Livestreaming has emerged as a new source of jobs for the record
number of students graduating from Chinese higher education institutions
this year amid the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ministry of Education says 8.74 million people could graduate
this year, 400,000 more than last year, and their employment is a
pressing issue for both government and the students themselves.
But thanks to their livestreaming expertise, more than 40 students
who majored in the jewelry business at Tengchong No 1 Vocational School
in Yunnan province already had firm job offers by the time they
Wang Hongbo, who heads the jewelry business program, said students
had received numerous offers from different companies. The first group
of more than 40 graduates trained in livestreaming had nailed down jobs
He said the students had been trained in conjunction with e-commerce
giant Taobao in a unique arrangement that started in September 2018 and
saw Taobao send experts to help the school build a training center.
"Students with livestreaming skills are in short supply in the market
and they are offered much higher salaries, even during their
internships," Wang said. "For example, they can earn 3,000 yuan to 4,000
yuan ($428 to $571) a month as an intern when the average salary in
Tengchong is around 1,800 yuan a month."
Yang Kang, a 20-year-old student at the school, is working as an
intern with Jinri Meichuang in Beijing, selling daily necessities and
"I'm quite interested in livestreaming, and I opened my own account
on Kuaishou, a short-video sharing platform, when I was at junior high
school, aged 16," Yang said.
"I signed up for the jewelry major with livestreaming courses in 2018, dreaming of becoming an excellent anchor.
"I learned some theoretical knowledge about livestreaming at school
but found things were more complicated when I came to Beijing for the
internship in early June."
Schools and companies in Yiwu, Zhejiang province, Harbin,
Heilongjiang province and Chongqing have also worked together to develop
livestreaming talent since last year.
In the past few months, livestreaming has become a buzzword for
companies seeking to sell products online, with demand for livestreaming
anchors booming since the COVID-19 pandemic dealt a blow to the
A report by Zhaopin, an online recruitment platform headquartered in
Beijing, said the number of job vacancies for livestreamers rose by more
than 80 percent year-on-year in March, after companies resumed work,
while the general job market slumped by almost 35 percent.
"The emergence and expansion of livestreaming depends on
ever-developing high-tech and optimized big data," the report said. "It
will see continuous development in the future as 5G is popularized."
This month, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the
State Administration of Market Regulation and the National Bureau of
Statistics announced that internet marketers, which include
livestreaming sales personnel, had been added to the country's official
list of occupations as one of nine new professions. The move was
recommended by the China Employment Training Technical Instruction
Center in May.
Zhaopin said that while about 70 percent of livestreaming positions
require few skills, fresh graduates with specific knowledge about
livestreaming have an advantage when it comes to attracting employers.
Ye Xin, a junior at Hangzhou Technician Institute in Zhejiang
province, is helping his parents run a livestreaming booth in Huangshan,
a city in Anhui province famous for its tea.
"It's not that easy for me to find an internship due to the pandemic,
so I started to help my parents sell tea through livestreaming in early
March," he said.
"Things got better after my parents joined and encouraged workers to show how to make tea and choose quality tea."
Zhaopin said that although the sector has quite a promising future, there are also problems hampering its growth.
"Because the social security system and regulation of the sector both
need further improvement, people who are not well-prepared will
struggle to succeed," it said.
Chen Jue, from Taobao's livestreaming department, said
professionalism and knowledge are required to become a top quality
anchor. "The livestreaming courses are usually set up for students
majoring in e-commerce who are able to both learn theoretical knowledge
and find opportunities to practice," she said.
Chen said that livestreaming can offer more jobs to graduates as a
livestreaming show requires a team of about 10 people, apart from the
She said more than 200 agencies are now offering livestreaming services, up from just one a year ago.
"Some local governments, including those of Guangzhou, Guangdong
province, and Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, have released preferential
policies to nurture livestreaming talent," she said.