Survey shows: Chinese graduates now prefer to work for the State

Chinese people like to work for state-owned enterprises (SOEs). They currently favour working for ‘the system’ over previously popular private sector employers.

China Economic Review reports about a recent survey conducted by, a major online recruitment agency. According to the survey, 53% of graduates said they hoped to land a job at a SOE. “This is only the latest evidence that state employers are firmly back in favour”, China Economic Review reports.

The new young graduates’ preference for the state sector is worrying for the Chinese economy. Private companies that are the biggest employers and drivers of innovation; when are at risk of losing out on top talent, this could hurt China’s competiveness.

Before 2008, graduates had an affection towards private and foreign enterprises, because they stood for humanized management, high salaries. “Working at a foreign firm was seen as an honor, whereas work at an SOE was often deemed repetitive, menial and unchallenging with low pay; ambitious and capable graduates mostly ignored such roles.” The 2008 financial crisis changed that. Chinese graduates seem to think that the crisis revealed the vulnerability of private and foreign firms’ vulnerability. Getting paid well is great, but many prefer a more stable outlook.

Further reading on

< Previous Next >

Related articles