This winter will be a bit too cold for the unemployed in China

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Recently a Qinghua University graduate named Baibian tweeted on the university forum that he suddenly lost his job with an annual salary of one million yuan (about $145 thousand) and he was no longer able to pay for his mortgage of 75 thousand yuan (about $10 thousand ) monthly.

Life is a drama. In the first chapter he was a winner with two million cash in hand to buy a 9 million property with a loan of 7 million. After paying for the mortgage, he still had lots of room to move about.

But in the second chapter, he lost his job and his life has become a tragedy. In his tweet, he does not put in a question mark or an exclamatory mark, but we still feel the panic in his words.

In the Dream of Red Mansions, the author Cao Xueqin said, “Though plenty was left after death, he forgot to hold his hand back; Only at the end of the road does one think of turning on to the right track”. At the time of year end inventory check, the tragedy of this Qinghua graduate is only a wave in the ocean. For many more, unemployment is like an owl spiraling over their heads, occasionally casting a huge shadow nearby.

Similarly, a celebrity called He Junlin on Douyu.com also lost his job in December. He wrote on his Weibo “I was fired in this winter!” He says he also has a mortgage, 20 thousand yuan monthly, and he is totally lost in life.

Looking at the fate of these once remarkable people, those ordinary employees feel shivering with cold.

He Junlin had an experience: your job might be boring, but that’s part of life. When the new year is coming, I feel really cold this winter. In front of me, there are signs of celebrations, but looking behind, this is the end of road.

This year, real estate and P2P had a chaotic time, so did the internet industry. In 2018, all industries had currents under water, and at year end, many people will lose their jobs.

JD.com has already stopped recruiting new staff. Huawei, Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent all have adjusted their recruitment plans. Internally, employees know there will not be any new comers but their CEOs only say “it’s a process of upgrading”.

Zhihu.com refused to talk about an internal cut of employment, but some of its employees were asked to leave only after a meeting of five minutes. Close to a hundred will lose their jobs, for sure. Some employee says, “In the morning, I was improving the bugs, but in the afternoon, I was asked to leave.” This is a sad story for all at this time of the year.

In August, Ma Delong, CEO of Togocareer.com, resigned. After Xu Dandan took up the job, the company started a reshuffle and over 200 people were laid off.

On December 6, livestream Touyu.com also started its layoff plan. Over 70 employees in its Shenzhen office were told to leave without an official announcement by email. The company says its Shenzhen team is only a small part of the business, and the layoff is a normal process of optimism.

On August 25, Meitu Xiuxiu announced a 5.9% drop in its Q2 income, with a net loss of 127 million yuan. Shortly after that, there was news about its employment cut.

Barbaric expansion and policy failure also caused many internet companies to collapse. OFO bike sharing is to become bankrupt, 3.6 billion yuan of its deposits are to be paid out to its users. The company has difficulties to pay its employees and suppliers. Many people are planning to leave.

On December 5, internet celebrity Luo Yonghao has resigned from legal representative of Smartisan. Together with him, 10 more directors have left the company. After five years of struggling, Smartisan has not been able to establish a successful business model and the business is in deep crisis. At the entrance of its headquarters, many suppliers are waiting for their payments as the company’s production line has stopped working.

Terry Gou of Foxconn said with the company’s transformation from traditional manufacturing to intelligent manufacturing, robots will replace much of the human labor. According to reports, Foxconn’s Taiwan factory has plans to cut 8,000 employees. And the whole group will lay off 340 thousand people in a short period of time, including some of its managers.

According to its employees, the company has cut expenses in meals and turned some full time workers into part-time. As the company is the biggest processor of Apple iPhones, the drop in Apple sales has a great impact on the company’s manufacture. According to Terry Gou, Foxconn will invest 2.1 billion yuan in robotic factories in the near future.

In addition, all of China’s four big banks have the news of laying off their employees. According to reports, a total of 32 thousand people have lost their jobs with these banks, mostly staff in local branches. With the widespread use of intelligent counter and mobile technology, fewer and fewer customers would come to the banks for services. And of course as a result of more debt accumulated, these banks have to cut the labor cost.

In 2018, the whole finance sector has also felt the coming of cold winter.

From securities to funds, from insurance to banks, employees at all levels have felt the pressure. Huge drop in salaries, stricter performance reviews, cancellation of departments, restricting employees to have part-time car-hailing service, or direct staff cut…all have happened in this year.

A hedge fund manager had his annual salary cut from 600 thousand yuan to 480 thousand, 20% less. A self-employed finance manager under contract with a World 500 company felt his pressure as he had been requested to make a 10% profit. But his result was 9% negative. His department is now facing a cancellation. A branch general manager of a state-owned bank in Guangzhou has told that his branch recently issued an official notice to warn its employees taking part-time job in car-hailing service. But employees have said they have to survive with a bit of earning from car-hailing service after work.

When the market is down, bankers and finance managers look at each other as enemies. In the past, they eat outside every day with business, but now they have to do their own cooking daily. And they have to make more appointments to accomplish their tasks. For the sales persons in securities and insurance sector, their base salary is low, but bonus is hard to earn. According to official data, in the third quarter of 2018, over 30 listed securities companies have dramatic decrease in profits, some dropping over 50%.

With the coming of cold winter, we also see the drops in recruitment advertisements. According to a report by analyst Song Xuetao of Tianfeng Securities, from April to September, 2.02 million pieces of recruitment advertisements disappeared from various platforms, mostly vacancies from medium sized cities and small or medium sized enterprises.

In his report, Song says, normally March to May is the hot season for new recruitment, and advertisements are at the peak in April. This April, we recorded 2.85 million pieces of ads; in May, it dropped to 2.08 million; from June to August, a bit over one million; in September only 830 thousand. We can see that 2.02 million vacancies have disappeared.

What will the situation be like in 2019? People are awaiting their answers in anxiety.

By Chen Sijin and Staff writer

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