Over 4,000 vie for 23 jobs in China's new economic zone

A closed real estate office in Hebei's Xiongan New Area, where officials had to ban property sales to curb a housing boom.
A closed real estate office in Hebei's Xiongan New Area, where officials had to ban property sales to curb a housing boom.PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI • More than 4,000 people have applied for 23 jobs at the first open recruitment event held by China's new Xiongan economic zone, the state-run newspaper China Daily reported yesterday, in another sign of the frenzy over the zone since its launch.

President Xi Jinping in April announced the launch of the Xiongan New Area, aiming to match the success of zones in Shenzhen and Pudong, Shanghai, that helped make China an economic powerhouse, Reuters reported.

However, the strong government backing for the economic zone has also caused headaches for regulators as the area in northern Hebei, next to Beijing, has become a magnet for investor speculation in real estate and stocks, so much so that the authorities had to ban property sales to curb a sudden housing boom.

China Daily said the area received 4,123 applications for 23 jobs that it advertised last month at its newly founded state-owned construction company, China Xiongan Construction & Investment Group.

Apart from local candidates, it also received applications from Canada, Japan and Iran, it added.

The positions on offer are in fields such as finance, infrastructure construction and public relations, according to a report by China Economic Weekly on Tuesday. Most jobs require five years of work experience and at least a bachelor's degree.

The authorities said the salaries in Xiongan could be higher than that in Beijing. "Salaries in Xiongan will be higher than in big cities such as Beijing, otherwise nobody would like to come," China Daily quoted executive deputy director Liu Baoling of the administrative committee of Xiongan, as saying.

Mr He Lifeng, head of the National Development and Reform Commission, also noted that basic public services in Xiongan should be superior to those in Beijing and Tianjin so as to attract top talent.

The ratio of job applications to actual positions available was around 179:1 - much smaller than the proportion for China's national civil service examination, one of the fiercest competitions for jobs in the nation. China Daily reported that 36 candidates competed for each job in the examination last year, citing the State Administration of Civil Service.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 28, 2017, with the headline 'Over 4,000 vie for 23 jobs in China's new economic zone'. Print Edition | Subscribe