Tech, internet firms seen boosting employment


A visitor checks out Tencent artificial intelligence products at China Science and Technology Museum in Beijing in January. The tech company’s digital ecosystem is expected to help create 31.8 million new jobs and 147 new job categories over the next five years. [HUANG YONG/FOR CHINA DAILY]

China’s tech and internet companies are expected to play a greater role in creating new jobs and driving employment this year amid the country’s latest efforts to drive the development of platform companies, industry experts said.

Zhang Yansheng, chief researcher at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said: “Restoring the expectations and confidence of platform companies this year will drive them to promote high-quality employment. They can also maximize their role of driving the integration of digital technologies and the real economy to offer fresh impetus to new occupations and high-quality employment.”

Yang Weiguo, a professor of labor and human resources at Renmin University of China, said: “To some extent, the platform economy will greatly drive the employment market and reduce discrimination against individuals in the labor market. For example, if a person has a slight disability, traditional companies will give more consideration when recruiting. But when it comes to digital platforms, if the person has a certain skill and can complete a certain job task, it is totally fine.”

They made the remarks as the tone-setting Central Economic Work Conference in December emphasized that platform companies — which mainly refer to tech and internet companies that leverage platforms to offer services — will be supported to “fully display their capabilities” in bolstering economic growth, job creation and international competition.

A report led by the Chinese Academy of Personnel Science said that over the next five years, tech company Tencent’s digital ecosystem is expected to help create 31.8 million new jobs and 147 new job categories.

Another report by Renmin University of China estimated that Ant Group helped create 1.48 million jobs from July 2021 to June 2022 and has helped stabilize 5.25 million positions.

Shan Zhiguang, director of the information and industrial development department at the State Information Center, said: “Moving forward, a group of tech and internet enterprises will lead digital transformation in various industrial sectors including consumption, entertainment, and medical care. They will drive the formation of several innovation ecosystems related to artificial intelligence, cloud computing, blockchain, big data and processors. It will be a new normal for major economies to compete in the above-mentioned ecosystems.”

A white paper released by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, a government think tank, showed that the market scale of China’s digital economy reached $7.1 trillion last year, which was the second-largest globally.

Wang Xiaoming, head of industrial and technological innovation at the Institute of Science and Development at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, added that as an important part of the new economy, the platform economy has undergone a period of healthy governance, coupled with gradual improvement of related laws and regulations, and it now has the conditions to radiate vitality and speed up further development.

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