China’s version of the “OK boomer” clash began when a famous middle-age actor praised the younger generation as if the country’s teenagers and 20-somethings were heaven-sent gifts.

“All those people who complain that each generation is worse than the last should look at you the way I’m looking at you — full of admiration,” said He Bing, a film and television star with a baritone voice, in a commercial for a Chinese online video service.

China’s young people benefit from education, travel and all the world’s knowledge, said Mr. He, over images of young people scuba diving, skydiving, kayaking, racing sports cars, playing professional online games and touring Japan, France, Antarctica and other exotic destinations.

“Because of you,” he said, “the world likes China more.”

The commercial, shown online and on state-run television, provoked an immediate nationwide backlash. Today’s youths are too brainwashed, too nationalistic and too eager to snitch on professors and other public figures who don’t toe the Communist Party line, said prominent members of China’s “boomer” generation, who remember a time when the country seemed more open and accepting.

Many in the younger generation looked at the images on the commercial of affluent, happy young people and didn’t recognize themselves. China’s biggest boom years are over, many think. China’s older generation, having amassed all the money and power, is simply trying to co-opt them with flattery.

“There are still young people in China without cellphone or internet connection,” a viewer wrote on Bilibili, the video website that made the commercial, in a comment that received more than 16,000 likes. “Young Chinese should think hard about who we are, how we are faring and what we want. Don’t be fooled by outside voices.”

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Read More

————

By: Li Yuan
Title: China’s ‘OK Boomer’: Generations Clash Over the Nation’s Future
Sourced From: www.nytimes.com/2020/05/14/technology/china-bilibili-generation-youth.html
Published Date: Thu, 14 May 2020 07:06:06 +0000

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