The struggles of a young Chinese couple shed light on the economic downturn and property crisis in China

In recent years, the economic downturn and property crisis in China have taken a toll on many ordinary citizens, and the story of Zhang Yiliang and Dong Lijun, a young couple who documented their struggles to own a flat, has struck a chord with millions of people. The couple’s ordeal, which they shared on their Douyin account “Liangliang Lijun couple,” has captivated the Chinese internet and highlighted the challenges and dashed hopes faced by many in the country.

The couple’s journey began two years ago when they purchased a flat. Initially, they celebrated their achievement and shared their joy with their followers, but their joy soon turned into trouble. They encountered rows with the property developer, Sunac China Holdings Limited, who they claimed owed them money. As the property crisis deepened in China, the couple’s experience as small-towners with big dreams resonated with ordinary citizens who were facing similar challenges.

The couple’s story gained even more attention when they alleged that they were assaulted and their videos were censored. This led to widespread sympathy from millions of people online, who saw their struggles as a reflection of the harsh reality faced by many in China. The couple’s aspirations were seen as representative of the “Chinese dream” popularized by President Xi Jinping, and their experiences served as a stark reminder that hardworking citizens often do not receive the rewards they deserve.

However, the couple’s story also encountered obstacles as their posts were deleted and their social media accounts faced restrictions. This raised questions about the freedom of expression and the potential suppression of voices that speak out against the status quo. Despite the challenges they faced, the couple continued to document their journey, sharing updates on the construction of their flat and their fight for justice.

The emotional rollercoaster of the couple’s ordeal centered around their flat, which became a symbol of their hopes and dreams. However, their optimism was shattered when the developer admitted to financial problems and construction on their flat was halted. The couple spent months calling for the construction to resume while dealing with the challenges of unemployment and a growing family.

The turning point came when the couple live-streamed an encounter with the developer and alleged that they were beaten during the event. The incident garnered significant attention from both social media users and Chinese media, with many expressing sympathy and demanding justice for the couple. The incident also sparked discussions about the need to ensure that hard work pays off for ordinary people and that their hopes for the future remain alive.

Despite the attention and support they received, the couple has yet to receive the rebate they are owed by the developer. This latest disappointment has led them to consider leaving Zhengzhou and returning to Mr. Zhang’s hometown. The couple’s decision sparked anger and disappointment among their supporters, with many expressing frustration at the unfairness of their circumstances.

However, some users have questioned the couple’s motives, suggesting that they may be profiting from the attention they have received online. This suspicion has mixed with sympathy, raising doubts about the authenticity of their story. As the couple continues to navigate their challenges, it is clear that their experience has brought attention to the broader issues of the economic downturn and property crisis in China.

The story of Zhang Yiliang and Dong Lijun serves as a reminder of the struggles faced by ordinary people in China and the need for their voices to be heard. It also raises questions about the state of freedom of expression and the potential manipulation of online narratives. By sharing their journey, the couple has sparked important conversations and shed light on the harsh realities faced by many in China’s sluggish economy.