Reforms and innovations spurring on employment

By Yuan Shenggao (China Daily)

Updated: 2022-07-22


Jinyangli commercial district in the city of Taiyuan has gathered a number of retail businesses. [Photo by Wang Ruirui for China Daily]

Enthusiasm for entrepreneurship is on the rise in Shanxi, despite a nationwide slowdown in economic development due to ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks.

The vibrancy of the economy is visible in the booming market activities and the increasing number of business startups throughout the North China province.

In early July, thousands of job hunters were attracted to a job fair in the city of Datong. The event focused on the big data industry.

Li Juan, one of the participants in the fair, said she was there to seek employment or business opportunities.

Li is a university graduate who majored in big data. "Datong has a booming big data industry," she said. "I'm optimistic about the industry's prospects here."

About two dozen renowned domestic big data companies from across the country were present at the event. They had a total of 5,000 vacancies on offer and intended to recruit professionals and workers for their operations in Datong and its neighboring areas.

And there were more jobs provided by smaller companies at the fair.

Datong has witnessed rapid development in digital industries with livestreaming as the representative of their growth.

The Datong 5G Livestreaming Base, for instance, is an industrial park established in collaboration with renowned e-commerce and internet companies like JD, Suning, Tencent and Baidu. It has been home to more than 50 business startups in the past two years.

The livestreaming platforms of these 50-plus companies have signed agreements with almost 1,000 suppliers nationwide to promote their nearly 100,000 product varieties online. The platforms have hired hundreds of livestreaming anchors for product promotion.

In addition, tens of thousands of small or household businesses have been established in Datong and its neighboring areas, using the platforms to sell their goods.

Shanghai-based Jinhuasuan is one of the companies that operate an e-commerce branch in Datong. The branch's e-commerce platform alone is offering online stores to nearly 70,000 household businesses.

Local entrepreneurs said the secret behind such strong economic vitality is the improved business environment in Datong, as well as the rest of Shanxi.

The authorities' initiatives to benefit businesses include easier market access; protection of intellectual property rights; reduction in taxes and charges to help businesses cut operational costs; streamlining administrative service procedures; as well as other incentives to assist business startups and operations.

In Shanxi as a whole, reforms to licensing systems have played an important role in boosting people's confidence in doing business in the province, according to Guo Xin'an, deputy chief of the Shanxi Market Regulation Bureau.

He said Shanxi began the reform to delegate business approval powers and reduce the number of certificates needed for market access in 2021.

Guo said Shanxi's current practice means "a business license is all that's needed to begin operations".

In the past, business owners needed to first obtain various certificates, including those for fire safety, sanitation and admissions for the sale of drugs and medical equipment before they could apply for a business license to start operating.

The old practice meant that a business would spend several months applying for certificates before they could get a business license and get their business moving.

"And now, businesses can begin operations upon acquiring a license, while other certificates can be dealt with afterward," Guo said.

The official said such an initiative has ignited people's enthusiasm for entrepreneurship.

"Within a year of the reform's implementation, we saw a substantial increase in the number of business entities in Shanxi," Guo said.

The number of Shanxi's business entities reached 3.58 million by the end of June, an increase of 21.47 percent from the same period of last year, according to Guo.

Wu Jia contributed to this story.