Archives for: September 2017

09/29/17

Permalink 03:13:55 pm, by dacare, 626 words, 334 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

'Bathing-crab' overseas students facing tough job market

Some Chinese studying abroad have found it difficult to find a well-paid job when returning to China after graduation in recent years. This is quite unlike they'd imagined.

In fact, some of these job hunters may have just wasted their school time in another country. They thought an overseas diploma alone would guarantee them a decent job, but the job market disagreed, contrary to expectations.

A Xinhua report defined these people as "bathing crabs".

The Yangcheng Lake in East China's Jiangsu province produces a variety of freshwater crabs, called Yangcheng Lake Hairy Crab, every autumn. These crabs are raised in the lake for at least six months, which is what makes them authentic and fetch a high price.

But some counterfeit ones spend a short time - perhaps only a few hours, like taking a bath - in the lake before being passed off as genuine. Those who had not taken their academic careers seriously abroad are seen as "fake" crabs.

Beyond these bathing-crab students who find it difficult to obtain employment, the job-seeking destinies of haigui, or "turtles" - overseas returnees who have studied or been trained abroad - varies, too. Some haigui earn tens of thousands of yuan annually, while others net more than one million yuan (about $150,000) a year.

About 45 percent of haigui earn less than 6,000 yuan ($900) monthly in 2017, according to a survey by the Center for China and Globalization, a Chinese think tank based in Beijing. Nearly 70 percent of them think their current salary is far less than what they had expected.

"Take the United States as an example. A student needs at least $40,000 a year to study there, or $120,000 for three years. One returnee has to be paid at least 10,000 yuan ($1,500) monthly for seven years before he or she gets academic cost back," said Qi Lixin, president of the Beijing Entry & Exit Service Association. He thought this was why the haigui community has high salary expectations.

Development opportunities and favorable policies have attracted a growing number of haigui. According to data from the Education Ministry, about 430,000 came back to China for employment in 2016, 160,000 more than in 2012 — an increase of 58 percent.

There has been a dividing line taking shape to distinguish two groups of returnees, with one group having special skills and the other, not. Quite a few Chinese companies came to this conclusion, based on their recruitment experience. The former are called "big turtles" and the latter "small turtles".

"'Small turtles', without techniques or experience, are sure to be overshadowed in salary by 'big turtles' from prestigious universities and with hands-on backgrounds," said Xu Chuanhai, who represents an overseas education service agency.

In the IT industry, a returnee who has mastered the world's leading technologies can earn up to around 800,000 yuan ($120,000) a year, and those with further managerial experience can even get one million yuan (about $150,000), said Yang Zhiguo, himself an overseas returnee.

Yang studied in Germany for eight years before coming back to China in 2009 and starting up a tech company. His company has been well-developed.

In addition to factors within students' control, like making an effort in study or work, there are also reasons for employment difficulties which are totally objective. One is the choice of major — quite a few haigui had learned something that didn't match what the Chinese market needed.

More than 46 percent of returnees majored in business administration, while humanities and social sciences majors numbered 20 percent, applied science majors 16 percent and natural science about seven percent, according to a report on the haigui community's employment and entrepreneurship in 2017.

If "bathing-crab" returnees want to avoid losing out in job competition, experts said, they should seize every possible opportunity to gain valuable experience when they study abroad, and have more than just a diploma when they return.

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09/28/17

Permalink 03:32:33 pm, by dacare, 434 words, 112 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Ant Financial to create JV with CK Hutchison

As Ant Financial pushes its global drive to tap into Hong Kong's cashless payment market, the tech giant is forming a joint venture with tycoon Li Ka-shing's CK Hutchison Holdings (CKH) to sign up more local users.

The two companies are poised to set up a 50-50 joint venture to offer a consumer-oriented digital wallet under the AlipayHK brand. The deal is expected to be completed later this year, subject to obtaining the nod from regulators.

Neither company has disclosed the amount of their contribution to the joint venture. But market experts speculate that the parties are not disclosing the figures due to the negligible amount compared with the companies' massive portfolios.

Ant Financial, the financial services arm of Chinese mainland e-commerce titan Alibaba Group Holding and operator of the world's largest online payment app Alipay?entered the Hong Kong market with AlipayHK mobile wallet in May this year.

The e-payment app attracted more than 100,000 active users in the two weeks since its launch, and is now accepted at more than 4,000 leading retail brand outlets in the city.

Ant Financial's expansion in Hong Kong is highly aligned with CKH's line of business, which has a strong presence in retail, infrastructure, energy and telecommunications in the city. The group boasts personal care store Watsons, supermarket ParknShop and electronic store Fortress, among many other flagship companies in Hong Kong.

Ant Financial said in a statement that apart from mobile payment, Alipay's many in-app lifestyle features and third-party insurance products are among the traits that drew the attention of CKH. Currently, Hong Kong users can easily buy travel insurance and accident insurance from mainland insurance companies such as Ping An and China Life through AlipayHK.

Martin Bao, senior analyst of ICBC International, said the partnership is a big step in Alipay's global drive. Alipay has extended its cashless payment network in many countries but is mostly for the convenience of mainland tourists going abroad. The alliance with local partner CKH demonstrates Ant Financial's ambition to woo local users, he said.

Currently, the most dominant cashless payment in Hong Kong is the Octopus card, a rechargeable card that is widely accepted by Hong Kong residents to pay for transportation, as well as items at convenience stores and small retailers. Yet Bao said the pre-top up mode, which requires citizens to top up the balance before paying, occupies a portion of citizens' disposable capital, and is less convenient than Alipay's real-time payment system.

Ant Financial, hailed as the mainland's biggest unicorn with an estimated valuation of more than $60 billion, is considering going public in the mainland or Hong Kong.

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09/27/17

Permalink 04:29:20 pm, by dacare, 138 words, 126 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China, Comp, Salary & Benefit

Pay rises for new graduates

The average pay for college graduates has gone up by 7.4 percent year-on-year, according to a survey published Wednesday by China International Intellectech Corporation, a State-owned human resources company.

The survey shows the pay for college graduates this year is 4,854 yuan ($741) for graduates, 6,791 yuan for postgraduates and 9,982 yuan for PhD graduates.

The salary in first-tier cities is 5,218 yuan for graduates, 7,612 yuan for postgraduates, and 10,077 yuan for PhD graduates.

It indicates 47 percent of the employers have hired more people this year, while 21 percent cut down on their recruitment numbers.

Sixty two percent of the polled enterprises said hiring desirable employees became more difficult this year, due to excessively high expectations of graduates and low name recognition of employers.

The survey polled more than 2,800 enterprises in sectors including finance, internet and manufacturing.

A record 7.95 million graduates entered the workforce this year.

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09/26/17

Permalink 02:32:24 pm, by dacare, 189 words, 121 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

First public recruitment in Xiongan: 4,000 candidates for 23 vacancies

Xiongan Construction and Investment Group Co Ltd, a company based in the Xiongan New Area, started recruiting employees from around the country recently.

This is the first public recruitment in Xiongan New Area, according to China Economic Weekly.

The company published the employment information on the website of Chengtong, a recruitment agency, on Aug 31. And the 23 job openings attracted more than 4,000 candidates, equivalent to 1 in 179, within a week.

The positions on offer cover fields such as finance, infrastructure construction and public relations, with only 23 people to be hired by the State-owned enterprise, according to a report of China Economic Weekly on Tuesday.

Most of the jobs require five years of work experience and at least a bachelor's degree, and the pay is similar to that of Beijing, where the average salary for employees in public sector stood at 120,000 a year ($18,000) in 2016, said the report.

Xiongan New Area, about 100 kilometers southwest of Beijing, straddles the three counties of Xiongxian, Rongcheng and Anxin in the neighboring Hebei province.

China announced the plan to build the new area in April, aiming to promote the coordinated development of Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei province.

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09/25/17

Permalink 02:57:49 pm, by dacare, 526 words, 120 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Nationwide negative list to spur foreign investment


A bulk carrier freighted with goods on a pier in Lianyungang, East China

China will roll out a negative list for foreign investment, which has been tested in pilot free-trade zones.

The negative list model, which states the sectors and businesses that are off limits to foreign investment, will be adopted nationwide as early as 2018.

"Introduction of the negative list is a creative approach at home and abroad. It lays an important foundation for market to play a decisive role in resource allocation," said Xu Shanchang, with the National Development and Reform Commission.

The approach had an initial test run in Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangdong and Fujian, before expanding to other places, including Zhejiang and Hubei, for further testing.

"It is rather important to be prepared before making it a nationwide practice," Xu said.

On Aug. 16, the State Council issued a document saying that China would make its foreign investment environment "more law-based, internationalized and convenient" to promote growth and raise the quality of foreign investment.

"The country should continue to reduce market access restrictions for foreign capital," the document said.

China will expand market access to allow foreign capital in sectors including new-energy vehicle manufacturing, ship design, aircraft maintenance and railway passenger transport, it said.

On July 28, China began to implement a revised foreign investment catalogue, which included a negative list as well as sectors and industries in which the government wants to encourage foreign companies to invest.

"Instead of trying to guide industrial adjustment, the negative list is to coordinate the relationship between government and market, aiming to improve the market's role of regulation, make enterprises the major investment sources and lift government restrictions," said Guo Guannan, with China Academy of Macroeconomic Research.

"The resilience and competitiveness of China's investment management system would be enhanced by implementing a negative list," said Gao Yuwei, a Bank of China researcher.

The negative list will help China develop an open economy and lead to comprehensive reforms to the country's economic and social management, according to Gao.

China will introduce more fiscal and taxation support policies to encourage overseas investors to expand investment, the State Council said in August.

The country could make use of overseas investors to optimize the service trade structure.

China encourages multinationals to set up regional headquarters in the country and wants more investment in western areas and the old northeastern industrial bases.

The investment environment in national-level development zones will be improved by giving the zones more authority in investment management and raising their ability to provide industrial services, according to the State Council.

Foreigners will find it easier to get work permits as the government aims to facilitate the cross-border flow of professionals.

Before the end of the year, China will release detailed new rules for granting visas to foreign professionals, including extending the validity period, the State Council said.

Efforts should also be stepped up to improve foreign capital-related laws, provide better services to overseas investors and ensure the free outward remittance of their profits.

China will improve the protection of intellectual property rights, raise the competitiveness of the research and development environment and maintain continuity in foreign investment policies, it said.

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09/22/17

Permalink 04:02:48 pm, by dacare, 451 words, 174 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Shanghai, HK vie for IPO lead

More companies bet on high valuations in mainland, instead of going overseas

As New York remains on track to knock Hong Kong off its pedestal to become the world's biggest listing venue this year, the Asian financial hub is wrestling with Shanghai for the second place in the league tables.

Over the first nine months of the year, some 106 deals raised HK$85 billion ($11 billion) in Hong Kong, trailing the 105 billion yuan ($16 billion) raised in Shanghai, according to data from global accounting firm Deloitte.

"Though brokers and bankers in Hong Kong are anchoring their hopes on a sharp upturn in business to help the city overtake its mainland peer in the final quarter of 2017, I think Shanghai is likely to hold its lead and secure the second spot throughout this year," said Edward Au, Hong Kong-based co-leader of the national public offering group at Deloitte.

The initial public offering (IPO) market in the Chinese mainland has gained huge momentum so far this year from China Securities Regulatory Commission's efforts to step up IPO approvals, in a sign of its determination to implement IPO reform toward a registration-based system.

"As regulators keep a steady pace to give a green light to no less than 30 IPOs on a monthly basis, more and more mainland companies, betting on higher valuations back home, are relishing the idea of a flotation on the mainland, rather than having their eyes trained on overseas destinations," Au noted.

"Though there is a logjam of roughly 500 firms still lining up to get the nod, you can see policymakers' efforts to ease IPO process really bolster the market a lot," he added.

If regulators could maintain the pace to give the go-ahead to IPOs in the remaining months, the Shanghai Stock Exchange, coupled with the smaller, tech-heavy Shenzhen Stock Exchange, are projected to see as many as 480 companies make their mainland stock market debut, raising up to $250 billion yuan by the year end, Deloitte said.

Following the $1 billion-plus offering from ZhongAn Online Property Casualty Insurance?the very first fintech flotation in Hong Kong?the Asian financial center, which has retained the crown as the world's top fundraising destination for the past two years, is looking to welcome one or two more eye-catching listings from sizeable technology firms in the final three months of the year, said Dick Kay, Shanghai-based co-leader of national public offering group at Deloitte.

"Given that the enthusiasm of investors oversubscribing for ZhongAn's offering runs really high, we have good reasons to believe the upcoming technology flotations could come as a 'booster', putting Hong Kong on course to secure the third spot, with as many as 150 firms raising up to HK$150 billion for the whole year round," Kay said.

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09/21/17

Permalink 03:49:28 pm, by dacare, 211 words, 106 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

China's e-commerce sector sees 27% surge in trade

China's e-commerce market saw strong growth in the first half of this year, according to a report released Tuesday.

China's e-commerce trading recorded 13.35 trillion yuan ($2.03 trillion) for the first half of 2017, a 27.1 percent increase year-on-year, China Research Center of E-Commerce said in the report.

Business-to-business transactions reached 9.8 trillion yuan, online retail sales were at 3.1 trillion yuan, and e-commerce trading for life services was about 0.45 trillion yuan.

Cross-border e-commerce reached 3.6 trillion yuan in H1, up 30.7 percent year-on-year, accounting for 26.97 percent of China's total e-commerce trade volume, with 2.75 trillion yuan for export and 862.4 billion yuan for import.

With policy support and a relatively complete system, China's e-commerce maintained rapid growth and as China's economy transforms to the "consumer upgrade" era, e-commerce has created many new consumption demands, said Zhang Zhouping, senior analyst with the research center.

This has triggered a new investment boom, created more job opportunities, increased income and provided the space for mass entrepreneurship and innovation in the country, Zhang added.

As of the end of June, more than 3.1 million people worked directly in e-commerce and more than 23 million indirectly, the report revealed.

Revenue for China's express delivery business was 257.29 billion yuan in the first half of 2017 and is expected to reach 600 billion yuan with a projected growth rate of 49.8 percent.

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09/18/17

Permalink 03:17:31 pm, by dacare, 323 words, 160 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Nine listed companies plan offices in Xiongan


Aerial photo taken on April 1, 2017 shows Anxin county, North China's Hebei province.

Since April 5, nine listed companies have announced plans to set up offices in Xiongan, betting on business opportunities from the construction of the Xiongan New Area, Ifeng Finance reported.

Kaidi Ecological Environmental Technology Co Ltd said in a statement to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange late Thursday that the company plans to establish an office in the new area to promote the environment protection and ecological reconstruction project of Baiyangdian?a freshwater lake in Xiongan.

Eight other listed companies that announced plans to set up offices in Xiongan are Yueyang Forest & Paper Co Ltd, CRRC Corp Ltd, Shenzhen Das Intellitech Co Ltd, Hubei Huitian New Materials Co Ltd, Xuanhua Construction Machinery Co Ltd, Wuxi Taiji Industry Co Ltd, Lingyuan Iron & Steel Co Ltd and Juli Sling Co Ltd.

China announced the plan in April to create Xiongan New Area -- about 100 kilometers southwest of Beijing -- to promote the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.

Xiongan-themed stocks have rebounded recently as the planning and design of the Xiongan New Area is expected to be completed by the end of September. Stocks related to infrastructure, finance, technological innovation and real estate all showed upward momentum.

Earlier, some investment institutions also turned more bullish on shares of companies involved in environment protection, garden and architectural decoration.

Zhang Chengyuan, a senior vice-president at China Asset Management, said the demand market of raw materials including steel, cement and glass has been reflected in the construction of the Xiongan New Area.

Zhang added that there will be more investment opportunities in the scientific and technological innovation industry during the construction of the new area.

Advanced city planning, transportation, municipal services and environment protection for new urbanization will not only benefit the Xiongan New Area, but these technologies and services can also be promoted in the whole country, said Ma Tao, chief strategist of BOCOM Schroders.

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09/15/17

Permalink 03:12:26 pm, by dacare, 126 words, 147 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Guangdong plans international expo to boost B&R cooperation

An international expo featuring trade and economic cooperation between countries and regions related to the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road will be held in late September in Guangdong province, according to the organizers.

More than 1,134 companies from 56 nations and regions will participate in the Guangdong 21st Century Maritime Silk Road International Expo, which is scheduled on September 21-24 in Dongguan, a trade and manufacturing hub in the Pearl River Delta region, according to the organizers.

The expo will highlight investment and economic cooperative opportunities along the countries and regions, as well as their cultural, construction, engineering, food and agricultural products.

Former high-ranking officials from 13 nations related to the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, as well as 22 international chamber officials have confirmed their participation in the event.

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Permalink 03:08:53 pm, by dacare, 88 words, 115 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

China plans wider foreign investment

China plans to open the domestic market wider to foreign investment in the financial and new energy vehicles sectors in coming months, said a spokeswoman with the nation's economic regulator Friday.

Meng Wei of the National Development and Reform Commission, said China will open the world's second-largest economy wider to foreign investors, stepping up efforts to attract foreign funds.

While foreign direct investment dropped a little in the first eight months compared to the same period last year, China retains strong competitiveness compared to other countries, she said.

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09/14/17

Permalink 03:52:39 pm, by dacare, 362 words, 88 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Too few online security talents

Cybersecurity talents are in short supply in China, and many employers have no choice but to lower their requirements and recruit people with little work experience to fill the gap, a report concludes.

Posts about cybersecurity published on Zhaopin.com, a leading recruitment website, increased from January to June by 232 percent year-on-year, according to the report published by Zhaopin and 360 Internet Security Center.

Work experience was not required for half the posts. On average, the expected salary of job seekers in the field stood at 7,533 yuan ($1,160) a month.

In stark contrast, the average salary employers offer is 25 percent higher, the report found.

Zhaopin didn't disclose the sample size for the report, calling it a business secret, but said the sample was large enough to ensure solid conclusions - the firm has 135 million users.

The difference between the low salary expectation and high offer suggests the supply of candidates is inadequate to meet the demand in the labor market for cybersecurity talents, said Wang Yixin, a senior Zhaopin consultant.

There are more than enough low-skilled candidates for basic posts, but the demand for the highskilled candidates exceeds the supply, she said.

Only 11 percent of cybersecurity job seekers have an education background in cybersecurity or information security - more majored in computer science, communication and information engineering and network engineering.

More than 70 percent of the job hunters are aged 25 to 34.

The shortage of cybersecurity talents will continue in China for some time, the report said.

Zhao Zeliang, director of the Cybersecurity Coordination Bureau at China's Cyberspace Administration, said cybersecurity talent education is urgent and important in the country.

"We can catch up with Western countries' pace of cybersecurity protection by buying their advanced technologies or products, but if we are short of talents, our following generations will be affected," he said.

He also said the administration has paid high attention to and taken measures in education for talents, considering its importance in cybersecurity protection.

Now the administration has joined hands with the Ministry of Education to set up an academic institute to cultivate cybersecurity talents, "hoping to improve our capabilities in cybersecurity protection and make our talents more competitive in the world," he said.

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09/13/17

Permalink 11:53:39 am, by dacare, 559 words, 103 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Talent is crucial in taking the sector forward


Young visitors interact with a robot at the 2017 World Robot Conference in Beijing themed "Win-Win Collaborative Innovation Toward the Building of an Intelligent Society".

China is beefing up efforts to attract highly-skilled professionals to work in AI as companies across the world scramble to get an edge in this cutting-edge field.

A report released by Hays showed that Chinese mainland enterprises have stepped up plans to hire staff involved in the artificial intelligence industry from the United States and Europe.

Many firms were offering the right candidates lucrative packages, including a 50 percent salary rise to relocate to China, the global recruitment agency stated.

"We are seeing significant government and private investment in AI across natural language processing, computer vision, speech recognition and data science," said Simon Lance, managing director for Hays Greater China.

Earlier this year, the government launched plans to invest heavily in research programs.

The aim is to turn the country's AI sector into an industry worth more than 150 billion yuan ($22.15 billion) by 2020, 400 billion yuan by 2025, and 1 trillion yuan by 2030.

"As a result, employers in the artificial intelligence space are becoming particularly competitive in their efforts to attract top people," Lance added.

But China faces key challenges and a skill gap compared with the US.

A major problem is that the country lags behind the world's biggest economy when it comes to employment numbers.

"China's AI talent (pool) is only half that of the United States, which may (hinder) future development of (the) AI industry (here)," a report from the Tencent Research Institute stated.

The survey, conducted by a division of internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd, showed China had 592 artificial intelligence companies with nearly 40,000 employees by June, 2017.

In comparison, the US had 1,078 AI businesses with more than 78,000 employees.

The US is also ahead in four key employment areas, including processor and chips, and machine learning applications, as well as natural language processing and smart drones.

More than 20,000 people work in the natural language sector in the US compared to China's 6,600, the Tencent report highlighted.

Studies also found that Chinese AI staff are concentrated in sectors such as automated vehicles and smart medical treatment.

In the US, the focus is on wider sectors, including the chip industry, big data and storage, as well as technical areas such as image identification and robotics.

Research in automated vehicles was also pioneered there.

"One of the reasons that China lags behind the US in AI is because it started much later", the Tencent report stated.

Among the world's top 20 universities for artificial intelligence research, 16 are in the US, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Carnegie Mellon University, according to the American National Science and Technology Council.

Not one Chinese university made the list.

"Up until now, China has not established a system to cultivate talent in AI," said Yu Youcheng, deputy secretary-general of Chinese Association for Artificial Intelligence.

"For example, artificial intelligence science and technology have not been set up as a first-level discipline," Yu added. "This may lead to the loss of core AI talent."

But the problem can be fixed by putting the right pieces of the jigsaw together.

"We should work to develop an ecological chain in the AI field," Yu said. "This would combine AI talent cultivation, technology standards and products and applications.

"But (doing this we can) transform and upgrade the whole industry," Yu added.

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09/12/17

Permalink 03:40:15 pm, by dacare, 283 words, 89 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

China National Nuclear Power plans to establish Hebei company


A China National Nuclear Corp stand at an industrial expo in Beijing.

China National Nuclear Power Co Ltd (CNNP), a unit of one of the country's three largest State-owned nuclear operators, has announced plans to establish a Hebei-based company to promote the development of traveling-wave reactor, or TWR, technology.

The move will be carried out in partnership with Huadian Fuxin Energy Limited Company, Zhejiang Zheneng Electric Power Co Ltd, Shenhua Group and Jointo Energy Investment Co Ltd Hebei, the CNNP said in a statement with the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

The new company, located in Cangzhou city, Hebei province, has a registered capital of 1 billion yuan ($153.23 million). CNNP will own 35 percent of the company; Shenhua Group, 30 percent; Huadian Fuxin Energy, 15 percent; Zhejiang Zheneng Electric Power, 10 percent, and Jointo Energy Investment, 10 percent.

CNNP said, in the statement, the establishment of the new company will be in accordance with the strategy for the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (Jing-Jin-Ji) region, and added it would also help support the development of the advanced TWR technology.

In addition, CNNP Technology Investment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNNP, also plans to establish CNNP TWR Technology Investment (Tianjin) Co Ltd together with the four investors, sporting the same investment proportion. The new company, located in Tianjin, has a registered capital of 750 million yuan.

TWR, a new nuclear design using fourth-generation technology, could reduce the need for the enrichment and reprocessing of uranium. CNNP stated the establishment of the TWR demonstration project will be in accordance with, and respond to, the national energy plan arrangement.

Bellevue, Washington-based Terra Power, co-founded by Bill Gates in 2006, is working closely with China National Nuclear Corp to conduct research into the use of the new technology.

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09/08/17

Permalink 05:19:57 pm, by dacare, 379 words, 163 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China

Li: Make way for new growth drivers


Technical workers assemble engines at a plant in Yiwu, Zhejiang province.

Companies should consider outside investment, mergers, premier says

Premier Li Keqiang promised more incentives to boost high-end manufacturing in China during a visit to Huaxiang Group, a private steel-casting company in Linfen, Shanxi province?part of a two-day visit to the area on Monday and Tuesday.

The company's moves to retain top-level professional engineers have brought success, turning it into a major supplier for a number of overseas automobile companies. Huaxiang provides an annual salary of 3 million yuan ($456,000) to some of its top craftsmen, four times that of the company's CEO.

Li spoke warmly about the approach as he talked with some of the craftsmen from whom young workers have learned, noting that providing better incentives to lure talent in high-end manufacturing is also a key strategy for the country as it seeks to shift from old economic drivers to new ones.

"We should pass on the spirit of craftsmanship from one generation to another, so that the idea of Made in China will be competitive not only in terms of prices but also in quality," Li said.

Also on Tuesday, Li visited Linfen Iron and Steel Co to learn about the region's efforts in cutting outdated capacity. The company, which is affiliated with Taiyuan Iron and Steel (Group) Corp, stopped most of its outdated operations in 2016, and 10,000 workers have been relocated with new jobs. Among them, more than 2,500 have started their own businesses.

"These workers may be seen as a burden for a company with outdated capacity, but their talent may be in demand when they find new and more suitable jobs," Li said, calling on companies to focus on developing high-end products.

Companies that rely on traditional models should be open to private investment, mergers and reorganization, Li said, adding that China is determined to phase out outdated and excess industrial capacity as a key part of its structural reform, especially as coal prices have been rising again in recent months. The idea is to truly make room for new economic growth drivers, he said.

Li also visited the Shigejie Coal Mine, which ceased production of low-quality coal in 2016, and poverty-stricken Chengzhuang village in the Taihang Mountains to learn about local poverty alleviation and medical services.

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