Official data shows that the unemployment rate for Chinese youth in July, especially those aged 16 to 24, hit 19.9%, the highest on record. Recently, there was a rumor that if you want to work at Hunan Television, you must pay a fee. In this regard, some netizens complained, “The company hiring free labor is not enough. They have to extort some money.”

Paying a fee to be a trainee at Hunan Television

Recently, netizens got stirred up about a letter with the sender’s name, Hunan Radio and Television Group Company. The letter’s content informed the candidate that he was not selected for the trainee position at the TV station. However, the TV station proposed another option for the candidate: to work for the program “Every day up” on this TV station.

The screenshot shows the text of the letter, “Since the internship position you applied for at our TV station was rejected; we present you another position that is currently in demand posted on the official website: Internship position in the program “Every day up” of Hunan Television, for your reference and selection.”

The specific letter is as follows:

  1. The internship period is three months.
  2. Job Requirements: “Due to the operational characteristics of frontline departments, in special cases, overtime may be required.”
  3. Internship fee: “You need to pay a monthly intern management fee of $70 (500 yuan), $52 of personal accident insurance and $14 of COVID-19 insurance.”

After the news was spread, many netizens complained that “this is more than capital,” “well done, really eye-opening,” and “job surcharge, leading the world.”

Another netizen retweeted a screenshot showing “Application for Unpaid Job” to another TV station with the caption, “I thought my unpaid work was hard enough!”

‘Pay to work’ causes controversy

According to China’s official data, in July this year, the nationwide surveyed unemployment rate in urban areas was 5.4%. The unemployment rate in the 16-24 and 25-59 age groups is 19.9% ​​and 4.3%, respectively. The average weekly working time of employees in enterprises nationwide is 48 hours.

The “First Finance and Economics” newspaper reported in mid-September that amid the pandemic’s adverse economic impact, the employment of Chinese graduates and university students was also facing difficulties.

For this problem, a famous IT once gave a controversial “suggestion,” to solve the complex issue of university students’ employment, it is possible to implement “pay to work.”

Vision Times cited some netizens’ comments:

“It’s shameful not to pay wages. Now they are even forcing workers to pay for the company to relish;.”

“What’s the point of spending money to work?”

“Is this the solution to this problem? This is increasing contradictions in society. If things continue like this, where will people’s lives go?”

There is genuine demand

Through Chinese social networks, you can see various discussions about “fee required internships.” For example, according to Vision Times, netizen “Bruce” has analyzed on the Chinese platform Zhihu the operation of the “fee required internship” benefit chain. And why some people want to spend money to work for others, and the process of paying to be interns.

According to this account, “fee required internships” are divided into distance internships and on-site internships. The price of a distance internship is about a few thousand to $2800 (20,000 yuan). “The time is usually a month. Longer time, more money.” Internships in this situation are often referred to as “small black workers” (non-legal personnel). The actual internship price ranges from $2,800 to $4,900, or even higher. Those who work without going through the human resources department are considered non-legal personnel.

Netizens analyzed that there are generally two types of students who buy internships: One is to study abroad and need an internship to hone their knowledge; The second is to find a job after graduation, especially for students who want to enter a big company but do not have the opportunity to practice in a big one.
Netizens pointed out, “Controversy over fee required internships always exist. Profiting from the internship surcharge is a huge challenge on the side of the law. If you can get into a famous company to be an intern, if you have money and connections, it’s really a big challenge for ordinary workers. This year, fee required internships are a matter of great interest.”

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