared to death.

Further strengthened my determination to “lie flat” 😅

There seriously isn’t much desire to have children, when I think of the pressures from all sides, I don’t feel any impulse to have kids.

Uh sorry, we women in important positions in state companies have ambitious career goals, it’s not like we have nothing to do except sit around and have babies 🤷‍♀️.

Bonus: “Explain It To A Foreigner”

So, we started a podcast. On the first episode, Wuyan explains what is going on in this video:


Last week, we translated 炒鱿鱼 (slang for “to be fired”) as “stir-fried octopus.” 鱿鱼 is actually squid 🦑 .

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