VOXPOP: Meet the night owls that inhabit Beijing
Updated 16:39, 13-Dec-2018
Geng Zhibin, Jiang Yuting
02:24

Beijing recently endured one of its coldest December days on record, after the extreme cold wave that hit many parts of China early this month. Bitter cold will continue and temperatures have dropped to nearly -10 degrees Celsius after midnight.

You might have witnessed some people resting or sleeping in 24-hour shops like McDonald near you – slumped over a table, bag by their side. Some are travelers seeking a warm place for rest, some are homeless migrant workers who can't afford the rent, others are simply playing mobile games using free Wi-Fi to kill some time.  

While most people are sleeping after midnight, CGTN decided to head out to speak to the people who are reluctant to go home in the midst of this cold wave.  

Our team wandered along the street with the bitter wind smashing against us. Mr. Wang was waiting for clients in front of a KTV around 1 a.m. He shared with us his story as a migrant worker who works two jobs. He is a driver during the day, and when night falls, he works as a designated driver for people who are drunk. 

Speaking of his family, his wife and children are about 500 kilometers away from Beijing, living in his hometown in Shandong Province. 

“I miss my children every day,” said Mr. Wang. “ But I have to make money to raise my family while I am still young.”

As time has passes to 3 a.m., we entered a 24-hour library, Ms. Wu was sitting alone in a corner reading a book about the history of wine, along with a cup of tea beside her. She just got a new job as a bartender nearby, and goes to the library after work and to polish up her skills. 

“I often went to the library and studied overnight when I was in school,” she added. 

On this outing, we had witnessed diverse groups of people in China's capital – from a movie scriptwriter to store clerk to a university professor. Some were willing to accept the interview but others did not. And we were also chased by security guards for being “suspicious.”   

Watch the video and find out more about the night owls of the capital, what are they doing to keep warm, and what keeps them up night.


Director: Jiang Yuting

Editor: Geng Zhibin

Filmed by: Geng Zhibin

Article Written by: Geng Zhibin

Producer: Wen Yaru

Supervisor: Mei Yan