Wuhan virus drives Taiwanese workers away from China

At least 63 percent of Taiwanese workers reluctant to return to China due to coronavirus fears

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Taiwanese wear face masks to view lanterns for Lunar New Year.

Taiwanese wear face masks to view lanterns for Lunar New Year. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Wuhan cornoavirus outbreak has dampened Taiwanese workers’ aspirations to pursue a career in China, according to a recent study by Taiwan-based 104 Job Bank.

The study showed 63 percent of Taiwanese salaried employees who returned from China between Jan. 23 and Feb. 8 expressed no interest in resuming work in China. Before Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, was sealed off on Jan. 23, around 50 percent preferred to leave their jobs in the second largest economy, wrote UDN.

The spread of the deadly virus appears to have disrupted job-hopping — often seen after the Lunar New Year. Factories in China have been ordered to delay the restart of work amid expanded travel restrictions and community-level, closed-management measures.

Interrupted company operations have translated into postponed recruitment and training plans across the Chinese job market, said Jason Chin (晉麗明), vice president of 104.

Taiwanese factories based in Wuhan, Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Zhengzhou, and Shenzhen are among those affected by the stringent measures to avoid the further spread of COVID-19. The disrupted supply chain of semiconductor products, electronic components, and display panels makes career prospects in related industries look gloomy.

According to Chin, the severity of the outbreak has added to the insecurity among Taiwanese who wish to secure employment in China. Trends to reserve management positions to locals and multinationals moving manufacturing to Southeast Asia have also rendered China less appealing for Taiwan’s job seekers.