The Chinese Loser Quantified: How to Know If You’re a Diaosi

Charles Liu , January 24, 2015 2:59pm (updated)

diaosiDiaosi is a term that has spread in recent years on the Chinese internet. Translated loosely it means “loser”, but it’s far from a negative term these days; many have turned the slur into a badge of honor because it signifies a rejection of the materialistic world.

Diaosi signifies comradery with those who haven’t succeeded in the world. The diaosi resign themselves to a life of being second-best, having dealt with the disappointment that their lives won’t improve much beyond their current situation.

Diaosi may seem like a strange term to understand for cultural outsiders, but things aren’t usually left undefined in China. Now, everything about the diaosi can be systematically quantified. Using a questionnaire that involved over 210,000 people, the Beijing University Marketing Department has created a profile of your average diaosi, reports QQ News.

One of the most characteristic traits of what defines a diaosi is their salary. On average, a diaosi makes a salary of RMB 2,917.17 per month, far below the average salary of a Beijing resident at RMB 5,793. Sixty percent say they aren’t able to get overtime pay.

With such small earnings, diaosi aren’t able to build up resources. They have under RMB 100,000 in savings, and either don’t own a home or aren’t able to buy a home with their own savings.

Half of all diaosi spend less than RMB 500 per month on rent. They usually pay RMB 39 per day for three meals, while 7.8 percent pay RMB 10 for all three meals. Half of them spend less than RMB 500 a month on vacation, and most spend all their time at home.

While 70 percent of diaosi live far away from their small hometowns, they give their family an allowance of RMB 1,076 a month on average.

With half of them single, the diaosi are usually aged between 21 and 30 and don’t have higher education.

Sixty-two percent of respondents admit to being diaosi, and 72.3 percent admit they are unhappy.

Photo: Southern Daily

Charles Liu

The Nanfang's Senior Editor