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Want a Job in China? Be a Dog
Updated: 2006-01-27 14:22

In a new twist on the phrase "working like a dog," a company in northern China says it will only hire candidates born in the Asian zodiac's year of the canine.

The lunar-calendar astrology used in China and several other Asian countries counts the coming year, which starts Jan. 29, 2006, as a dog year. The Asian zodiac assigns a different animal to each year in a 12-year cycle, each of which is credited with different personality traits.

A personnel manager for Jilin Jiangshan Human Resources Development Co. Ltd., who gave his name only as Mr. Dong, said his company believes people born in dog years are simply more suited to its corporate culture.

"We believe that people born in dog years are born with some good characteristics such as loyalty and honesty," Dong, himself a dog, told The Associated Press.

"As a human resource company, those characters are exactly what we need," Dong said.

The company's policy, stated in an advertisement placed on an Internet job site, has prompted accusations of bias from some Shanghai college graduates, who face intense competition in China's increasingly crowded job market.

Although Chinese law forbids discrimination in hiring, it doesn't say what constitutes an offense and job ads often come with a list of conditions including gender, age, height and even place of birth.

Dong said those critics are barking up the wrong tree.

"I think we have the right to choose our employees by our own rule and I don't see this rule could hurt anybody," he said.

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