Category: HR News Express

02/13/14

Permalink 12:18:28 pm, by dacare, 517 words, 159 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China, HR News Express

Will LinkedIn make it in China?

Professional networking site LinkedIn Corp appears to be making preparations to start operations in China, the country with the world's largest Internet population.

The California-based firm has made some major moves recently that have been seen as steps towards officially expanding its service into China. The company announcedit has hired Derek Shen, founder of Nuomi.com, a Chinese website similar to Groupon, to head its Chinese operations. It also started to integrate with China's popular mobile messaging app WeChat weeks ago.

"We believe LinkedIn is uniquely positioned to penetrate the Chinese market and could serve as one of the few sites to have a meaningful presence in both the People's Republic of China and many Western markets," said Blake Harper, an analyst with Wunderlich Securities.

Harper expects the company's expansion into China to move slowly and methodically.

"We expect the company to continue to take it slow with its Chinese development efforts and any impact to the member or corporate customer base is likely longer term," he said.

Founded in 2003, LinkedIn has grown to be the world's largest professional network on the Internet with more than 200 million members. While LinkedIn has no Chinese-language site yet, it does have 4 million registered users from the country.

China is home to 618 million Internet users and 500 million mobile web users as of the end of last year. However, China is proving to be a tough nut to crack for some of the world's biggest web players.

"eBay, Yahoo!, and Google have essentially failed in China and Amazon is facing stiff competition as the Chinese appear to have a preference for local, home based companies," said Victor Anthony, an analyst with Topeka Capital Markets.

LinkedIn would be entering a market as similar local websites are racing to take advantage of the heated job-recruitment market. For instance, 51job.com, China's leading online recruitment company, claimed it had more than 73 million registered users in 2013. Other popular Chinese recruiting agencies including zhaopin.com and chinahr.com also hold a significant share of the market.

Will LinkedIn be the one that succeeds? Anthony said that remains to be seen and much depends on whether or not a Chinese upstart enters the market with a similar and compelling offering.

"My understating is that there aren't any compelling offerings in China today," he said. "In that case, if past trends are consistent, then LinkedIn may face a similar difficult hurdle as its US Internet counterparts before it. If no one comes along with a serious and compelling offering, then LinkedIn has a strong chance of succeeding."

Anthony said based on what he has seen over the past 12 years following the Internet media space and watching US based Internet companies enter China, he does believe that competition will follow LinkedIn.

"LinkedIn's hurdle is to convince Chinese citizens - and the Chinese government - that it offers a premium solution in the professional development and recruitment space and that it is not just another US company asking Chinese citizens and corporations to open up their wallets," Anthony said. "A healthy relationship with the Chinese government would also of course help."

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Permalink 10:32:46 am, by dacare, 175 words, 141 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China, HR News Express

Beijing to Hold Special Recruitment Event for Female Grads

A special recruitment event for female university students will be held in Beijing from March 7th to 9th. No male-relevant content will be presented in the recruitment information. This event is all about women.

During the second session of the 14th Beijing Municipal People's Congress held in January this year, Tan Lin, member of the Secretariat of the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF) and delegate of the Beijing Municipal People's Congress, said that 51.4% of Chinese university students are female and nearly half of all masters and PhD students are female. However, female students face a far more difficult job-searching environment than men. "A lot of employers do not even look at female applicants' resumes but simply tell them the position has been filled," according to a survey conducted by ACWF.

This is the primary reason why the Beijing Student Career Center and the Beijing Women's Federation have decided to hold this special event specifically for female students only. Gender discrimination in the workplace is a serious issue and should be addressed with effective and pragmatic methods.

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08/26/13

Permalink 01:43:45 pm, by dacare, 770 words, 162 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China, HR News Express

Best Buy CEO indicates company will stay in China

In a memo to employees, Hubert Joly said Best Buy International, including China, remains critical to the company’s future.

Best Buy Co. Inc. CEO Hubert Joly suggested Friday that the company will stay put in China despite speculation on Wall Street that it will eventually sell off its operations in the world’s most populous country.

In an internal memo that announced international President Shari Ballard also will lead human resources, Joly said the company remained committed to its foreign businesses, which includes China, Mexico and Canada.

“Our international businesses are a significant part of our company, and leadership of those businesses remains critical,” Joly wrote.

In some ways, Joly’s memo is his strongest endorsement of China yet. Since joining Best Buy last fall, Joly has conveyed skepticism toward the company’s struggling international operations. The chief executive has devoted most of the company’s resources toward stabilizing its core U.S. retail business, which generates most of its $50 billion in annual revenue.

Last April, Best Buy agreed to sell its 50 percent stake in Best Buy Europe to joint venture partner Carphone Warehouse for $775 million in cash and stock. Analysts suspected Best Buy also would divest its Five Star business, a local electronics chain that Best Buy acquired in China a few years ago. The business has struggled of late, due to a slowing economy and the end of China’s stimulus program.

At the same time, however, China still holds considerable opportunity. The country has overtaken the United States as the world’s largest smartphone market. Of the top five smartphone vendors in the world, two — Huawei and ZTE — are Chinese firms selling smartphones mostly in their home country.

With Five Star, Best Buy seems uniquely positioned to benefit from this growth. Although the company has shut down its big-box stores in China, Best Buy has continued to open Five Star stores and is testing a Best Buy Mobile store-within-a-store concept in some Five Star locations.

“Shari and I recently traveled to China and Canada, meeting with the new business leaders there and spending time in our stores,” Joly wrote in his memo to employees. “I am encouraged by the progress we are making and look forward to continuing to work closely with Shari and our country leaders.”

In May, Best Buy named Meng “Max” Zhou, a longtime retail executive in Asia, as its new China CEO. Still, Wall Street continues to doubt Best Buy’s future in that country with some analysts speculating that the company hired Zhou as a type of caretaker to prepare Five Star for a sale.

Of China and Canada, it makes more sense for Best Buy to stay in the latter, said David Strasser, a retail analyst with Janney Capital Management. Canada’s stores are profitable, and many of Joly’s strategies toward fixing U.S. retail can also apply north of the border, he said.

“Canada was always going to be a part of Best Buy,” Strasser said. “It’s a legitimate and good part of the business.”

China, however, is a different animal, Strasser said. The country has not yet generated the necessary returns to justify Best Buy’s continued presence there, he said.

“I still believe China is a question mark,” Strasser said. “Over time, China will either work itself out or it won’t.”

Joly, though, seems like he wants to remain in China — at least for the immediate future. Earlier this summer, Joly visited China and Canada, Best Buy spokesman Matt Furman said.

“He is personally engaged in our international business,” Furman said.

In the memo, Joly revealed that Carol Surface, the current HR chief, is leaving Best Buy to join an undisclosed Minnesota company. Joly also sought to refute the idea that appointing Ballard to run human resources would somehow detract from her duties as international chief.

“To be clear, Shari also remains responsible for our international business,” Joly said. “The addition of HR to Shari’s responsibilities does not, in any way, diminish what is expected of her as President, International.”

That might seem a lot of work for one executive but it fits Joly’s preference for a lean, efficient management structure. For example, Chief Financial Officer Sharon McCollam also is chief administrative officer charged with revamping Best Buy’s supply chain operations and real estate portfolio.

In addition, the sale of Best Buy Europe and the appointment of Zhou will help ease the burden on Ballard, a company veteran who formerly led human resources and served as co-head of North American retail.

“I think she is competent, a good executive,” Strasser said.

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08/07/13

Permalink 11:20:41 am, by dacare, 610 words, 180 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China, HR News Express

Specialized newsrooms abuzz on WeChat

Social media cater to public demand for concise, customized information

Lu Jiuping starts working at 4 am every day, but the retired 50-year-old businessman has never made a cent from his current occupation.

He starts his day by reading several financial websites, picking out valuable bits of business or IT news.

Not satisfied to digest the information alone, he posts these news items on "Tearoom 90", an official account he registered on WeChat, a popular mobile social networking platform developed by Chinese IT giant Tencent.

Since it was set up in February, Lu's free subscriber service has attracted a readership of more than 14,000, quickly turning it from a "tearoom" to a "newsroom", much to the delight of the amateur media strategist.

"I am working as the chief editor of an e-magazine," Lu said.

The Official Account is one built-in WeChat function that offers broadcast messaging. Operators of each account can share anything in any format with their subscribers and receive instant feedback.

According to Tencent's website, the platform was originally created for big brands, such as airlines, banks and celebrities, but it has unexpectedly struck a chord with the public and citizen reporters, like Lu, who are taking advantage of the platform to develop specialized storytelling styles.

In the past few years, Sina Weibo, China's most popular Twitter-like service, has exploded in popularity. Millions of Weibo users use the service to speak their mind.

Platforms such as Sina Weibo and WeChat are changing the way media work, with netizens now discovering and discussing social events online.

However, spam and misinformation have grabbed onto the coattails of the service, and people are getting tired of irrelevant or boring micro blogs that pop up on their screens all day.

Lyu Xin, dean of the New Media Department of Animation and Digital Arts School at Communication University of China, described this as the "parabola" of social media development.

He said that the rise of micro-blogging inspired people from all walks of life to voice their opinions on social issues, breaking down traditional media's long-held domination over the spread of information and speeding up information transmission.

As they become increasingly immersed in social media, however, users find that it gets "boring" to sift through massive amounts of irrelevant information to find news that interests them. Instead, they prefer to spend their time perusing concise and well-organized information delivered to them directly.

"The parabola has reached its peak, and it will go down," said Lyu, "but people's demand for social media will go up."

The professor attributed the popularity of WeChat to the platform's ability to push content that meets public demand.

"In the social media age, no dish suits all tastes. People need more information to serve their personal interests. The Official Account on WeChat provides a venue for both institutions and individuals to publish their personal information," one blogger wrote.

Lu's case helps to illustrate that point.

He describes his "Tearoom 90" as a professional business magazine. "My target customers are industry insiders, and those gossip girls or boys have little interest in following."

The customized information helps to attract people with shared interests to subscribe, but subscriber-only content, which only subscribers can read or comment on, could be used to broadcast false information.

Many national newspapers, magazines and websites have also landed in the platform.

In April, China Central Television, a State-owned broadcaster, launched its official WeChat account "CCTV News" to spread news reports and photos, as well as receive reader comments.

Government departments have also opened accounts for hearing opinions from the public. According to a report released in May by Tsinghua University, the number of government accounts on WeChat has reached 1,000 across China.

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02/06/13

Permalink 09:09:18 am, by dacare, 217 words, 306 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China, HR News Express

Saongroup acquires Monster's Chinese operation

Saongroup, the online recruiter majority owned by Denis O’Brien, has acquired Monster’s China operation, ChinaHR.com, for an undisclosed amount.

Monster Worldwide will retain a ten per cent shareholding in the combined China business of Saongroup and the agreement takes place with immediate effect. Monster had previously announced its intention to divest its operation in China.

Saongroup already has a comprehensive national network of offices and websites in tier two, three and four cities throughout China and the addition of ChinaHR boosts this network to almost 200 cities across the country, whilst also giving it a strong presence in the tier one cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

“ChinaHR is an excellent match with Saongroup China. Its blue chip client list and strong tier one city presence complements Saongroup’s robust online platform and pan-China reach. The acquisition of ChinaHR repositions Saongroup as a market leader and leaves us well positioned to accelerate our growth in the Chinese market.” said Ciaran McCooey, group chief executive officer of Saongroup.

Saongroup.com is a global online recruitment company with operations across four continents – Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas – and websites live in 30 countries. Irishjobs.ie is its domestic trading entity.

Saongroup is 75 per cent owned by Mr O’Brien, with chairman Leslie Buckley owning the balance.

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02/01/13

Permalink 12:19:26 pm, by dacare, 268 words, 314 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China, HR News Express

ChinaHR.com lays off employees amid buyout plans

Summary: Monster Worldwide's China unit is starting to shed 54 percent of its 400 workers, and remaining employees organize a sit-in office protest to demand for compensation should they be laid off this year.

Chinese recruitment site ChinaHR.com, a subsidiary of Monster Worldwide, has started laying off 54 percent of its 400 staff members amid discussions of the company being sold.

According to Sina Tech Wednesday, the dismissed staff were compensated three months' salary plus additional amounts depending on the time they have spent with the company. For example, an employee who has been with ChinaHR.com for five years will get an additional five months' worth of his salary. Pregnant staff members will receive an extra 24 months' salary, it added.

The layoffs come amid reports in November 2012 that Monster Worldwide will sell off its Chinese business unit, which it fully acquired in 2008, as part of its restructuring program to curb losses of US$130 billion. The acquiring company has not been disclosed though.

However, employees who did not get laid off were unsatisfied as they were not included in the compensation scheme. They were also disgruntled that ChinaHR CEO Luo Bingquan did not want to reveal details of the buyout, citing confidentiality, it reported.

On Tuesday night, more than 200 employees organized a sit-in protest in ChinaHR's headquarters in Beijing.

After 10 hours of negotiation, both Luo and Monster Chairman Sal Iannuzzi proposed the remaining staff be compensated with the same plan if they are to be laid off in 2013 following ChinaHR's acquisition, Sina Tech reported.

The proposal is subject to the approval from the unnamed buyer of the Web company, it added.

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