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Daily Digest | Take it Ease-y

Written by The Uptake Published on   2 mins read

Will Chinese users shell out for an app for mental wellness?

Hi there. It’s Brady from KrASIA.

We’re trying something new. Nearly every day, you’ll receive a short note from us. We’ll cover a topic that we believe is important or quirky, that you might like to spend a few minutes reading about. We’ll also do a light roundup of our coverage from the past 24 hours in a few sentences, so you’re aware of the subjects that KrASIA’s team is drilling into.

Lately, one word that I’ve been thinking about is “involution.” It’s an esoteric concept that, since last year, became a buzzword in China. In our newsletter that was sent out before the weekend, AJ Cortese mentioned that involution is a phenomenon where people put in maximum effort without the prospect of progress.

The feeling of being forever stuck in a low gear weighs heavily on people in their twenties and thirties. One consequence is that younger people are more willing to openly speak about mental health, once a taboo. Even though mental wellness services have a long way to go, there are stakeholders who are making first moves.

AJ wrote about Ease, a company that has built a Chinese-language mental wellness and meditation app with backing from Calm, whose similar offerings are popular in the United States and Europe. The question remains whether users in China will become paying subscribers. More fundamentally, apps like Ease are generating broader awareness about the importance of maintaining a balance between work, life, and giving space to one’s own self. Attitudes toward self-care are changing, and the general demands of millennials and Gen Z are diverging from the expectations of their forebears.

Daily Roundup

  • TikTok maker ByteDance sniped at Tencent for barring links to ByteDance products on WeChat for three years.
  • India’s micro VCs are heroes for early-stage startups.
  • Zhihu, China’s answer to Quora, needs to figure out how to balance user growth with profitability.
  • Shopee is beating Tokopedia in Indonesia.
  • Do Chinese tech founders really want to shoulder the grind of being CEO?


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