For Young Chinese, 2021 Is the Year of the Digital Nomad

The pandemic sparked a work-from-home revolution in China. Now, a growing number of millennials are taking the next step — and telecommuting from resorts across the country.

Life as a digital nomad can be tough in China. Millennials trying out the lifestyle say they’ve encountered all sorts of issues, from running out of money to losing access to social security after quitting their jobs.

Financing a nomadic existence is the biggest challenge. Veteran digital nomads warn that people living this way without a permanent job need to have a financial cushion, or to develop high levels of self-reliance and self-discipline.

Fu began her digital nomad journey long before the pandemic. The 28-year-old became a backpacker in Argentina after graduating from college, earning money by working on international education projects online.

Over time, Fu was able to generate a stable source of passive income by selling online courses teaching English and on how to start working remotely. When COVID-19 hit Argentina, she moved back to China and met Ng in Dali, where she helped him launch the digital nomad project.

Other digital nomads tell Sixth Tone they earn passive income through rental payments, stock and bond dividends, and ads or sponsorship revenues from their YouTube channels.

Lola Chen, a vlogger whose channel about French language learning has over 50,000 followers on Chinese video platform Bilibili, was one of the first people to join the Dali Hub.

Before COVID-19, Chen worked as a project manager supervising Chinese infrastructure projects in Africa for five years. She moved back to China last year, and started uploading videos to help Chinese students learn French soon after. Her main source of income now comes from an online French language course, which she sells for 98 yuan ($15). Continue to read the full article here

– This article originally appeared on Sixth Tone.