Alibaba Group Holding’s domestic e-commerce branches, Taobao and Tmall, are actively recruiting for over 2,000 entry-level positions, signaling a shift in the strategies of major tech companies in China as they prepare for growth following years of downsizing.
This unit, one of Alibaba’s six primary business groups, is seeking recent graduates to fill various roles, spanning engineering, algorithms, and data analysis. These positions are available in multiple locations, including the company’s hometown Hangzhou, as well as Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, and Guangzhou, as mentioned in the company’s official statement.
Alibaba’s recruitment drive is part of its broader plan to hire 15,000 employees throughout the company this year, including 3,000 recent graduates.
The tech giant’s resurgence in active recruitment follows noticeable reductions in its workforce. As of the end of June, Alibaba had 228,675 employees, reflecting a decrease of 6,541 compared to the end of March, as indicated in its latest earnings report.
Similarly, social media and video gaming titan Tencent Holdings, which recently announced a substantial number of job openings both domestically and internationally, spanning fields like artificial intelligence, cloud computing, robotics, and the industrial internet, had also been trimming its workforce. According to its financial statements, the Shenzhen-based company had 104,500 employees at the close of June, representing a decline of 6,200 compared to the previous year.
China’s youth unemployment reached a new high in June, intensifying the pressure on authorities to increase employment opportunities for young individuals. The National Bureau of Statistics, initially anticipated to release July figures on Tuesday, suspended the publication of youth unemployment data, sparking concerns among the public that the situation might be deteriorating.
Chinese tech giants, which had faced heightened regulatory scrutiny in recent years as Beijing sought to curtail the “irrational expansion of capital” and promote “common prosperity,” are now playing a pivotal role in absorbing a portion of the estimated 11.5 million university graduates who completed their studies this summer.
The government’s stringent actions against the internet sector had led to significant reductions in company valuations, erasing trillions of dollars, and the elimination of thousands of jobs. However, as economic challenges intensified, Beijing’s stance underwent a significant shift in late 2022, with a newfound emphasis on the positive contributions that internet platforms could make to the nation.
In July, the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s foremost economic planning agency, commended internet companies for their role in “advancing high-level scientific and technological self-reliance endeavors” and for “contributing to the advancement of high-quality development.”
Following this high-profile endorsement, there was a cordial meeting between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and representatives from major tech companies. Attendees included Alibaba Cloud founder Wang Jian and Xiaohongshu founder Qu Fang.
With Beijing’s relaxation of control over Big Tech, several other technology firms have also expanded their recruitment efforts.
Towards the end of last month, Meituan, a prominent on-demand local services provider that operates the nation’s leading food delivery platform, announced the availability of 6,000 new positions for recent graduates. This marked an increase from the 5,000 similar job openings offered the previous year.
Kuaishou Technology, the operator of China’s second-largest short-video app, also introduced more than 200 new job opportunities during that same month.