You are here

An outbreak of cabin fever

At its peak, more than half of the 1.4 billion people in China were asked to stay home to help curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Find out how they passed the time in this week's newsletter. 

March 5, 2020
Print

 

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get them delivered straight to your inbox!


At its peak, more than half of the 1.4 billion people in China were asked to stay home to help curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus. While they're slowly trickling back to work, many Chinese are still "sheltering in place" at home. To help pass the time, 574 million of them are watching livestreams, a 35% increase from 2019. The amount they're watching is up as well, from 78 minutes a day last year to 105 minutes a day now. “People are bored, they’re looking for ways to entertain themselves while they’re confined at home,” says Matteo Pallotta, a senior adviser for 4Dage, which uses 3D cameras to create virtual tours of Chinese museums.

A lack of in-person customers is forcing businesses to shift from the physical to the digital realm: teachers are video chatting with their students, real estate agents and car dealers are answering questions online, and concerts are being streamed live. Since pacing around your apartment doesn't burn that many calories, Super Monkey, a gym chain with 115 locations in China, has reached 280,000 viewers during their livestreamed classes.

Once people can leave their homes and go back to schools, museums, gyms, restaurants, and other public locations, will their habit of watching livestreams stick?

More about China during Covid-19:
Print

Events

October 15, 2020 - 4:00pm

Please join the USC U.S.-China Institute for a book talk with author David Lampton. His new book examines China’s effort to create an intercountry railway system connecting China and its seven Southeast Asian neighbors.