Taobao job ad seeking two square dancing senior citizens goes viral

By Liu Caiyu Source:Global Times Published: 2018/1/18 19:13:40

A recent Taobao recruitment advertisement promising good pay for "senior square dancers" in an upcoming online product has gone viral in China.

Taobao said it had received more than 1,000 applications as of Thursday and will screen applicants as soon as possible, Sun Hanjie, a Taobao public relations staff member, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Alibaba released the recruitment notice on Tuesday, in which it said it was seeking two user experience specialists for Taobao.

Key Opinion Leaders (KOL) among square dancers or members of local community committees will be given preference for the position, which also requires applicants to be aged over 60 and have at least one year of online shopping experience.

The position has been designated for a product that specifically targets middle-aged and senior groups, which is expected to be released at the end of January, said Sun, declining to explain further. 

Square dancing is a popular exercise performed to music in public squares, plazas, and parks by middle-aged and retired people in China.

Having square dancing or local community committee experience and being a KOL usually means they can better present the features and demands of the group, Sun explained.

The annual salary of the position ranges from 350,000 yuan ($54,372) to 400,000 yuan. Successful applicants will work for Taobao in Hangzhou.

The oldest applicant is 83 years old, 70 percent of applicants are women and over half of the applicants have university degrees, Sun said.

The prospective senior employee will be asked to try out new products aimed at middle-aged and senior groups, share their feedback and discuss them in working groups.

They will be required to organize workshops regularly and determine consumer demand through questionnaires and interviews.

The market for middle-aged and senior groups has barely been tapped in China but has a great potential, Lu Zhenwang, founder of Shanghai Wanqing Commerce Consulting told the Global Times on Thursday.

A report by the China International Electronic Commerce Center and showed that online consumption by seniors on shopping site increased by 78 percent year on year in the first half of 2017.

Seniors tend to shop for their children and friends online, and have a preference for healthcare products, cosmetics and China-made products.

Taobao has over 30 million users that are aged over 50, Sun said.

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