Quick access to main page (top) Direct access to main contents Quick access to main page (bottom)

35 and Out: Age Discrimination Rampant in China’s Tech Industry

Daniel Kim Views  

Yonhap News

As Chinese tech giants struggle with management due to government regulations and economic repression, job opportunities for mid-30s tech workers are rapidly declining, the Financial Times (FT) reported on the 23rd (local time). There’s a growing fear of being laid off in the mid-30s and difficulty in reemployment, leading to the lamentation of 35.

The FT cited five former and current employees reporting that Kuaishou, a Chinese short-form platform, is conducting a layoff program for employees over their mid-30s. A 34-year-old employee, pseudonym Laobai, told FT in an interview, “Seeing my 35-year-old colleague being laid off, I felt shocked and anxious about the possibility of my position being at risk.”

It’s no secret that tech companies prefer young, unmarried workers. There’s a prejudice that older workers can’t keep up with the latest technology and lack the energy to work hard, yet demand high wages. The so-called curse of 35 has been a long-discussed phenomenon. However, the FT analyzed the situation as more blatant and pronounced in China.

Reuters-Yonhap News

The executives of Chinese tech giants have openly expressed their preference for young employees. Tencent President Martin Lau announced a plan in 2019 to restructure 10% of the company’s managers, saying, “More passionate young talents, new colleagues will take their places.” Li Yanhong (Robin Li), the founder and CEO of Baidu, also announced in a public letter in 2019 that he would promote more employees born between 1980 and 1990 to make the company younger. It’s not just the thoughts of the top management. A former sales manager at Meituan, known as the Chinese version of Delivery Hero, told FT, “Most people in their 20s and 30s are full of energy and are willing to move forward for the company.” However, one can’t follow the 996 schedule. Once they become parents and start aging-infamous 996 refers to the work routine of notorious Chinese tech companies, working from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. six days a week.

The average age of tech company employees is mostly in their early 30s. According to 2020 statistics from Maimai, a Chinese professional networking site, the average age of employees at ByteDance, which owns TikTok, and e-commerce company Pinduoduo, is 27. The average age of Kuaishou employees is 28, and Didi Chuxing, a ride-hailing service, is 33. This is significantly younger than the average age of Chinese workers, which is 38.3.

In this atmosphere, the management difficulties of big tech companies are fueling the curse of 35. A manager at an internet company told FT, “Before the pandemic, the tech sector was growing rapidly, but then the government crackdown started. Now we are reducing our expensive management layer.” As of December 2021, Kuaishou had reduced its staff of 28,000 by 16% in June last year and is currently conducting a layoff program.

Workers over 35 are also anxious about the difficulty of finding reemployment. China limits the eligibility to take the civil service exam to those under 35, and the service sector, including restaurants and hotels, also prefers younger applicants. According to a survey conducted by Chinese recruitment platform Zhaopin last year, 87% of programmers are apprehensive about being laid off or unable to find a new job after 35. A 38-year-old programmer recently laid off from a large tech company told the FT, “The job market is much worse than last year, especially for older engineers like me.”

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

Comments0

300

Comments0

[LATEST] Latest Stories

  • New mRNA Cancer Vaccine: A Beacon of Hope for Brain Tumor Patients
  • New Research Unlocks Genetic Puzzles of Hypertension
  • The Secret to Maintaining Muscle Strength May Be in Your Biological Clock
  • New Research Suggests Dietary Shifts Can Help Combat Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Eli Lilly's Alzheimer's Treatment Under Review by FDA Advisory Committee
  • How Custom Vaccines Could Soothe Eczema Itch

Weekly Best Articles

  • 10 Surprising Laws That Could Get You Arrested Abroad
  • New mRNA Cancer Vaccine: A Beacon of Hope for Brain Tumor Patients
  • Why Do We Feel Moody at Night? 10 Important Role of Serotonin
  • 10 Hidden Role of Pillows in a Good Night’s Sleep
  • Double Trouble: Two APOE4 Genes Escalate Alzheimer’s Onset
  • Are Men with High Testosterone More Prone to Heart Disease?
  • Ugly Truth About Using Hand Cream as a Face Moisturizer
  • New Research Unlocks Genetic Puzzles of Hypertension
  • Scotland Offers $63,000 to Live on Stunning Islands – Here’s Why
  • Get Ripped in Record Time: The Truth About Muscle Building
  • The Secret to Maintaining Muscle Strength May Be in Your Biological Clock
  • Tourists Turned Off by Rising Costs of Hawaii’s Vacation Rentals

You May Also Like

  • 1
    Blast Off to China: Rise of Space Tourism in Hainan

    LIFESTYLE 

  • 2
    Beat the Heat: How to Prepare Abalone Samgyetang for a Healthy Summer

    LIFESTYLE 

  • 3
    10 Ear Diseases You Should Never Ignore

    LIFESTYLE 

  • 4
    How Anxiety Spreads Like Wildfire After Trauma

    LIFESTYLE 

  • 5
    New York 2027: City Transformed by Cannabis and Autonomous Cars

    LIFESTYLE 

Popular Now

  • 1
    Uber Conquers Africa: 1 Billion Rides and 10 Billion Kilometers

    LIFESTYLE 

  • 2
    Olive Oil Proven to Reduce Dementia-Related Deaths

    LIFESTYLE 

  • 3
    Queen Elizabeth II’s Travel Legacy: Iconic Stays at World’s Finest Hotels

    LIFESTYLE 

  • 4
    Oral Rinse Shows Promise in Early Gastric Cancer Diagnosis

    LIFESTYLE 

  • 5
    Could High-Fat Diets Fuel Alzheimer's? Recent Study Says YES!

    LIFESTYLE 

Weekly Best Articles

  • 10 Surprising Laws That Could Get You Arrested Abroad
  • New mRNA Cancer Vaccine: A Beacon of Hope for Brain Tumor Patients
  • Why Do We Feel Moody at Night? 10 Important Role of Serotonin
  • 10 Hidden Role of Pillows in a Good Night’s Sleep
  • Double Trouble: Two APOE4 Genes Escalate Alzheimer’s Onset
  • Are Men with High Testosterone More Prone to Heart Disease?
  • Ugly Truth About Using Hand Cream as a Face Moisturizer
  • New Research Unlocks Genetic Puzzles of Hypertension
  • Scotland Offers $63,000 to Live on Stunning Islands – Here’s Why
  • Get Ripped in Record Time: The Truth About Muscle Building
  • The Secret to Maintaining Muscle Strength May Be in Your Biological Clock
  • Tourists Turned Off by Rising Costs of Hawaii’s Vacation Rentals

Must-Reads

  • 1
    Blast Off to China: Rise of Space Tourism in Hainan

    LIFESTYLE 

  • 2
    Beat the Heat: How to Prepare Abalone Samgyetang for a Healthy Summer

    LIFESTYLE 

  • 3
    10 Ear Diseases You Should Never Ignore

    LIFESTYLE 

  • 4
    How Anxiety Spreads Like Wildfire After Trauma

    LIFESTYLE 

  • 5
    New York 2027: City Transformed by Cannabis and Autonomous Cars

    LIFESTYLE 

Popular Now

  • 1
    Uber Conquers Africa: 1 Billion Rides and 10 Billion Kilometers

    LIFESTYLE 

  • 2
    Olive Oil Proven to Reduce Dementia-Related Deaths

    LIFESTYLE 

  • 3
    Queen Elizabeth II’s Travel Legacy: Iconic Stays at World’s Finest Hotels

    LIFESTYLE 

  • 4
    Oral Rinse Shows Promise in Early Gastric Cancer Diagnosis

    LIFESTYLE 

  • 5
    Could High-Fat Diets Fuel Alzheimer's? Recent Study Says YES!

    LIFESTYLE 

Share it on...