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China New Growth: Digitalization professions thrive as Chinese industries go smart

Updated: May 6, 2024 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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BEIJING, May 5 (Xinhua) -- As the head of a third-party operation company for e-commerce giant Meituan's food delivery service in central China's Hubei Province, 31-year-old Jiang Zeyu has been quite busy conducting interviews to hire new employees recently.

An increasing number of catering enterprises in China are embracing online services, leading to surging demand for digitalization professionals and lots of work for people like Jiang.

By visiting merchants, assessing their business situations, designing food delivery products, and optimizing online operations, Jiang and his team provide a series of food delivery management services, helping merchants expand their brand influence while increasing revenue.

"Seeing the average monthly income of the merchants we serve increase by over 60 percent gives me a strong sense of accomplishment. There is great market potential for digital empowerment in the catering industry and beyond," Jiang said.

Jiang is one of the growing community of professionals driving the transformation of various industries in China towards a smart future. The flourishing digital economy in various fields has given rise to a variety of digital professions and a strong demand for digital talents, setting up a broad stage for career development.

The added value of the core industries of China's digital economy in 2023 is expected to exceed 12 trillion yuan (about 1.69 trillion U.S. dollars), accounting for about 10 percent of GDP.

The key to developing the digital economy is to speed up the cultivation of digital talents and train a large number of high-level digital engineers and highly-skilled personnel, said Li Jinsheng, an official with the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

It is estimated that a gap requiring about 25 million to 30 million digitalization professionals needs to be filled to meet the demand of China's digital economy.

China has in recent years stepped up efforts to nurture professionals serving the digital economy, including developing national occupational standards for digitalization professions and designing tailor-made training courses.

In the country's latest revised version of its list of recognized occupations released in 2022, 97 professions related to the digital sectors, such as internet marketing specialist and digital twin application technician, were added for the first time.

In April 2024, the government unveiled a three-year plan to foster talent to drive the growth of its digital economy. The initiative aims to enhance support for digital talent through various programs and policy reinforcements.

This new policy outlines six key projects, including digital technology engineer training, digital skills enhancement and international exchanges for digital talent. It also encourages educational institutions and enterprises to play their part in boosting the supply of talent.

In 2020, Meituan joined hands with the country's human resources ministry to roll out a food delivery operations skills training project, which has so far trained tens of thousands of food delivery operators in the catering industry, benefiting over 100,000 small and medium-sized businesses.

In southwest China's Guizhou Province, a digital economy pioneer province in the country, colleges have set up related majors, while 20 training bases for big data professionals have been identified there.

The number of professionals related to big data has risen to 430,000 in 2023, said Zhang Tao, who is in charge of HR and talent development for the province's big data industry.

"We also saw improvement in the talent structure. However, we still need more high-skilled professionals and R&D talents," Zhang added. 

Editor: Yang Linlin