Recently, the story of a master’s graduate who works as a shipper has aroused public concern about the actual situation. Thousands of bachelor’s and master’s graduates have chosen the delivery profession instead of working in companies and factories in China.

He Cheng, a 27-year-old master’s graduate of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, became a shipper because he couldn’t find a job after graduation. Cheng said that he once walked 8 kilometers in 3 hours to deliver the goods for an errand fee of $7.80 (55 yuan). Considering that he has to support himself and how this job is relatively free, he persisted, although it was very hard.

He Cheng’s career choice sparked heated discussions among Chinese netizens. Some netizens said that such a high degree is useless. Is there any need to force their children to take the university entrance examination? Many netizens also worry that even graduate students can’t find a suitable job, making it more difficult for others to find employment.

Cheng is just one representative of the growing number of masters working as shippers.

According to Sohu, about 60,000 Chinese master’s graduates work as delivery staff for Meituan, an online food buying and delivery platform in China. Accordingly, the number of takeaway delivery riders with a college degree or above has increased by 6.7% in two years.

Discussing this issue, the Communist Party’s official media newspaper, “Workers Daily,” published an article on September 20. The paper argues that postgraduate food delivery is an option made “based on rationality and practicality.” The report also highlights the so-called “labor without high and low discrimination,” and “without uniform standards for happiness and success” and should not arbitrarily criticize the choices of others. However, it doesn’t discuss the causes and solutions to this situation.

News commentator Fang Yuan pointed out in an interview with Radio Free Asia on September 21 that master’s graduates have to do the jobs that anybody can do, reflecting the failure of talent training planning and unfair resource allocation in the context of the economic downturn. The problem isn’t occupational discrimination.

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