China / Innovation

Self-employment holds promise of success

By Xu Jingxi ( Updated: 2015-03-30 17:53
'Unregistered' work growing as college graduates face stiff competition at companies 

Self-employment holds promise of success

Chen Zixin, a young entrepreneur, receives an interview. [Photo provided to China Daily]


While many of her friends post pictures on their WeChat accounts of what they eat and where they travel, Chen Zixin fills hers with photos of the homemade healthcare foods she sells, and with feedback from her customers.

Over the past two years, the 26-year-old has built up a business with a monthly sales volume of 30,000 yuan ($4,827) through the popular messaging app in China.

After college, she worked as a pattern designer of ceramic tiles and sold homemade health foods like stewed pears with rock sugar on WeChat in her spare time. The food sold so well that she decided to quit her job.

"I work 16 hours a day at the busiest times. There are only two people in my workshop, including me, to do everything from buying materials to making the food, packaging it and sending the products out for delivery," Chen said. "But I prefer it to office work, because I can decide when to start a day's work. The working time is flexible and up to me."

Chen is among the increasing number of college graduates who have chosen to freelance or start their own small businesses rather than compete with millions of others for a job with monthly pay around 3,000 yuan ($484) and regulations and restrictions from a boss.

Without contracts, such graduates are not registered at the government's labor office and thus are said to have obtained "unregistered employment".

Experts say that unregistered employment is an "effective alleviation" of the tough employment situation for college graduates.

This year is expected to be a tough year for employment, according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, with an estimated record 7.49 million college graduates flocking into the job market.

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