China has added nine new professions on its official list of occupations, including internet marketer and blockchain application operator, as the country moves to diversify its job market and attract more people to the internet industry amid economic pressure brought by the coronavirus epidemic.
A man browses through wanted ads at an employment market in Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province on April 8. (Photo: IC)
China's Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security along with the State Administration of Market Regulation and National Bureau of Statistics announced the following nine professions: blockchain engineering technician, blockchain application operator, urban management grid worker, internet marketer, information security tester, online learning service technician, community health assistant, elderly capacity evaluator and additive manufacturing equipment operator.
Also, the job title "livestreaming salesperson" was added under the profession of internet marketer. Anti-epidemic worker, sterilizer and public health administrator, which were subcategories of public health service providers, were also confirmed as official jobs.
Most of the occupations announced have existed for a while and are not new, but the announcement clarified their employment requirements, which can help standardize industry norms and end the chaos resulting from low thresholds, Zhu Wei, a professor who closely follows internet communication and legal affairs at the China University of Political Science and Law, told the Global Times on Monday.
Former National Bureau of Statistics chief economist Yao Jingyuan told the Global Times that the announcement can standardize the emerging industries' norms and help promote their healthy and stable development.
Another senior industry observer who requested anonymity told the Global Times that the emerging occupations such as the livestreaming salesperson and e-sports player have been very popular in recent years. Including these professions into the data is in line with the development of society, which is practiced worldwide, the observer noted.
These comments came after speculations over whether some of the new occupations such as public account bloggers and online store owners could earn enough to support their living and whether adding these new occupations would make China's employment data look better than reality.
Zhu noted that expanding the range of self-employment and freelancing doesn't mean that there are no thresholds to employment, in response to accusations by some foreign media that anybody can open a blog and therefore be counted as being employed.
A Beijing-based resident surnamed Zhang, who graduated from the University of Sussex in the UK with a Master's degree, told the Global Times on Monday that she just opened her online shop on WeChat on Monday after six years of e-commerce sales on other platforms as a sideline.
"There is a lot of pain and gain to experience in developing an e-commerce business," Zhang said, noting that profits from the business are high but require hard work. She said that as the e-commerce industry develops, the employment requirements get higher.
About 25 million rural migrant workers may become unemployed due to novel coronavirus this year, accounting for nearly 10 percent of China's total rural migrant workers, a public affairs professor estimated, calling for appropriate policies to be implemented.
The country's registered urban unemployment rate stood at 3.66 percent by the end of the first quarter, revealed Lu Aihong, a spokesperson from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security on April 21.