CCTV Asks Chinese on the Street: What Do You Lack in 2013?

A young Chinese woman interviewed by CCTV News on the street about what he "lacks" replies with "money and a man".
A Chinese man interviewed by CCTV News on the street about what he "lacks" replies with "a woman".
A man says he lacks a woman.

From QQ:

CCTV Street Interviews “What Do You Lack?”, Passersby Say They Lack Money, Love, and Women

Chongqing (ChinaNews) – “2013, what do you lack?, the question asked by ChinaNews Video and Chongqing Television reports on the streets and alleys throughout Chongqing prompted many Chongqing residents to reflect on what they “lack or don’t lack” in their lives.

A Chinese old woman interviewed by CCTV News about what he "lacks" replies with "a water meter.
An old granny says she doesn’t lack anything, just a water meter.
A young Chinese woman interviewed by CCTV News on the street about what he "lacks" replies with "money and a man".
What do you lack in 2013? [Young woman replies: “I lack money, lack a man.”]
A Chinese man interviewed by CCTV News on the street about what he "lacks" replies that "everything we lack and don't lack are just delusions".
What do you lack in 2013? [Man replies: “Lack and don’t lack is all in one’s mind.”]

Since late January, many reporters have tossed out the question of “2013, what do you lack?” to nearly 1000 people on Chongqing streets. The people interviewed are normal office-workers, retirees, migrant workers, street cleaners, as well as members of the CPPCC, writers and entrepreneurs. The various answers have made people laugh out loud or led people to think deeply, while netizens have mocked this question as another “godly question” following the previous “are you happy?”

[Note: The above refers to a previous CCTV street interview project that was conducted and broadcasted nationally around last year’s 18th National Congress, asking “everyday people in China” if they were “happy”, as noted in previous chinaSMACK reports. Netizens widely considered the entire thing an out-of-touch propaganda stunt. “Godly” as used here is a little difficult to translate, suggesting something as incredible or mocking it with a measure of incredulity.]

“Lack money” was the most common of the responses. Facing the ChinaNews camera, an “office worker” sighed that housing prices are too high, that wages aren’t rising, so he can’t afford to buy a house. Migrant worker Zhang Fu complained that he didn’t get much business last year, and wasn’t able to save much. A man in front of Southwestern Hospital said with worried face that his wife’s sickness cost him hundreds of thousands, and what he now lacks the most is money. A young guy working in sales hoped for more RMB. A man who dreams of winning the lottery rushed in front of the camera and shouted, “I lack 5 million!” “Chongqing Good Man” Zheng Dingxiang, who makes a living carrying goods on his shoulders said loudly, “I lack money not morals!”

“Lacking sleep” was also a common complaint among the interviewees. Taxi driver Zhang Wei said that he works 12 hours a day and that lack of sleep is a big concern. Chongqing news media reporter Shan Shibing who often pulls all-nighters said in his microblog that he’s a person who lives in the dark but lacks sleep, that hearing his mobile phone ring right after falling asleep is a frequent nightmare. 37-year-old Huang Guohui often relies on doing push-ups to keep himself awake on night shifts, looking forward to his rest day to get some more sweet sweet sleep.

“Lack energy/spirit” was another frequent reply. One retired old lady said she felt her current life was boring/tedious, lacking spiritual and cultural content. Chongqing writer Mo Huaiqi said he lacked youthfulness. Administrative staff Wang Li felt a shortage of happiness and emotion. Securities company employee Sun Hongtai said with a serious face that he currently lacks opportunity and platform [for success] the most. 21-year-old, 1.4-meter-tall “Dwarf Kindergarten Teacher” Yan Feng said what he lacks most is experience, because experience is his invisible wealth.

Likewise there were people “who are content with what they have”, who no matter how the reporters asked the question insisted they do not lack anything. Yuan Zhengwan, a retired worker currently opening land to grow produce, said he has a place to live and a pension to collect, so he doesn’t lack for anything. Street cleaner Chen Daofen also said with satisfaction that her danwei [workplace, employer] was not behind on paying their wages this year and will even be increasing their wages this year, so she has been very content.

One of the organizers of this “godly question” and Chongqing media worker Fu Liao told this reporter that there is no right answer to the question of whether one lacks or doesn’t lack anything. In this day and age where material abundance increases daily, perhaps perhaps only when we don’t lack anything in our hearts are we truly no longer lacking. He hoped that this “down-to-earth” series of interviews can reflect the real living conditions and psychological hopes of grassroots society.

To date [February 11], the “2013, what do you lack” interviews are still going on throughout Chongqing.

Comments from QQ:


Trust — what China lacks the most right now, from the ordinary common people to the government, from children to parents, between husbands and wives, from parents to schools, between friends, among colleagues and teams, from workers to bosses… What China lacks the most is the sense of trust between each other.


Stupid, everyone on Earth knows it’s lack of money. Legitimate lawful income simply is unable to allow people to live a normal life, much less produce those “House Uncles” and “House Sisters” and such [referring to recent news about certain people owning multiple homes/properties]. They should go ask the government officials what they lack! Lack clean and honest politics/government? Lack government official morality and ethics? Or lack money?


The old man said it so right — “Lack and don’t lack is all in one’s mind!”


Actually, today’s society simply lacks three things: morals, money and trust! It’s extremely easy and quick for a country, a group, or an individual to go down the hill of lacking morals, but to climb back up will be hard. Likewise, whether it’s a country or an individual, it’s impossible to do anything without money, but, money is not something that falls from the sky. If mutual trust is lacking between people, then this country is in danger, mainly from top to bottom, from the government officials to the ordinary common people, there are too many cheats and liars! But it cannot be denied that there are still good people!

腾讯南京市网友 你 ,拿命疼爱

The old lady can’t even afford a water meter! Did you, the reporter buy one for her? If you didn’t buy one, what do you lack?

腾讯廊坊市网友 老宅男

I know the country lacks honesty and integrity, not corrupt officials.

腾讯网友 依然

I lack everything right now. If I could be a government official for one year, then I won’t lack anything.

腾讯河南省网友 醉月

What we lack the most is one, government integrity and credibility; two, the difference between the level of public servants’ salaries and prices; three, the level of trust between one and another; four, housing prices returning to a reasonable level.

腾讯连云港市网友 記憶_/~↘楒

I lack a beautiful world!


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