Thursday, August 17, 2023

"'Bedmates' are a hot commodity for China's broke and jobless youth, who say they need to sleep next to strangers just to survive in the country's megacities"

It looks like Insider (formerly Business Insider, formerly Clusterstock) is adopting the 600-word headline format that the Daily Mail uses.

From Insider, Aug 10:

  • Young people who can't afford rent in China's megacities are sharing beds with strangers to get by.
  • Posts advertising "same room, same bed" arrangements have surged on China's version of Instagram.
  • The practice involves tenants splitting the cost of rent and sleeping together in the same bed.

Young people struggling in China's megacities have found a way to fit rent into their dwindling budgets — sharing a bed with a stranger.

As the country faces a youth-unemployment crisis, posts advertising shared bed spaces in urban sprawls like Shanghai and Beijing have emerged on Xiaohongshu, China's new version of Instagram.

The practice is different from "hot-bedding," a trend in the West where tenants save on rent by taking turns to sleep. In China, "bedmates" sleep together in the same bed and split the cost of the room....


I had not heard of the term hot-bedding to describe a practice that I think I first became aware of thanks to Jacob Riis and his "How the Other Half Lives." and "The Children of the Poor.

However, I'm looking through some of his pictures as collected by the International Center of Photography and am not seeing a caption for sleeping in shifts. Here are some of the other sleeping arrangements Riis found in the brutalizing poverty of New York City:

Lodgers in a Crowded Bayard Street Tenement - "Five Cents a Spot"

"Slept in that Cellar Four Years"

Here's the ICP archive page