It has been quite some time since China began to crackdown on its enormous tech and internet giants. Since then, job growth has seen a noticeable dip within these big tech companies and wages have remained relatively stagnant over the past year. Despite this, the ever important semiconductor industry seems to have avoided this crisis altogether.
According to data from 51job.com, the job opportunities for fresh graduates in China were estimated to be 15 percent lower compared to 2020 for the month of October. Companies in China usually begin it’s busiest graduate hiring period in the fall, with more sporadic hiring continuing into spring. Contrasting this is the job availability of the consumer automotive industry, which saw more than a 10 percent increase.
However, the true winner of the recruitment race in China has to be the semiconductor industry. The nation’s need for semiconductors became very apparent even before the pandemic disrupted global supply chains. The US-China trade war was in full swing, increasing the demand and the need for more locally produced semiconductors. When Covid-19 hit, the world was faced with a massive semiconductor shortage, driving demand up even further. The industry brought in 65 percent more new hires in the first quarter compared with the same period in 2020.
China has been on the road to self-sufficiency for quite some time now. This is the primary reason as to why the semiconductor industry has been able to avoid many of the worst effects that stems from the nation’s crackdown on the tech sector. Said campaign against tech giants began in late 2020, when China essentially stonewalled efforts by fintech juggernaut, Ant Group, to go public.
Since then, several tech giants have had to deal with a multitude of fines and investigations, including Tencent Holdings, Meituan and Didi Chuxing, which faced a cybersecurity probe after its initial public offering in New York. New data security laws have have also placed tougher restrictions on internet platforms, hindering their ability to monetize user data as well.
According to the SCMP, these sweeping crackdowns have pushed many young Chinese workers and graduates away from the dream of a quick and successful career at big tech companies, and towards more stable civil service jobs.