In early December 2020, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that China has completed the task of poverty alleviation after 8 years of effort.

However, in a recent video, Li Kongyue, a professor at Sun Yat-Sen University’s School of Management in Guangzhou, China, pointed out that up to 940 million people in China have a monthly income of less than 298 dollars. 

He also mentioned that 20% of China’s poorest population, or 280 million people, have a per capita disposable income of 1,164 dollars per year, or nearly 90 dollars per month.

He added that more than 800 million people are in debt, and 200 million are unemployed.

The new worldwide poverty line will be raised to 2.15 US dollars in the fall of 2022. It means that those living on less than this amount per day will be regarded to be in extreme poverty. 

With unemployment crisis, young Chinese ‘can’t see the light’

According to Bloomberg, Xie Huiyu, a 25-year-old, is enrolled in a master’s program in mathematics in the UK. She traveled to Shanghai in November 2021 to work as an intern at an internet startup.

She had been offered a full-time contract to manage the product after she graduated this summer, but the company abruptly ended her internship in March, when millions of people in Shanghai were compelled to lock their houses.

Due to the significant challenges facing businesses as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, the company canceled her internship and roughly 40 new graduates from Shanghai. 

Xie Huiyu, a native of Zhejiang province, has been restricted to her rental home since then. 

Xie Huiyu said of her job-hunting experience: “It was a painful process, and sometimes I wondered, what’s the use of having so much education.”

According to Bloomberg, another case is Ms Zheng Jin. She was sacked from her position at one of the biggest real estate companies in China in February. She was in a panic after looking for more than 400 jobs in three months without success. She attended around a dozen interviews but received no employment offers.

The 26-year-old stated she does not see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

She said, “It feels like there is no hope in life and I don’t know how much longer I can hold out.”

As the Covid-19 pandemic and government crackdown destroy their career goals, Zheng Jin now has to compete with tens of millions of young adults who are struggling to find jobs.

According to the Wall Street Journal, thousands of employees at Tencent and ByteDance will be affected by a new round of layoffs as the companies continue to push for cost-cutting measures.

This year, JD.com, the second-largest e-commerce company in China, cut between 10-15% of the staff at its Jingxi community purchasing division. 

Millions of employees in internet, educational technology, and real estate companies are struggling to find work. And by 2022, a record 10.76 million college graduates will enter the workforce.

Recent job advertisement of an electronics factory in Dongguan, Guangdong Province, goes viral on the Internet.

Accordingly, Humen Daning Electronics Factory seeks to recruit student workers. It requires people from 16 years old and above, and offers a wage of 0,75 dollar per hour. In other words, the daily wage is about 7,5 dollars, and the monthly salary is only about 223 dollars. 

Some netizens commented that the wage of 0,75 dollars is more than 10 years ago.

For many young job seekers, the pressure of competing with millions of others for jobs is too much for them.

David Yang, a 23-year-old student from Shanghai, said that he is under a lot of pressure. 

He graduated from college last year with a degree in finance and has been cooped up at home for weeks. He was unable to attend job interviews in tech hubs like Shenzhen due to the Covid pandemic control measures. 

He said: “I still believe I have a bright future, but all of a sudden, you’re forbidden to leave your apartment and the jobs are gone.”

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