Some Chinese shun grueling careers for ‘low-desire life’

BEIJING (AP) — A small but visible handful of urban Chinese are rattling the ruling Communist Party by choosing to “lie flat,” or reject high-status careers, long work hours and expensive cities for what is called a low-desire life. That clashes with party ambitions to make China a wealthier consumer society. One novelist writes in a prominent business magazine that “lying flat” is a response to a “cycle of horror” of high-pressure schools and grueling jobs. Official data show China’s economic output per person doubled over the past decade, but many complain the gains went mostly to a handful of tycoons and state-owned companies. Professionals say their incomes are failing to keep up with soaring housing, child care and other costs.