Chinese university sells graduates online

People's Daily Online

A mainland university has launched an e-commerce platform to sell new graduates to prospective employers, reflecting the worrisome downturn in the country's job market.

The 'Kunming University Talent Shop' was launched on Alibaba's retail platform Taobao on Thursday by He Hua, president of Kunming University, according to the People's Daily Online.

The site profiles 65 of the university's top graduates with a photograph and a brief summary of their career ambitions and preferred salaries.

The students are divided into four categories, the news report said: 'One Belt One Road style,' 'Made in China 2025 style,' 'internet style' and 'elite style,' a reference to Beijing's flagship economic growth policies to promote Chinese infrastructure investment and manufacturing power.

Prospective employers can then bid for the right to offer each student a job contract. Bidding fees start from 1,000 yuan ($160), payable to the site and the money is returned a week later regardless of a job offer, the People's Daily added.

Mr. He unveiled his venture at Kunming's graduation ceremony on Thursday with a life-size board of the student profiles.

The talent shop, reportedly the first of its kind on Taobao, is designed to help students "deal with the harsh employment conditions this year," the university president said.

"I want to use Taobao to build a bridge between companies and students," he continued, adding that the site was just one of many new ideas he has for the university.

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Government officials have publicly voiced their concern about high university enrollment rates. Around 7.5 million graduates are expected to hit the job market this year, higher from 7 million in 2014.

Overall job creation in the world's second largest economy has been slowing in recent months, with 3.24 million new jobs created in the first quarter, down from 3.44 million during the same period last year, according to the Labor Ministry.

Beijing is aiming to add 10 million new jobs this year and keep the urban jobless rate below its current 4.5 percent rate.

"I'm confident that we can maintain stable employment as long as the economic performance is kept within a reasonable range. But we cannot be not blindly optimistic," Xin Changxing, vice minister of human resource and social security, said at an April news conference.