Chinese e-commerce platform bans "Lie Flat Cat" merchandise for violating "public order and morality"

Chinese e-commerce platform Taobao has banned the sale of merchandise featuring cartoon cats sprawled on comfy chairs, because it violates "public order and morality." Taobao also told the RHR Shanghai Adoption Home for pets to stop selling "shirts with content related to lying flat."

The shirts are popular with young Chinese people who reject their country's work-until-you-collapse culture and embrace the "lying flat" movement.

Lie-flat cat products. From @RHR上海领养之家 on WeChat public account

From Sixth Tone:

The lying flat idea caught on last year as a reaction against competitive, overwork-driven culture. One of its early advocates was a factory worker who began blogging about his efforts to avoid work by living cheaply, eating instant noodles, and staying at home. Few have gone as far as he did, but many youngsters have taken it as permission to strive less.

Bai lan, a more recent buzzword that went popular earlier this year, means letting a bad situation deteriorate rather than taking the initiative to fix it, a more cynical attitude that's gained appeal as unemployment has continued to worsen.

In July, the jobless rate for Chinese urban youths aged 16 to 24 rose to 19.9%, the highest figure since records began in 2018, and the fourth consecutive month that China has logged a new youth unemployment record.