In a rare, direct response by a top government agency to fears of a jobs crisis, the Cyberspace Administration of China said Friday that the country’s 12 tech giants hired more workers than they lost in the past nine months. It cited recent “heated public discussion” about reports of “large scale layoffs” at the large internet companies.
“The total employment at the companies has increased steadily,” the CAC said in a statement. They had recorded strong growth in some new businesses, with their revenues “repeatedly hitting new highs,” it added.
“They are full of confidence in future development, ” the CAC said.
The once-freewheeling industry was long the main source of well-paid employment in China, but companies such as Alibaba and Tencent are now reportedly preparing to shed tens of thousands of employees to reduce operating costs. Both have repeatedly declined to comment.
Nevertheless, while the CAC is sounding upbeat about tech jobs, other top government officials are painting a much bleaker picture about the health of the labor market.
He urged the executives to stabilize and expand employment, while government officials must solve the problems faced by businesses in a timely manner.
Just days earlier, Premier Li Keqiang stressed the importance of keeping employment stable and helping small businesses survive the difficult times.
The economy is facing “new downward pressures” amid renewed Covid outbreaks and rising global food and commodity prices, Li said last Wednesday at a key government meeting.
“Some businesses have been severely impacted, and some have even stopped production or closed business,” he said. “We must increase rescue efforts and provide employment guarantees in response to their difficulties.”