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Daily Drip

“Tea Time at 3 PM,” This Viral Video is Speaking to China’s Overworked Youth

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“Dude, it’s 3:00 PM, drink tea first! Don’t work too hard, your boss doesn’t give a shit.”

An unlikely man and his videos have gone viral on Chinese social media, with netizens responding warmly to this sunglasses-wearing hero and his harsh voice and well-intentioned message that life is more important than work.

For people who don’t understand Cantonese, he’s basically yelling at you to stop working and have some milk tea — can’t argue with that!

When the clock hits seven, he kindly urges you to get off work and, again, have a cup of tea.

“Don’t work so hard, where does that money go to? Money is useless if you work yourself to death,” he says in another video.

Netizens are so fond of him, they’ve already given him a nickname — “tea-drinking older brother” (饮茶哥 Yinchage). Some are even saying that he is the only person who cares about their lives and tea-drinking habits, in a world where everyone is pushing them to work harder, meet KPIs, and earn more money.

After the two videos went viral on Chinese streaming site Bilibili, netizens quickly adapted them and made their own versions, by adding regional dialect subtitles and playing with lines from animations and TV dramas. At the time of writing, there are thousands of relevant videos uploaded on the site with the most popular of them having gotten over 3 million views.

Related:

“C’mon Workers!” Sarcastic Rallying Cry Highlights Young China’s Disillusionment with Work

“Fake positivity: C’mon, workers. Real positive message: drink tea first at three o’clock,” says one commenter.

“So sad, a stranger cares more about me than I do myself,” another says.

Related:

Young China Vs Overwork: Viral Posts Spotlight Ridiculous Job Demands

The original video seems to have been posted on Facebook from Malaysia a year ago, but it’s hard to verify if the original poster is the person in the video. While there’s not much information available about “Yinchage,” his messages have clearly spoken to China’s overworked youth, who have actively responded to his call (by making memes, that is). After all, it’s not up to them when they get off work in China’s “996” culture.

The trend of people sharing tips on how to “touch fish” (摸鱼), a slang term for slacking off at work, is another example of how young people are increasingly disillusioned with work.

One thing people can do to make the working day a little bit more pleasant, however, is to order milk tea at 3:00 PM.

Cover photo: screenshot from Bilibili video

Lu Zhao
Lu Zhao is a bilingual and multimedia journalist with a focus on human interest and social issues. Her work has appeared in USA Today, UPI, SupChina, Pandaily, Chicago Reporter, and other publications.