Alipay is looking to attract workers looking for employment to its platform and is offering contactless job fairs that it says so far 60,000 companies have registered for.

Why it matters: Alipay is competing with Meituan and WeChat to gain share in China’s lifestyle services market.

  • The Covid-19 outbreak prompted cancellations of all public events including job fairs while companies have shuttered temporarily.
  • Those laid off from their jobs due to the outbreak as well as a fresh crop of graduates will be looking for work in the coming months.

Details: The job fair is organized in conjunction with China’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, according to a Chinese media report.

  • Participating companies include consumer electronics company Haier, insurance provider Ping An, appliance manufacturer Gree, and Alibaba itself.
  • More than 100,000 jobs were advertised, and Alipay has said the fair will last until the end of June.
  • Alipay reported that 1.64 million people have gained employment through its platform since the outbreak started, taking up jobs as mini program developers, food delivery drivers, and online service desk personnel.
  • Zhang Yanan, general manager of the Alipay Education business division said that there were special sections within the online job fair designated for Hubei university graduates, and small and medium enterprises.

Context: The National Bureau of Statistics said that China’s urban unemployment rate increased in February to 6.2%, its highest rate ever, from its January rate of 5.3%, meaning around 5 million workers lost their jobs.

  • Zhilian Zhaopin, a recruitment website, reported that demand for new hires from large enterprises has started to fall, and that small and micro enterprises have found it most difficult to recover.
  • On March 16, the Ministry of Commerce reported that 60% of service industry companies were back to work (in Chinese).
  • New prospective additions to the job market are incoming—figures from the Ministry of Education project that this year’s crop of fresh graduates number at 8.74 million, an increase of 400,000 from last year.

Lavender covers regulation and its effects on people. She previously worked in a policy advisory analyzing China’s internal governance for foreign governments and multinationals. A History graduate from...