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Thursday, August 23, 2001, updated at 14:37(GMT+8)

Beijing Lifts Bar on Job Seekers

The Beijing city Government has abolished a regulation requiring job applicants to present proof that they live in the capital.

Previously, most Beijing companies would write in their job advertisements that only those with a Beijing hukou or residency permit need apply.

But for the past few years companies have not bothered mentioning the restriction.

Yang Yonghe, the director of the city's Personnel Market Management Office, said the requirement had been abolished because it was a legacy of the planned economy and did not fit with the current market economy and its demand for greater mobility in workers.

He said the new ruling drew applause from many companies because it meant they could choose from a greater variety of job candidates. He said it also gave job seekers from outside the city a greater sense of equality.

An earlier newspaper report said there were as many as 100,000 college graduates from other parts of China living in Beijing without resident status. Most worked in small, privately owned information-technology companies in Zhongguancun, in the northwest part of Beijing.

Mr Yang said the new ruling was meant to improve the capital's competitiveness domestically and internationally by expanding its range of applicants.

He said that to develop a knowledge-based economy, other mainland cities had also eased restrictions to attract better-trained people.

He denied Beijing was merely following the example of the other cities and pointed out that the capital had already allowed privately owned hi-tech companies and multinationals to hire non-local people as early as 1999. It had also begun to allow students from other parts of the country returning from studies abroad to live in the city.

But some people said the new ruling by itself would not be enough to help large, state-owned enterprises recruit outsiders.

And the personnel chief of one state-run mobile handset dealer said her company would not remove the disclaimer from advertisements because it would mean reprinting all its insurance and pension application forms.

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The Beijing city Government has abolished a regulation requiring job applicants to present proof that they live in the capital.

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