Speaking Of Asia

Asia's startling turns on population thinking

China's three-child policy may or may not work but it underscores the shift in how nations view their population

In China's context, the news of an abrupt slowdown in population growth has set off a global frisson. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
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Every time there's some news on China's population policy my mind goes to Zhang Yao, the plucky Chinese entrepreneur who founded the Silicon Valley firm RoboTerra, an educational robotics company targeting eight- to 18-year-olds.

Born in 1984, four years after China announced its one-child policy, Ms Zhang, who hails from Linfen, Shanxi, is in some ways a poster child for China's era of enterprise. RoboTerra was the second business she'd started, having earlier set up Minds Abroad, an educational venture serving American and European college and graduate students and professionals through high-impact study-abroad programmes in China, India and other Asian countries.

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