CHINA Flexible employment platforms offer job seekers more choices for casual work in booming 'gig economy'

CHINA

Flexible employment platforms offer job seekers more choices for casual work in booming 'gig economy'

People's Daily online

18:44, April 02, 2022

Copywriters, livestreaming hosts, vloggers, delivery personnel, and ride-hailing drivers are among the many jobs that have emerged as new forms of casual employment in today’s society. Offering flexibility, these unconventional odd jobs can also generate considerable incomes. According to statistics by the National Bureau of Statistics, China’s flexible employment workforce has now reached 200 million people.

A livestreaming host introduces specialty agricultural products during a livestreaming session held at a livestreaming e-commerce business incubation park in Urumqi, northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Nov. 5, 2021. (China News Service/Liu Xin)

Among these individuals, some have chosen to earn a living by taking up a flexible job, while still others have developed an entire career out of it.

Zhang, a man born after 1995, is a property-management staff member at a state-owned company. During his off-duty hours between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Zhang works as a shop assistant at a store specializing in tea drinks. The man said that he has become a more cheerful and sociable person after joining the tea drinks store as a flexible employee.

Zhang secured the part-time job on qtshe.com, a flexible employment services platform based in Hangzhou city, east China’s Zhejiang Province. Having more than 43 million registered users, the platform has helped job seekers to secure flexible jobs, including providing over 500 million such opportunities to date. University students, stay-at-home mothers, freelancers, office workers and blue-collar workers are major users of the platform.

A survey conducted by qtshe.com found that stay-at-home mothers are major users of the platform, with many of these users suggesting that the primary reason why they chose to take on these kinds of flexible jobs is so that they could earn extra money to support raising their children, while in this way still remaining active in society.

Mo Fan, chief operating officer of qtshe.com, expressed that young people’s attitudes towards employment have changed in recent years. “Unlike our parents who would like to have just one job in a lifetime, young people are opting to frequently change their jobs. Quite a large number of university students have become freelancers upon graduation,” Mo pointed out.

Established in 2013, the original aspiration of qtshe.com was to help university students find internship opportunities, but nowadays it serves people from all walks of life.

To cushion the risks brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, an increasing number of medium- and small-sized companies have started to prefer hiring flexible workers instead of full-time employees.

“In addition to helping job seekers achieve flexible employment, we also help companies hire as many flexible workers as they need, thus enabling them to improve their operational efficiency and enhance their capabilities in the face of risks. So far, we’ve provided human resources services to more than 700,000 companies,” Mo said.

Photo shows members of qtshe.com carrying out a survey on people who previously secured part-time jobs through the platform, on Dec. 2, 2021. (Photo provided to China News Service by qtshe.com)

Mo explained that about half of the users on the qtshe.com platform are people born after 1995, adding that the platform also offers skills training for young people to expand their capabilities. Every day, about 20,000 people will sign up for the training courses offered by qtshe.com, which includes skills such as Photoshop techniques, programming, flower arrangement, script writing for murder mystery games, and carbon emissions management, among other course offerings.

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