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Trending in China: Tencent – Fighting Youth Unemployment or Enemy of Older Workers?

Yilin Chen / Aug 11, 2020 05:14 PM / Trending Stories

What’s trending?

Last week, Chinese internet giant Tencent launched a recruitment drive for recent college graduates, the biggest in the company’s history. On offer are 5,000 jobs which equates to a 42% increase on last year, spanning internet services, finance, investment, and “new infrastructure.” While a record number of college graduates nervously submit applications, some netizens see Tencent’s initiative as worrying.

What’s the story?

China’s universities are turning out a record 8.47 million graduates this year, in line with steadily growing numbers every summer. The young hopefuls are about to enter a grim job market following a slowdown in economic growth and elevated unemployment. Government ministries have rolled out a series of measures to help graduates find jobs, including encouraging online job hunts, boosting army recruitment, promoting entrepreneurship, and bolstering opportunities in grassroots jobs.

Apart from government efforts, China’s tech giants might provide an additional dose of comfort through expanding opportunities for promising young talents. Telecom hardware giant Huawei is recruiting more than 20 graduates from prestigious universities around the world through its Huawei Talented Youth Program, offering impressive salaries of up to 2 million yuan ($288,000) a year. Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei said that the company hopes to expand the program to over 200 scholars next year.

Now Tencent is following Huawei’s lead. In an interview with Shenzhen News, a campus recruitment representative at Tencent said that the company will devote equal amount of attention to undergraduates and students with advanced degrees, especially amid the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic. This year, Tencent’s job openings will emphasize “new infrastructure” projects including 5G networks, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence, as well as fintech-related positions in finance and product management.

What are people saying online?

Despite excitement from the Class of 2021 and the optimistic outlook portrayed in the media, some pessimistic netizens see Tencent’s initiative as a “large-scale purge,” helping the company replace older professionals with newbie employees who are willing to be productive at the expense of a healthy work-life balance. The top comment on Chinese Quora-like platform Zhihu reads, “Tencent is killing two birds with one stone. They get to maintain high productivity and win the title of being a socially responsible enterprise.”

Contact editor Marcus Ryder (marcusryder@caixin.com)

Related: Trending Story: Are Any New Graduates Really Worth 2 Million Yuan a Year? Netizens Discuss!

 


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