August 31, 2018
A few days ago, I came across an article on CNN, which reported that only 18 percent of Chinese college students have expressed their willingness to work for an international company, citing a new survey conducted by research firm Universum. The percentage constitutes a major drop of 28 percent compared with the statistics two years ago.
The glamor of international firms is overshadowed by the increasing appeal of China's local giants and private enterprises.
With the rise of local companies such as technology giant Huawei and the e-commerce company Alibaba Group, graduates are provided with more opportunities and a wider range of options than ever. Job seekers nowadays tend to hold a rational attitude in the face of numerous choices and do not cast an admiring eye toward international firms, which do not have clear advantages any longer.
In particular, the rise of Internet companies, represented by Tencent and Baidu, has offered more possibilities for graduates in different majors. With regard to employment criteria, Internet companies are not inclined to exert strict restraints on the major of prospective employees. For example, the position of a product operation specialist has enjoyed dramatic popularity among job-seekers of all fields of study in recent years.
China possesses huge potential for employment as a developing nation and supportive measures taken by the government have also offered tangible benefits for graduates. For instance, preferential policies granted by the Chinese government have sparked a start-up boom. With the government's simplification of the business registration process since 2013, it takes only a few days now from applying to receiving an operating license, in sharp contrast to the waiting period which amounted to several months earlier.
Moreover, reducing the minimum registered capita required to start a business has also helped those who start their businesses empty-handed. The lowering of the registration threshold has made a big difference to those creating start-ups. Instead of signing a contract with stingy employers, graduates with innovative ideas are launching their own companies.
Although experience in international firms turns out to be a valuable draw for some, it has ceased to be a first choice for many graduates taking the long view of future prospects and the potential for promotion.
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