Why Chinese youth are putting up their jobs, bosses for sale (2024)

In China, many people are humorously selling their jobs and coworkers on Xianyu, Alibaba’s second-hand e-commerce portal, to unwind from work and get rid of the ‘work smell’. Many ‘annoying bosses’, ‘terrible jobs’, and ‘hated colleagues’ are among the listings on the website that are for sale, with prices ranging from Rs 4 lakh to Rs 9 lakhread more

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Why Chinese youth are putting up their jobs, bosses for sale (1)

In China, there's a new viral trend where bosses, colleagues and jobs are up for sale on second-hand e-commerce platforms. Representational Image/Reuters

How does your work compare when it comes to stress?

Toxic or unfair workplaces, unsupportive bosses, annoying colleagues - different jobs have different levels of inherent stress.

Young professionals these days find numerous unique coping methods to deal with such stress.

In China, there’s a new viral trend where bosses, colleagues and jobs are up for sale on second-hand e-commerce platforms.

Let’s take a look.

‘Selling’ jobs or bosses

Many people are humorously selling their jobs and coworkers on Xianyu, Alibaba’s second-hand e-commerce portal, to unwind from work and get rid of the “work smell.”

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The term “work smell” in the neighbouring countrydescribes the feeling of mental and physical exhaustion that follows a hard day’s work.

Many “annoying bosses,” “terrible jobs,” and “hated colleagues” are among the listings on the website that are for sale, with prices ranging from Rs 4 lakh to Rs 9 lakh, according to the South China Morning Post.

One user, selling her job at Rs 91,000,claimed that the work pays Rs 33,000 a month and that buyers can recover their investment in three months.

Another person wrote, ‘‘Selling a colleague who is very good at being sarcastic for 3,999 yuan (Rs 45,925). I can teach you how to deal with this colleague and offer 10 tips to avoid being the scapegoat at work.’’

A third professional claimed to have listed his “terribleboss” for 500 yuan (about Rs 5,742), saying that the supervisor’s criticism of him on a regular basis caused him a great deal of mental stress.

Also read:Why bosses in China could be penalised for ‘invisible overtime’

No real cash transaction

Interestingly, all of this is done in jokes, so vendors make sure the ads don’t result in actual financial transactions.

In case, someone gets the “product,” the seller typically backs out of the agreement immediately following the sale or declines the order altogether.

An unidentified seller told SCMP: ‘‘Someone did pay before, but I applied to offer them a refund, and I deleted the listing after. This is just my way of venting my emotions, not actually buying or selling anyone. I saw many people selling their jobs on Xianyu, and I thought it was interesting, so I wanted to try it too. Selling my job that has no weekends for just 9.9 yuan feels like a small act of revenge.’’

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Xianyu’s statement

After the trend gained momentum, Xianyu stated on Weibo on June 11, saying that selling people without their consent is illegal.

Liu Yan, a lawyer from Hunan United Pioneer Law Firm, told Xiaoxiang Morning Post,“If the other person’s personal information – such as names, ID numbers, home addresses, and contact numbers – are publicly disclosed on online platforms without consent, it constitutes an invasion of privacy and may be illegal.”

It is pertinent to mention here that unauthorised disclosure of another person’s personal information in China carries a fine or a maximum 10-day jail sentence.

Work culture in China

According to aMcKinsey Health Institute surveylast year,which polled over 30,000 workers in 30 nations, China ranked third with 75 per cent for employees’ well-being.

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The survey was determined by evaluating their physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being.

Since young people are losing their willingness to follow the intense work culture, with burnout being a widespread problem in the country.

According to theGlobal Times, in December 2023, a woman from Southwest China’s Sichuan Province reportedly spent three hours and a half leaving over 600 WeChat work groups after she quit her job.

As per the 2023 survey bydtcj.com, over 90 per cent employees had invisible overtime, including 60 per cent who experienced it frequently.

The top three practices included responding to work messages after logging out, participating in training or competitions the company organised and standing by at any time despite without any task assigned.

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The poll suggests over 73 per cent of people said they worked overtime to finish their workload.

Globally, over 50 per cent of workers exhibit signs of burnout, which increases their likelihood of quitting their jobs by three times.

Over the course of the 30 countries covered by the study, 22 per cent of workers report having signs of burnout at work.

Researchers looking at demographic disparities on burnout discovered that workers between the ages of 18 and 24 who work for smaller companies and all non-managerial professionals have higher rates of burnout symptoms.

The survey results highlight an important trend: the majority of variation in burnout symptoms may be attributed to demands, or aspects of work that demand energy, including dealing with toxic behaviours or role ambiguity.

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In order to protect the workers from such “invisible overtime,” China was earlier considering offering legal protection to employees forced to stay online even after work hours.

With inputs from agencies

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Why Chinese youth are putting up their jobs, bosses for sale (2)

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Why Chinese youth are putting up their jobs, bosses for sale (2024)

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