Perhaps the biggest story that I have come across this past week is the newly unveiled plan to move 250 million rural residents to cities over the next 12-15 years. This raises multiple questions: What will they do after the forced migration? Do they have any useful skills for urban environments?
This is not to say that this will end in collapse or some other doomsday scenario but if there were opportunities that rural migrants were capable of achieving in the cities they wouldn’t have to force people to move. How are things going to be when the cities are full of unemployed migrants?
Either way, this probably does provide an opportunity to training companies that may find demand from relatively unskilled individuals looking to receive training for skilled work, so they can find work (or create companies that do). This pretty much opens up the spectrum of training possibilities, though obviously affordability may also be a big issue (e.g., rural migrants are relatively poor, typically earning less than $5,000 a year). See Chapter 9 for more ideas on the education and training segment.
Other news stories, some courtesy of Sinocism:
- Uber Faces Uphill Battle To Control Taxis In China from China Tech News (protectionism of SOEs)
- Record Soybean Glut Is Seen Worsening as China’s Appetite Eases from Bloomberg (in part because of high prices caused by last years drought)
- China Stocks Hit 2013 Low on IPO, Property Woes from CNBC (closed yesterday at 2117.01)
- Faltering Economy in China Dims Job Prospects for Graduates from The New York Times (multiple problems including a skillset mismatch and the institutionalized importance of guanxi which distorts creative destruction and meritocracy)
- Price war between e-commerce firms hotter from China Daily
- If you are the foreign one from Global Times (i have met a couple of younger college-aged laowai who intentionally move to china to try and be on that show now. they both got internships but never ended up on it.)
- Ambow setback teaches Baring a lesson in China investing from Reuters (wonder if New Oriental will end up resolving the student discrepancy before or after the movie 中国合伙人 leaves the theaters)
- ‘It’s Christmas In June’: China Revels In NSA Leaks Story from NPR (interview with Bill Bishop)
- The dark side of Asia’s gambling Mecca from CNN (wonder when triads and junket boosters will use cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin to avoid capital controls)
- New tech can help to keep food safe from China Daily (hope so, food costs for healthy food is quite high in Shanghai)
- Do Quotas in China’s College Admissions System Reinforce Existing Inequalities? from China File (have had many students at the colleges I taught at complain about this which presents opportunities for training centers/alternative certifications, especially with the skillset mismatch at all universities)
- Kaifu Lee on what Tech companies should do to make things work in China from Huxiu (based on my recent conversations with businesspeople, i think it could be summed up with “guanxi” — social connections. Michael Pettis talked about the downsides of this in his June 11th newsletter, not online yet.)
- Six reasons why choosing Hong Kong is a brilliant move by Edward Snowden from Corrente (long extradition gestation period tops the list)