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More new grads opt for State firms

By Wang Zhuoqiong  (China Daily)

08:11, August 23, 2012

A jobseeker checks out job information attentively at a job fair for college graduates in Bozhou, Anhui province, Aug 18, 2012. A study found that working for a State-owned enterprise of local privately owned companies is becoming increasingly attractive, a major shift in the country's graduate jobs market. (Photo/China Daily)

With four offers in hand, including from a major accounting firm and an investment organization, 22-year-old Li Xun didn't hesitate choosing to work for one of China's big four State-owned banks in Beijing.

"My parents and friends all convinced me that an opportunity like this is the best I can get," said Li, a native of Jiangsu province.

He chose a State-owned enterprise over a foreign company because it brings with it the chance of gaining a Beijing hukou (permanent residency permit), as well as comfortable working hours and a great opportunity to experience a truly Chinese working environment, he said.

"I don't think salary is the main concern for graduates like me," he said.

"What matters most is the chance to learn how to work in a typical Chinese company, something you don't get if you work with a foreign company."

Li's thinking is typical of many young jobseekers today, who say that multinationals with operations in China are no longer the most desired targets they used to be in the search for work.

Working for a State-owned enterprise or local privately owned companies is becoming increasingly attractive - a major change in the country's graduate jobs market, said Li Hongbin, a professor at School of Economics and Management at Tsinghua University.

His own research - conducted between 2010 and 2011 - shows that about half of those surveyed chose SOEs as their ideal workplace.

Despite foreign-funded organizations offering better pay - with an average monthly salary of 2,741 yuan ($333), followed by 2,238 yuan for SOEs, and 2,112 yuan for government institutions - the survey said the rapid rise in the appeal of SOEs and government institutions among graduates was down to better welfare packages and job security.

Last week, hundreds of employees facing redundancy by electronics firm Motorola Mobility protested in Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province, and in Beijing.

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