SHANGHAI - State-owned enterprises have overtaken foreign-owned companies to become the first choice for employment among this year's new graduates, according to a recent survey.
The survey, released last week by ChinaHR, one of the country's leading online employment agencies, polled 200,000 students from more than 700 universities from November 2009 to May this year.
Among the survey's top 50 best employers, 46 were local companies, including 33 State-owned enterprises.
There are only four foreign companies in the top 50, Microsoft, Google, Jardine Matheson and Procter and Gamble, down from 21 last year, according to the survey.
Foreign companies, which have traditionally been sought after by graduates, were hard hit by the international financial crisis, which accounts for the shift to State-owned enterprises.
China Mobile is the graduates' first choice for a prospective employer, followed by Alibaba, Haier, Microsoft China and Bank of China - all Chinese companies.
The only two foreign companies to make the top 10 are Google and Procter and Gamble, ranked sixth and eighth respectively.
Zhao Hongwei, a public relations manager for ChinaHR, said the preference for State-owned companies represents a new trend in this year's survey, which he attributes to the rapid growth of Chinese companies and the impact of the financial crisis on foreign firms.
"Chinese companies are catching up with foreign companies in terms of pay and personnel training," Zhao said.
"State-owned companies are also more stable and have a lot of hidden benefits to offer their employees."
Zhao predicted that graduates would continue to prefer Chinese State-owned companies in the coming years.
"The employment landscape among graduates in China has changed a lot over the past 10 years," commented Xu Xiaomin, who has worked in the media industry for a decade.
However, Zhu Ning, marketing director at Randstad HR solutions, whose clients include both foreign and State-owned companies, said the preference for big State-owned companies is not a trend to boast about.
"Most of the big State-owned companies are monopolies, which do not encourage competition, innovation and creativity," he said.
"A nation whose young minds choose stability over competition, and welfare over creativity, will not be a world leader in the future."