From Diaosi to Sang to Tangping: The Chinese DST Youth Subculture Online

Ying Zhu, Junqi Peng

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Diaosi, Chinese slang for “underdogs,” first appeared on the Chinese Internet in 2010, capturing youth discontent amid the cutthroat competition in China. The term became the most popular word by 2012 but would soon be overtaken by sang (“bereavement”), a new youth phenomenon akin to beatnik/hippie/punk culture in the West, which manifested itself in a variety of catchphrases and memes that amplified the weary and suffering human body, eventually leading to the rise in 2021 of the tangping (“lying flat”) movement that called for a life free from societal pressures. This article traces the origin, evolution, and impact of this youth cyber culture, what we call DST. It explores the motivations, perspectives, and actions of participants as well as reactions and responses of the Chinese government and the media.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)13-38
Number of pages26
JournalGlobal Storytelling: Journal of Digital and Moving Images
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

User-Defined Keywords

  • diaosi
  • sang
  • lying flat
  • Chinese digital youth
  • Cyber culture


Dive into the research topics of 'From Diaosi to Sang to Tangping: The Chinese DST Youth Subculture Online'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this