About Me

The person behind this site is Chenyang “Platy” Hsu, who —

  • happens to be a staff editor and membership coordinator at SSPAI, a Chinese-language community focused on digital life, products, and cultures;
  • used to be a transactional lawyer (until July 2021); and
  • is born to be a nerd.

Mini Bio

I grew up in Hefei, Anhui, a city in central China that was long overshadowed by neighboring coastal areas but has gained momentum in recent years by attracting LCD and EV ventures. I also spent significant time living in Beijing (which I mostly dislike) and Philadelphia (which I mostly cherish). Today I’m based in Shenzhen. While I don’t enjoy every aspect of it, I generally resonate with its utilitarian and apolitical characteristics. I also appreciate the abundance of green spaces and hiking trails.

I earned an LL.M. (no, not that AI thing) from the University of Pennsylvania in 2019 and an LL.B. from Peking University in 2018. Like many fellow Chinese students, my choice of major was influenced not by a particular passion for law but rather by more pragmatic considerations such as admission chances, career prospects, and, of course, parental expectations.

After graduation, I returned home (per the terms of a scholarship), joined a law firm, before getting burned in a void of meanings and leaving for my current job. However, I don’t regret the detours and actually have positive things to say about my education and former employer. I also maintain an interest in law-related topics and continue to benefit from some of the skills I acquired in my previous career.

These days, I’m primarily occupied with running SSPAI Prime, a paid membership program I’ve been helping to build since 2021 that offers access to member-only articles, an online commons, a complimentary subscription to our ebook archive, and a variety of other digital and physical perks. It’s been a process of trial and error, but we’re humbled to have gathered several thousand supporters along the way.

Other notable projects of mine include a 50k-word manual for our contributors; an annual review of Apple’s performance over the past year from the perspective of users, inspired by Jason Snell and made possible by our lean but talented product and dev team; and a ten-part series in our advanced Office 365 tutorial that delves into the mechanisms and peculiarities of Word by examining its file structure.

Overall, I find my spot here ideal, as things I do for the paycheck closely align with what I would’ve been doing otherwise. And — pardon my occasional grandiosity — I’m proud to be contributing to the diminishing corpus of worthwhile tech writings in Simplified Chinese. Still, I maintain my own observations and reservations about the organization; all opinions expressed here are my own and do not necessarily represent those of my employer unless stated otherwise.

In my spare time and beyond the realm of tech nerdery, I also enjoy learning about typography and languages, though I wouldn’t dare claim proficiency in either. I live an active life and am an avid runner, walker, and swimmer, each activity being my way to be meditative without actually meditating. I listen to Cantopop and J-pop the most, favoring songs with a slow tempo, gentle melodies, and ballad-style verses. I have a strong preference for non-fiction works in long-form textual format over fiction and audiovisual works; I often find myself too critical of the time investment and plot plausibility to enjoy the latter. However, the upside of being selective is that I can deeply engage with and gain a lot from each work I do manage to finish.

Online Presence

Beyond this site, my thoughts and musings are shared on Weibo, Twitter/X, and Instagram. I maintain an active profile on my employer’s site, where I’ve contributed ~200 posts (most of which are syndicated here), amassing 8M+ views. Elsewhere, you might find me under the handle platyhsu (stylized in various forms) or firexcy.

I welcome emails (preferably written by humans) at me(at) For work-related inquiries, please write to platyhsu(at) I’m also on Telegram as @platyhsu if you happen to use it, but I don’t particularly like or trust the app.

Personalities & Views

I’m unapologetically an introvert. I can perform to be sociable if the situation requires it (at the cost of a non-negligible recharge time thereafter), but will always prefer a party of four or less, or even better, solitude. My tone and facial expressions often don’t reflect my level of interest or care. But there are things and persons I care about — usually those I can feel an intellectual connection with. And if I do appear affectionate somehow, you know it’s a big deal. (I never take the Myers–Briggs types seriously, but if an interlocutor insists to ask, I will say INTJ — which I am consistently tested as — but meh.)

I roughly identify as a progressive conservatist. That means when there’s a conflict, I generally put more vaule on the market than equality, liberty than authority, progress than tradition, and ecology than production. I support various forms of activism, but find it frustrating when some veer towards a fundamentalism that distorts science and facts to fit their arbitrarily defined identities and attempts to monopolize a certain type of lived experience for their group.

I’m unhealthily curious. I can entertain myself by conducting mini-research on anything I happen to see, hear, or think of, and can get particularly satisfied when I dig out the original source of a quote or a claim. I open browser tabs for things that are apparently light-years away from my daily life. I have an addiction to search engines and can easily tally more than a thousand searches each month.

I have a zeal for exerting self-control. I love making plans and sticking to them. I have adhered to a strict workout regimen since ~2015 that starts with an hour-long running or swimming session in the morning. I hold it sacred that the mind must maintain ultimate control over emotions and the body. Thus, I’m viscerally against anything that may risk surrendering such control, be it an act, an idea, or a substance. (I do recognize the problem in panicking when plans cannot be executed as desired and am working on becoming more flexible.)

I hold a minimalist and utilitarian view on materials. I don’t accumulate many things; most of my belongings can fit into two large suitcases. Meal-replacement powder makes up a third of my daily intake, and I’m perfectly content with the mocked-of “white people’s meals” or “girls’ dinners,” as long as they’re made with clean and whole ingredients. That said, I actually appreciate craftsmanship and fine dining; I just don’t seek to own or personally indulge in these luxuries.


Here’s a non-exhaustive list of equipment and software I rely on:


  • Computer: MacBook Pro 16" (M1 Max, 2021), MacBook Air 13" (M2, 2022)
    • Pointing: Magic Trackpad, Logitech MX Anywhere
    • Typing: Huawei Ultrathin Keyboard
    • Displays: Rich Vision RV100, LG 27UP850N-W
  • Phone: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5
  • Earbuds: AirPods Pro 2, AKG N5005, Senheiser IE800S
  • Gaming: Nintendo Switch
  • Reading: Boox Tab10 C (a/k/a Tab Ultra C internationally)


  • OS: macOS (daily driver), Debian (servers), Fedora (local VMs)
  • Browser: Firefox (w/ Tree Syle Tab)
  • Editor: VS Code, Neovim
  • Terminal: Wezterm, integrated terminal in VS Code
  • Shell: zsh/bash (whichever comes with the OS, as login shell), fish (for interactive uses)
  • RSS: Miniflux, RSSHub
  • Podcatching: Pocket Casts
  • Notes & tasks: a folder of markdown files managed with VS Code and Obsidian
  • Image editing: Figma, Pixelmator Pro, imagemagick


  • Microsoft Office 365 E3 (email, OneDrive)
  • iCloud
  • Cloudflare (domains, DNS, CDN)
  • Backblaze B2 object storage
  • Kagi Search Ultimate
  • Streaming & media: Apple Music, QQ Music, YouTube Premium
  • A fleet of VPS instances for self-hosted services

About This Site


Neverland, a name taken from the fictional island, symbolizes the embrace of the impermanent and fleeting nature of online writings. It’s a space dedicated to capturing moments and thoughts that, while transient, might hold deeper insights for me or someone else seeking resonance, memories, or reconciliation in the future.

Expectations here should be flexible; while nothing is intended to be immediately useful, the potential serendipity makes the endeavor worthwhile. By acknowledging the “never,” we stay open to the boundless “ever.”


Here are the main topics of my writings, along with examples of posts I’m proud of. You’re also welcomed to check the archive and tags pages.


The posts on this blog blend English (Chinglish, admittedly) and Chinese. Simply put, I choose whichever language that resonates with my thoughts on a subject because it feels more effortless.

Using two languages also helps me compartmentalize my ideas. Chinese, being my first language, sometimes feels too intimate for candid and introspective expression. Moreover, the influx of memes and Newspeak in Modern Chinese complicates attempts to write with depth and analysis. English, while not without its flaws, offers a distanced space with an othering perspective that allows for more genuine reflection and expression. (For further insight, see Yiyun Li’s “To Speak Is to Blunder,” one of my all-time favorite essays.)


Neverland is built with Hugo and hosted on Cloudflare Pages. In the past, I have also tried Hexo and WordPress, but have settled in Hugo because its balance between reliability and extensibility feels just right to me. And it’s wickedly fast.

Currently, the hosting of images is somewhat chaotic, relying on a mix of Zight (f/k/a Cloudapp), Backblaze B2 (CDN’d via Cloudflare), and, well, some shameless hotlinking. I plan to migrate all historical images to B2 and will share my experience afterward.

The site is typeset in Novel Mono Pro and the webfont provided by Adobe Fonts. The color scheme draws heavy inspiration from the bright variant of the Nord theme.

The chosen tech stack makes the ongoing cost of maintaining this site negligible. But it also brings an obvious side effect — the reachability from my home country might not be optimal, which I don’t bother to fix.

Feeling generous?

You are welcome:

(Or with PayPal.)


All content on this site is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 unless indicated otherwise. This means you are free to copy and redistribute the material from this site in any medium or format, provided you give appropriate credit and do not remix, transform, or use it for commercial purposes. Exceptions primarily include works for hire, contract works, and translations that I have no right to relicense. Please kindly inquire if there is any ambiguity.