Tech workers in China fear ageism in the industry

The boom in China’s internet industry has enticed hundreds of thousands of fresh graduates to join every year. More than 100,000 college graduates applied to join Bytedance in 2019. For Tencent, the competition is just as intense, with more than 100,000 applicants competing for 3,000 openings.

In recent years, China’s internet companies publicized plans to promote more people born after 1980 to the managerial level. In 2019, Baidu launched a new retirement program for senior executives, under which its 53-year-old president announced his early retirement.

The fear that the stream of new graduates will replace older workers has prompted some to think of retiring early.

Most of the work programmers do daily comes down to copying and modifying code. It makes financial sense to hire younger workers as they are more able to put up with the long hours needed to continuously update the code to keep up with competition.

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