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AI offers key to digital transformation

China Daily | Updated: 2019-10-18 09:52

Lu Jian, president of LinkedIn China

A1 The measures mentioned encourage the development of new business models based on advanced technologies such as big data, cloud computing and mobile internet, which we believe will bring digital transformation to traditional industries. Official government data showed that China's digital economy reached 31.3 trillion yuan ($4.4 trillion) in 2018, accounting for 34.8 percent of GDP. LinkedIn's data also revealed that the digital economy is promoting the quality improvement and transformation of China's entire society, especially in industries such as manufacturing as well as information and communication technology. But besides providing numerous new opportunities, the digital economy also brings various challenges, such as issues of data security and the development of different areas. Some emerging industries and occupations are faced with a talent shortage, while employees in traditional industries are now faced with job changes or skills gaps.

LinkedIn is particularly concerned about the challenges in the labor market, such as the adjustment of labor structures caused by digital transformation. Our Economic Graph is a digital representation of the global economy based on data generated from 645 million members, 35,000 skills, 30 million employers, more than 20 million open jobs, and 90,000 educational institutions around the world. With more than 48 million members in China, LinkedIn has teamed up with Tsinghua University's School of Economics and Management to release a series of Economic Graph reports on China's digital economy and talent development, aiming to provide valuable insights for the government, enterprises and individuals.

A2 The rise of new technologies such as artificial intelligence has a huge impact on employment, which can also be seen in the shifting of occupations that have seen the largest growth and decreases in hiring. In the Future of Jobs Report released by the World Economic Forum in 2018, LinkedIn data showed that a number of highly automatable jobs fell into the 10 most declining occupations due to the impact of AI. In the meantime, according to Linked-In China's Emerging Jobs Report, the five jobs in China with the most growth from 2013 to 2017 were new media operations, front-end development engineer, algorithm engineer, user interface designer and data analyst, all of which are related to new technology.

New technologies can also make the job market more challenging for Chinese professionals, so it's necessary for professionals to understand the changes and trends of the job market and improve their skills accordingly. Leveraging the big data generated from 645 million members, which is global, granular, real-time and historical, LinkedIn has provided professionals, enterprises and governments with accurate and reliable insights with many data insights focusing on the job market.

A3 LinkedIn found that with the gradual improvement of network infrastructure and the regional economy, the digital economy is reshaping different industries in China through big data, Internet Plus, artificial intelligence, intelligent manufacturing and others. Taking advantage of this strategic opportunity, sectors including consumer goods and retail are also experiencing significant digital transformation. LinkedIn China's Economic Graph team joined hands with Tsinghua University's School of Economics and Management last October to release a Digital Economy and Talent Development Report for China's Yangtze River Delta Region. The research showed that the number of able workers with digital skills in consumer goods and retail is above average.

The digital economy has a profound impact on retail and consumption across the world. LinkedIn's global data found that as retail goes digital, engineering jobs and skills are on the rise. The proportion of retail employees in engineering roles rose from 7 percent in 2013 to 9 percent in 2017. Software developer is now the third most common job in retail, rising from the eighth most common in 2013.

A4 The most dynamic part of China's economy is innovation, and building an innovative country is an important strategy of China. We have seen many remarkable achievements along those lines. For example, China's mobile payment, e-commerce and sharing economies are leading the world, and internet technologies have been introduced in the development of all traditional industries.

LinkedIn's co-founder Reid Hoffman pointed out that China is still a promising market that nurtures startups based on many unique advantages for entrepreneurship including fiercer market competition, faster business decisions and iterations, an abundant talent pool, stronger technology drive and digitization. Under these circumstances, Chinese entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to achieve rapid expansion and sustained prosperity more easily than ever before.

Talent is one of the most important impetuses to drive innovative development. LinkedIn has always been engaged in talent development, providing localized products and services for Chinese talent. In addition, LinkedIn provides guidance and suggestions for college students' cultivation. We also have LinkedIn Social Impact, through crossover cooperation and activities, to connect job seekers facing barriers with the resources and networks they need to build meaningful careers.

A5 We have noticed that Chinese enterprises are maintaining close international cooperation and exchanges. We are delighted to see this as it will bring us great opportunities. Against this backdrop, we could take advantage of our global network to help Chinese companies connect to more global opportunities and stand out in the international market by attracting talents with diversified backgrounds and enhancing the brand influence in global markets.

One of our research reports released in June found that Chinese companies are becoming more global. Almost all provinces have enterprises that are proactively expanding their business across the world, and Southeast Asia, Europe and the Americas are their desired destinations. Our LinkedIn Marketing Solutions business, based on the global network of the platform, provides highly developed and advanced services to help Chinese brands to go global.

A6 We've always believed that China is one of the best choices for global companies to develop their businesses, where there are more excellent competitors, faster decision-making and transformation in companies, richer talent reserves and lower human resource costs. As China continues to open up, it will definitely become more attractive to international companies. To better adapt to the Chinese market, these companies will need to recruit local talent and implement localized strategies, which will create more opportunities for LinkedIn to play a role in talent and marketing strategy.

A7 We see that a technological transformation is changing our society gradually. Taking AI as an example, our findings suggest that we are already seeing AI's impact across the global labor market. AI skills are among the fastest-growing skills among LinkedIn members and saw a 190 percent increase on the platform from 2015 to 2017. Industries with more AI skills present among their workforce are also the fastest-changing industries. We believe all occupations in the future will be empowered by AI to become more efficient and productive.

At LinkedIn, AI is everywhere and empowers everything we do. We continue investing in AI technologies to enhance users' experience of our products and services, so as to better connect LinkedIn members and companies and provide them with more opportunities. We use AI to deliver the most optimized experience for members such as recommending the right jobs, connections and content.

LinkedIn is also actively using AI to promote diversity in the workplace and build a trustworthy online community for its members. When helping companies to hire talent, LinkedIn's product can use AI technology to hide information related to gender and race, which better prevents unconscious bias during the hiring process and increases diversity in companies. AI technology also helps LinkedIn to effectively strengthen its network security check and fight against fake information to maintain its members' online security.

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