Buzzword: 工作旅行 workcation

Liu Xiaolin Song Xinyi
Check out the meanings of some popular phrases and terms used in the local press and seen on Chinese social media. 
Liu Xiaolin Song Xinyi

工作旅行 gōng zuò lǚ xíng


A workcation is a working vacation where people go to an exotic place, like a hotel, and complete specific tasks or accomplish a goal before leaving. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many companies now operate remotely and some continue to do so even the restrictions are eased.

The remote workcation has become the trending concept of vacation. It is considered that the change of environment helps improve productivity and work-life balance during these times. And the tourism industry is looking to bounce back after a rough several months and try new tactics to bring more customers in with the concept of workcation.


Zài xīnguān yìqíng pòshǐ hěnduō rén zàijiā bàngōng de tóngshí, gōngzuò lǚxíng yě yīnwèi kējì fāzhǎn chéngwéi yīzhǒng qūshì.

While the Covid-19 situation has forced many people into working from homes, workcations are also becoming a popular trend due to technological advancements.

Buzzword: 工作旅行 workcation

内卷 nèijuǎn


The concept of involution, originally an anthropology term, was first used by American scholar Clifford Geertz in his works “Agricultural Involution” to explain the stagnant of agricultural development on Java Island. 

The term came to the attention of the wider Chinese public when several straight-A students from Peking University, one of China’s top universities, post “hard-working” pictures. Some stack piles of books on their dormitory beds; some even work on their essays while riding bikes. 

Buzzword: 工作旅行 workcation

Parents wait in a cram school in Hangzhou while their kids taking accelerated classes at a weekend.

The term is now widely used to describe fierce, sometimes irrational, peer competition in pursuit of scarce social advantages, which might lead to unnecessary consumption and waste of energy.


Hǎiwài kàngyì xíngshì bùhǎo dǎozhì hěnduō dǎsuàn chūguó liúxué de xuéshēng wúfǎ chéngxíng, yīncǐ kǎoyán/bǎoyán jīngzhēng gèngjiā jīliè, zhè jiùshì yìzhǒng nèijuǎn.

Many students who decided to study overseas gave up their original plans due to the not-so-promising handling of the COVID-19 crisis outside China. Therefore, the competitions for postgraduate entrance grows even more fierce. That’s an example of involution.

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