Poll: Young Chinese use ‘daddies’ to get ahead

Is having the right Daddy the key to getting ahead? Many Chinese young people think so

Is having the right Daddy the key to getting ahead? Many Chinese young people think so

To get ahead in China, you need the right daddy.

So says a recent online survey showing that nearly 84% of respondents believe the young people around them would prefer to play a game of pin die rather than work hard.

Meaning something like “powerful daddy,” the phrase refers to competing on the basis of family background. By that, they mean in terms of jobs – more than 80% said they believe many young people have relied on pin die to get ahead at work.

The survey was conducted by the Social Survey Center of the China Youth Daily, a state-run newspaper, and web portal Sohu.com.

The report said that among the 3,809 respondents, only about 10% of them said they value hard work in becoming successful. When they were asked what occurred to them first when they ran into problems, about 36% said they regretted that they lacked a “good daddy.” While 35% said they chose to solve problems by themselves, 25% said they would ask their daddy to tackle the problem for them.

Online reaction to the survey results was divided. “It’s a sure thing, as a daddy provides an opportunity for you,” said one Sina Weibo user.

“This is horrible,” said another. “An overturning of the value system.”

China’s economy has been surging every year for the past three decades, but job hunting still remains a thorny road for young people in China, especially college graduates. Statistics from Ministry of Education show that the number of college graduates totaled 6.99 million this year. That number is up by 190,000 compared to last year, a record high in the past decade.

China’s economic slowdown is taking some of the edge off  labor demand. Some Chinese media have called this year the most difficult year ever for job hunting.

A privileged family background can give some kids a boost in the job market. As media outlets reported earlier this week, top-tier international investment banks and multinational organizations including Credit Suisse Group AG and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. have employed the offspring of current and former government officials.

“It has been like this forever,” said Nelson Li, who works for an international investment bank after working for many other financial institutions in China. Referring to the Chinese term for “connections,” he added, “China is a society ruled by human beings, and guanxi matters a lot.”

“The job competition was not as fierce in the past as it is now, so job applicants could earn a good position easily by academic and professional excellence,” said Mr. Li. “But now the number of open positions has decreased dramatically, so for employers, having a capable and resourceful employee can maximize their economic benefit.”

The survey suggests many people envy those who can play pin die. About two thirds of the respondents said the most important reason for that envy is that “hard work is full of difficulties,” while 58% said “resources are concentrated on a small group of people” and 56% said “those who break the law to pin die didn’t get due punishment.”

The majority of respondents expressed concern that many young people lack motivation, while a little less than half said they were concerned that young people may not be able to earn a bright future for themselves.

The survey isn’t the first to suggest a number of young Chinese people are losing their edge. A survey by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences last year showed that young Chinese are reluctant to start up their own business and lack a spirit of innovation, with only 1.6% of college graduates chose to be their own boss in 2011.

Source: Poll: Young Chinese Use ‘Daddies’ to Get Ahead – China Real Time Report – WSJ – Lilian Lin

Categories: Education & Employment

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3 replies


  1. The birds and the bees in China | China Daily Mail

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