Chinese Youth Are Job Hunting on Tinder

Estimated read time 2 min read

China’s youth are struggling with high unemployment and a slow-growing economy recovering from Covid-19 lockdowns. Recent unemployment data for youth between 16-24 stood at 14.9% in December and peaked at 21.3% last June.

Chinese youth are bypassing Tinder via VPN (the app is blocked alongside other social media due to the country’s censorship policies) to expand their job search to combat this, NBC News reported Saturday.

Job-seekers who spoke to the outlet cited the ease of finding people to connect with as one of the app’s advantages.

After striking out on dozens or hundreds of available jobs, other users told the outlet that the app helps find hidden or uncommon jobs both in China and overseas.

“By using dating apps, we can reach more people,” Shanghai student Jade Liang told NBC News. “Normally, we need a long period of time to get close to people. But with dating apps, you hang out with strangers for a couple of hours and they can already provide you with tons of their personal information.”

However, Romy Liu, a former employee at a Chinese executive search company, told NBC News that the practice of using Tinder to find jobs is controversial among more traditional employers.

Liu told the outlet she feared that state-owned companies in China would “permanently blacklist” applicants if it became known that they were using Tinder for work.

Tinder is also not keen on prospective job applicants using the app to find a job and, in fact, it’s against the app’s community guidelines.

“Tinder is not a place to promote businesses to try making money,” a spokesperson told NBC.

Tinder did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

It’s not just Chinese users who have turned to dating apps to find jobs or advance their careers.

Some Americans have also been turning to hookup app Grindr to network. Grindr previously told Business Insider that 25% of people using it have cited career networking as one of their primary activities.