Latest News:  
Beijing   Light to moderate rain/Light rain    13 / 8 ℃  City Forecast

English>>China Society

Migrant workers have help at hand (3)

(China Daily)

13:22, November 19, 2012

Gao Qiang, a migrant worker at a construction site in Beijing, realizes that a smartphone is an indispensable part of his daily life. Zhu Xingxin / China Daily

By the end of June, mobile Internet traffic in China had increased tenfold from the end of 2010, according to Wu Heshuan a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering at a news conference for the release of a report on telecommunications in China.

Kuang said the migrant workers' lower educational background is no longer a communication barrier between them and the rest of society.

Although Zhao, whose formal education ended after middle school, has applied for jobs via his smartphone, he usually chats with strangers on a variety of Websites: "I never take it seriously, but it eases my loneliness," he said.

Still different

Around 230 million migrant workers across China benefit greatly from the improvements in life available through smarter handhelds, but experts said real change may be a long time coming.

A survey jointly conducted by Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Peking University in Beijing, shows that migrant workers didn't use high-end smartphones a few years ago. "You can't expect a small handset to change the world completely," said Shen Chonglin, a researcher at the Institute of Sociology at CASS, "and because making real, quantifiable change is not easy, the workers often engage in a mild form of escapism via the Internet".

"I feel I've caught up with the pace of development," said Ren Yanqiu, a 25-year-old migrant worker from Hunan province. "Since everyone has a smartphone now, I'd be embarrassed to take an ordinary one out of my pocket. Moreover, we migrant workers can afford smartphones now. Basically, all the young people around me have a high-quality smartphone." Ren bought a Samsung model for 2,000 yuan in Guangzhou in August.

However, mainstream society's view of migrant workers is unlikely to change anytime soon, according to Shen.

Tang Jianhua said discrimination against migrant workers is as strong as ever. "People still despise us, whether we are sitting in a restaurant or packed into a subway car like everyone else, I can feel it," she said.

A two-way understanding between society in general and the migrants is unlikely to be fully realized anytime soon, according to Kuang.

"I only posted a thread or two when I was in a bad mood, or I changed my 'profile'," said Ren Yanqiu, the middle-school dropout, who was born in 1987. He said that he makes sure his smartphone is close to hand whenever he's available to chat, but he rarely bothers about the social issues that generate heated discussion on micro blogs. In fact, very few of the migrant workers interviewed by China Daily displayed any interest in hot social topics because they don't feel fully integrated as members of society.

"They may be better referred to as 'floating workers', because their personal circumstances are quite unsettled," said Shen, the CASS researcher.

The younger generation, the most prominent consumers of developing mobile technology, are the group most likely to reap major benefits from societal changes over time.

"Even though they care little about significant political issues or events right now, they are deeply concerned about things that relate to themselves or members of their peer group," said Kuang. "Maybe their social interaction will become more prevalent as time passes and they begin to feel more integrated with mainstream society."

【1】 【2】 【3】

We Recommend:

Cosmetic surgeries to imitate Michael Jackson

Luxurious antique style vessel with 5D cinema

14.8 C, this November colder than ever!

Flash mobs dance 'Gangnam Style'

Wedding ceremony or photography contest?

Hunan college girl designs cheongsam

Are you Chinsumer or antizen?

Sexy models and fancy cars rock auto show

Spectacular landscapes around world


Related Reading

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. China's stealth fighter concept model

  2. PLA Macao Garrison finishes 13th rotation

  3. Unforgettable moments in Nov. (III)

  4. Flight test of unmanned aircrafts conducted

  5. First inter-blood-type liver transplant in China

  6. Harbin Autumn Automobile Exhibition

  7. Embroider best wishes on insoles in Shanxi

  8. China's rich people will reach to 280 million

Most Popular


  1. Commentary: Hot money needs cooling
  2. Smart solutions for better city, better life
  3. China remains an 'engine' in global economy
  4. M&A of listed companies gaining steam
  5. Is 'culture' inferior to 'commercialization'?
  6. Chinese liquor makers "sober up" over bans
  7. Strength of Chinese culture lies in understanding
  8. Securing China's e-commerce growth
  9. Hammered ore prices threaten Chinese iron miners
  10. CNN Beijing chief: China's challenges, opportunities

What’s happening in China

Landmark building should respect the public's feeling

  1. Herders, sheep flock move to winter pasture
  2. First inter-blood-type liver transplant in China
  3. HIV patient to sue hospital over cancer op refusal
  4. Test in intelligent vehicle for food detection
  5. Smart card, dumb refund rules