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    Cartoon Zhang Xiaohe Strikes Chord with China's Workers


    by NTDTelevision

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    An online cartoon about office workers has become a hit in China. Zhang Xiaohe and his world made of boxes have struck a chord with many young white collar workers. Many of them see the character as a reflection of their own lives at work.

    It's a little box man that has resonated with white collar workers in China. Meet Zhang Xiaohe, the leading character of a cartoon created five years ago—now a small hit in mainland China.

    Xiaohe, which literally means little box, is a junior clerk. He works unpaid overtime, is awkward around girls and is afraid of his boss. His days are marked with uncomfortable commutes, piling paperwork and abuse by his boss.

    Western viewers may see Zhang Xiaohe similar to Dilbert, the American comic strip created by Scott Adams that portrays satirical office humor.

    In an interview with State-run CCTV, Grey Chan, a co-creator of Zhang Xiaohe says the cartoon shows a more realistic white collar life that is often mischaracterized in China.

    [Grey Chan, Zhang Xiaohe Co-creator]:
    "The image of white collar workers has been shining with a flavor of petty bourgeois in commercials and numerous art works. They are always presented sipping wine or engaged in something fascinating. But no one has tried to express the real bitterness and pain in their lives."

    For many of China's young white collar workers, Xiaohe's boxed-in life is an entertaining version of theirs.

    [Chinese White Collar Worker]:
    "He's so funny, everyone likes him."

    [Chinese White Collar Worker]:
    "Zhang Xiaohe represents the stories taking place around me every day, down to every detail."

    Zhang Xiaohe and his boxed-in world has become a small hit in China. He has his own merchandize and a fan page where Chinese white collar workers share about their own struggles at the office.