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Communications of the ACM

China Region Special Section: Hot Topics

Regional Computing Culture and Personalities


Regional Cultures and Personalities, illustration

Credit: Getty Images

Despite the great firewall, China's 772 million Internet users are adept at using smartphones for social media, live streaming, ordering home delivery, booking taxis, and sharing bicycles. Despite this massive market and bountiful opportunities for computing careers, Chinese corporations face great obstacles in attracting high-tech talent.

In April 2018, Chinese tech giants Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent were called out for sexism in their recruitment campaigns.a These corporate computing leaders were criticized by the members of Human Rights Watch for advertising male-only jobs and for portraying women as "goddesses" to entice young male programmers to apply. The companies apologized and promised remedial action, but the flawed practice reflects a serious challenge in China: The world's most populous country does not have enough technologists to drive its lofty tech ambitions.


 

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