Chinese game developer leaves job to sell street food, now earns double his salary


A video game programmer in Shenzen, China has left his day job programming video games to sell street food. The result? He doubled his salary.

According to Kotaku, the man left his job due to health issues:

“The work hours of a programmer are long and arduous, sometimes we have to work overtime, though there was a lot of joy when we finished Yuan Zheng Online. When we are finished with work, we often go out to unwind, visiting karaoke parlors or playing basketball. Unfortunately my body was unable to withstand it all and I had to quit.”

It turns out it was actually a good idea. After regaining his health, the man found himself a girlfriend that taught him how to make “shaobing,” a cheap but reportedly delicious flatbread that comes with a variety of fillings.

After working on the recipe together, they put their street food stand and are now earning $3,259 a month. An amount that is apparently double what he earned working long hours as a programmer. The man says that they’ve already earned enough for an apartment and are hoping to get married next year.

[via Kotaku]

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  • I once heard about a couple of young ladies that started a Lunch Wagon next to a beach in Florida. Apparently they were being taken to court by the local community since they wore thongs to work, despite the fact those swimsuits are common on the beaches. The article did point out they were raking in the cash. =)

  • Louis

    [@Geo] Hehe, if the roles were reversed, I’d probably think the same thing ! I’ve just gotten used to seeing it all around me, all of the time.

    Well, because of all the multitudes, there’s always a lot of people out, especially in the big cities, until late, and it gives off a perception of it being a bustling place. But I’m not so sure it also apply to the actual working intensity, and pressure of deadlines etc, in an office, as I’ve experienced in the West.

    But I’d venture as a street vendor he may well find himself to be working longer and harder !

  • Geo

    Thanks for the information Louis, very interesting I was not aware of. Like some others I would never had thought this of China.
    I just couldn’t pass up the sarc opportunity when I commented.

  • Enrique Manalang

    [@Louis] Wow! I was always under the impression that everything in China was all “Go, go, go!” and that they’d frown upon taking such breaks.

    Turns out I was quite wrong. I’ll have to ask my girlfriend, who is also staying in China right now, about all this. Haha.

    Thanks for the insight, Louis :)

  • Louis

    [@Enrique Manalang] No, it’s here all right :-)

    Oh, if you go to a really public institution like the Post Office or a large bank, they are open, with personnel, but you can clearly see it’s a skeleton crew !

    Yes, I believe for anything less than a completely public office or place, it probably applies. I was horrified the first time I went to the University’s Admin office at about, say 11h45, and found the door solidly locked, only to be re-opened at around 14h40 !

    So yes, even in my wife’s business, they take a siesta, and they’re normally quite busy — I guess they figure the clients shouldn’t be bothered, so they also disappear for a very long ‘lunch-time’ !

    Where I come from (South Africa), 1 h lunch and you were considered very fortunate, 45 minutes being the norm and the legal requirement, but even that we traded 15 minutes away so that we may leave 15 minutes earlier at day end to try beat rush hour traffic.

    It’s a definite cultural adjustment I had to make, I’ve been here 2,5 years, and the whole lunch-time thing does still irritate me though. To have to wait another 2 to 3 h to have urgent matters done can be frustrating.

  • Enrique Manalang

    [@Louis] That’s really interesting! I had no idea they had that sort of tradition in China. Thought it was only for certain other parts of Asia.

    Is this true for most offices? :)

  • Louis

    @Geo : There are millions upon millions of them over here, all having the same look and appearance. That’s probably his girlfriend that rescued him from the ‘tough job’ — over here they have the siesta tradition, everything stops at 11h30 — 12h00, and resumes between 14h00 and 15h00, depending on situation. I think over time he may well start to miss his office siestas, for it doesn’t really apply to street vendors.

  • Geo

    I thinking that his assistant with the nice blue apron could make way more than he ever thought of in another line of work . . . .juss sayin’