Internet start-ups ease China’s employment pressure

Chinese young people are seriously considering making a living online as the economic slowdown bites China’s more conventional jobs market.

An Internet business boom has helped create more than 10 million jobs in China, which greatly alleviates current employment pressure, according to a new report by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MHRSS).

The report, the first of its kind by the ministry, showed that young people made up the majority of those involved in Internet entrepreneurship, including online shop owners and employees, as well as practitioners in areas closely related to e-commerce.

“The Internet goes beyond physical restrictions, so our power can be magnified to an enormous scale,” Li Xueling, founder and CEO of Chinese social platform company YY Inc. was quoted as saying by Tuesday’s edition of the People’s Daily.

Li, whose company made its NASDAQ debut in November 2012, said the Internet quickens the process of trial and error in entrepreneurship, citing the example of a college graduate who was made a millionaire by teaching others how to make PowerPoint files online.

Internet business also allows more freedom and diversity in employment choices, according to the MHRSS report.

In 2012, a record 6.8 million people graduated from universities in China. Yet a large number of graduates were unable to land a job due to a discrepancy between the workforce and the actual needs of the economy.

Some of the jobless new grads may have flowed to the more flexible online commerce.

The MHRSS report showed that almost half of Internet practitioners surveyed own an associate degree or bachelor’s degree, and another 33.4 percent received education from middle schools or technical schools. People with strong backgrounds in marketing, management, technology and law are most needed, it said.

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Many young entrepreneurs said online business helps lower costs and increase efficiency, and also offers opportunities to make friends and find fun.

Moreover, the flourishing of Internet economics makes consumers more confident and comfortable with buying online, especially amid a current crisis of confidence in the country’s commercial activities, the report said.

Taobao.com, a leading Chinese online shopping platform, sees an average of 18 million transactions each day, representing millions of deals closed on mutual trust and the guarantee of contracts, according to the People’s Daily.

To further boost employment through online business, more measures, including credit support and tax exemptions should be rolled out to help small start-ups stay sound financially, the MHRSS suggested in the report.

Authorities should also guide private funds to invest in Internet businesses with potential for growth, the ministry added.

“The Internet makes improbable things possible. That is the most inspiring thing of our time,” Li said.

Xinhua

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