Chinese prodigy quits rat race, decides to 'tang ping' (lying flat)
He was in university when he was just 10 years old and in graduate school when he was 13.
In 2011, when he was 16, he became a PhD student in Applied Mathematics at Beijing's renowned Beihang University.
These days, Mr Zhang Xinyang, 28, sits around doing nothing in his flat – and it makes him happy.
The Chinese prodigy had asked his parents, who hail from China’s Liaoning province, buy him a Beijing flat worth 2 million yuan ($378,000). He used his education journey as a bargaining chip.
Mr Zhang told state broadcaster China Central Television then that success was defined by owning a flat, finding a good job and becoming a Beijing resident.
Having attained his doctorate in 2019, Mr Zhang became a university lecturer but quit two years later and adopt the "tang ping" approach to life.
"Tang ping" is an antidote to society's pressures to find jobs and perform well while working long shifts, by "lying flat" or taking it easy.
Mr Zhang now lives in a rented flat, has only $1,000 or so to his name, does freelance work and depends on his parents for money. "They owe me this," he told Jiupai News in a Sept 20 interview, adding that his parents would send him 10,000 yuan every two, three months.
“There is no financial freedom when working for someone else, that’s a joke. At least now I don’t need to deal with the attitudes of others.”