China has now classified activities such as blogging, e-sports, online marketing, managing social media accounts as “flexible employment”. These will now be counted in the overall employment figure.
This new law is stated in a document released by the Ministry of Education as part of the government’s effort to boost the employment rate in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
The announcement also stated that participating in incubator programs, poverty alleviation programs, and being enlisted in the army will now be considered as employment. New graduates who open e-commerce websites are not exempted in this law as long as they can provide a link to the online shop and its registration information.
According to Tang Min, an economist and counsellor to the State Council,
“College students don’t necessarily need to go to a work unit, more and more we are seeing they have many choices, including freelancing. They can open a Taobao store or engage in cross border e-commerce. They can start their own business with just a laptop and create a new job opportunity.”
The Ministry ordered Universities to take note of the new criteria when reporting the employment rate of graduates, and any contrary information would be severely punished.
Why The Change?
Owing to the economic downturn occasioned by COVID-19, some Chinese firms have had to retrench some workers in order to cut costs. This increased the unemployment rate in the country to 6.2% in February.
Although it fell to 5.9% in May, the Chinese government is aiming at a reduction to about 6% by the end of the year. And, this figure excludes migrant workers from the countryside
Will this work?H
However, people must work at least one paid hour a week to be counted as employed, still, can activities like blogging, e-sports playing, pass as being employed?
Let’s take a look at the average of players in the listed categories:
It’s not unrealistic to make between $0.01-$0.10 per page view in many blogging niches across display and affiliate ads. So if you get 1,000 page views a month, you can make between $10-$100 per month.
But if you can get to 100,000 page views a month, you can make between $1000 – $10,000 off your blog per month. This is excluding the amount you can get from ads on your blog.
So, a great blogger should count.
E-sports consists of people playing games against each other at a professional level, regularly winning huge sums of money as prizes. These e-sports players are contracted to play for a variety of different organisations, much like football or basketball player would be.
An average e-sport player earns about $3000 – $5000 monthly in China, while top-level players can earn much more, up to $15,000 for a single competition plus bonuses. Some teams even offer their players perks like health and retirement plans.
The figures for both listed activities are considered fair seeing as city with the highest minimum wage in China (Shanghai) pays its workers $358 (RMB 2,480).
Does this make bloggers & e-sports players taxpayers?
This new law passed by the Chinese government will make earners from activities like blogging and e-sports taxpayers since most of them would be counted and possible earn as much as the general minimum wage.
The China income tax is levied at a progressive rate, ranging from 3% for monthly taxable incomes of $240 (RMB 1,500) or less, to 45% for taxable incomes greater than $12,725 (RMB 80,000).
Can this happen in Nigeria?
One of the most popular forms of blogging in the country is freelancing. It is safe to say blogging in Nigeria is already considered a being employed as some bloggers are known to be wealthy.
Some bloggers have office spaces and some other work remotely. It is also important to note that blogging all over the country give the same rates as it is fixed online.
E-sports, on the other hand, can be barely considered as a job in Nigeria seeing as Nigerians don’t make enough money from gaming online. Gamers in the country just participate in tournaments online, and unlike some Chinese gaming companies, they do this from their various homes.
While playing in these tournaments, they barely get enough cash, and sometimes it doesn’t even cover the Nigerian standard minimum wage (N30,000).
Yes, we have a long way to go but we may soon begin to acknowledge these trades. China is thus shown the way.
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