University 'sells' top students on Taobao

Some 7.5 million Chinese graduates will enter the stagnant job market this year.
Some 7.5 million Chinese graduates will enter the stagnant job market this year.PHOTO: CHINA FOTO PRESS

KUNMING • A Chinese university has launched a website featuring profiles of its students and invited potential employers to bid for them, as some 7.5 million Chinese graduates prepare to hit the stagnant job market this year.

The "Talent Shop", hosted by eBay equivalent Taobao, was announced by Kunming University on Thursday at its graduation ceremony for 4,650 students whose prospects are dimmed by the country's plateauing economy, Xinhua news agency reported.

China, whose economy grew at its slowest pace in six years at the start of this year, slashed its growth target for the year to 7 per cent, its slowest expansion in more than two decades.

The "Talent Shop" currently features 65 of the university's top students. The profiles include the student's height, ideal starting salaries and the university's assessment of the candidates.

Firms pay a deposit of 1,000 yuan (S$217) for the right to offer each student a contract, with the money to be returned after a week. The university follows up by setting up interviews between the companies and the students.

The''Talent Shop'' website currently features65of the university's top students.The profiles include the student's height, ideal starting salariesandthe university's assessment of the
candidates.

The "Talent Shop", the first such service on Taobao, is an attempt to promote new graduates to potential employers and "help them deal with the harsh employment conditions this year", said their principal, Mr He Hua, at the graduation ceremony.

Taobao's service department head Man Tang said the launch marked a new line of business for Taobao as it diversifies from selling products to services.

From September, the site will also allow students to pitch business ideas for crowdfunding or auction, said Mr He.

The "Talent Shop" website currently features 65 of the university's top students. The profiles include the student's height, ideal starting salaries and the university's assessment of the candidates.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 04, 2015, with the headline 'University 'sells' top students on Taobao'. Print Edition | Subscribe