What A Viral TV Drama Set In Yunnan Reveals About China’s Gen Z

China’s younger generations are yearning for rural escapism through the popular C-drama “Meet Yourself,” which has been viewed over 2 billion times.

What Happened: After starring in the popular historical drama A Dream of Splendor 梦华录, Chinese actress Liu Yifei is in the spotlight again. Her latest modern drama, Meet Yourself 去有风的地方, is one of the most anticipated Chinese shows of the year. To date, the hashtag #去有风的地方 has gained over 2 billion views and 5 million discussions on Weibo. In the first 10 days of airing, the show garnered over 1 billion views.

Meet Yourself is a story of a female protagonist, played by Liu Yifei, whose life is turned upside down after the death of her best friend. Unable to cope with the loss and continue on with her life in the big city, she heads out to a quiet village where she meets a group of people like herself who have fled the fast-paced urban lifestyle in search of tranquility. Their hard working attitude and resilience give her the strength to start again.

The story takes place in Yunnan province, a popular tourist destination that is famous for its picturesque rural scenery. In the first 10 months of 2022, Yunnan received 682 million tourists and generated tourism revenue of $112 billion (761.5 billion RMB), according to Yunnan’s Department of Culture and Tourism. And as portrayed in the TV series, Chinese youth are increasingly attracted by the region’s beautiful landscapes and relaxed lifestyle. “Although I am at home, my heart is already in Yunnan when I am watching this drama,” @小Y同学_233 commented on Weibo.

The Jing Take: The rise of wellness, outdoorsy pursuits and digital nomads in China reflects the desire among young Chinese for a more laid back lifestyle, or to experience life in different places. Xiaohongshu reported that searches for digital nomads increased significantly since early 2022, rising by 650 percent of this year compared to January. This has come alongside a greater consideration for quality of life, and movements such as slower living, “lying flat,” “the free idler” or even “letting it rot” gaining momentum. Continue to read the full article here