- Smart Lamp – pointless child control or boon for parents?
- Chinese military presence in Djibouti
- Dates of the coming week
- Didi in trouble with US investors
- Britain mulls takeover of chip factory
- Border town goes into lockdown
- Car market weakens after recovery
- British MPs demand no sponsorship at 2022 Winter Games
- Johnny Erling spills the beans on the Red Capital
- Persons of interest: new vice-minister at Ministry of Finance
To admirers, the diligence and commitment of China’s children and workforce are one of Chinese society’s core strengths. In direct comparison to the West, it’s a common assertion that we can hardly match this zeal. And in truth, one cannot help but tip one’s hat to children in primary schools, who do not collapse under a 9-9-6 rhythm. But this perspective on things just doesn’t give us enough credit and fails to recognize that one of the great achievements of our society is the fact that our children no longer have to study hard from morning to night to have a chance at a better life.
We should not set our focus on the effort that is necessary to be allowed to study in a country with outdated learning concepts and obsolete educational strategies. The need for the surveillance of children in order to maintain their competitiveness is a clear sign of a flawed development, not the childlike need for laziness and free time. In her article, Ning Wang shows us how tech company Bytedance promotes this form of surveillance.
Imagine, if you will, that only professions, that require many years of hard study and training are worth pursuing. Who would fit China’s presidents with tailor-made Mao suits, as the Hongdu (Red Capital) tailor shop does, which our columnist Johnny Erling took a close look at in the past.
And what else is there? Keep your eyes on East Africa, warns the US military. China’s military presence in Djibouti is said to be the mere vanguard of its gobal expansion.
With this in mind, best wishes to you
Digital education: dark shadows over a lamp
Homework leads to quarrels and tears in China’s families on a daily basis. Children and parents alike suffer under this heavy burden and for many, it can be a real nightmare. Particularly affected are middle-class families, where often both parents are employed full-time. In addition to the time spent on their jobs, it is not uncommon for mothers and fathers to have to spend three, sometimes four hours a day watch over their children while they do their homework. And for the children, the workload is by no means a cakewalk. After a very long day at school, it’s hard for them to muster up any more motivation and energy for homework or extra classes.
This drill is still a common practice in the outdated education system of the People’s Republic because academic performance is usually the only chance at social advancement. But the competition in a nation of billions is huge, that’s why success is often linked to strict performance control, even if it increases the pressure on everyone involved. For parents, nothing is too expensive and no effort too great when it comes to the education of their children. They invest money, time and energy, and in many cases, the end justifies the means.
The developers of the Dali Smart Lamp (大力智能台灯), or “lamp of great power”, had precisely these middle-class families in mind when they defined the target group for their new product. The Smart Lamp resembles a desk lamp and comes with a built-in smartphone-sized screen, as well as two built-in cameras that are primarily used for monitoring. Parents can use the cameras to monitor their offspring while they are learning, even over vast distances. Another perk of the lamp, as the advertisement promises, is an improved relationship between parents and children: family peace for only 799 yuan or around 100 Euro.