Occupations Behind the World Cup
The quadrennial World Cup begins in the hot summer of July, which is not only the carnival day for the fans, but also brings business opportunities to the “World Cup Economy”.
The rise of the E- commerce platforms selling crayfish has spawned a new profession, crayfish tasters, who work overtime until early morning to eat crayfish during the World Cup; night snack is necessary while watching the game, so the increase in the orders promises the delivery mena “monthly salary over 10,000 RMB”; the number of the fans of sports Taobao anchors increases significantly, many of whom have changed their schedule to Russian time; without the help of Chinese women workers, the mascot of the World Cup might not appear on the opening ceremony on time.
In fact, crayfish taster, Taobao anchor and many occupations unheard of as such have been popular for a long time. The World Cup brings them to the attention again. Some netizens even say that “they would like to be a crayfish taster without being paid”. In addition, the New Retail has also created many novelty occupations such as robot breeders and Hema ( A New Retail platform under the Alibaba Group) picking workers.
Crayfish taster — crayfish tasters work overtime to eat crayfish until 2 am
As the World Cup comes, the crayfish become much favored by the public. The latest data shows that more than 100 million crayfish have been sold on platforms such as Tmall, Hema, Koubei, and Ele.me.
In a crayfish processing plant in Qianjiang, Hubei province, Qu Yunxiao, a 25- year- old girl from Shandong province, peels and eats crayfish everyday, recording the shape, color, taste and spiciness of each batch of crayfish. She is a full-time “crayfish taster”.
“Crayfish taster” has become an emerging profession because of the development of crayfish e-commerce on Tmall.
Two years ago, after finishing her undergraduate study, Qu went to Cardiff University, a famous British university, to study the supply chain. Last year, she graduated with Master degree and returned to China. In most people’s eyes, “crayfish taster” is a perfect job as Qu’s entry-level salary can reach an annual RMB 300,000 and she can eat crayfish of various flavors every day. However, the arduous efforts she pays are beyond others’ imagination.
Qu first needs to obser ve whether the crayfish is tightly frozen. Then, she has to check if any crayfish body or forceps are not intact or broken after being heated. Before tasting, Qu needs to examine whether a spicy and delicious flavor can be smelled.
In order to remove the tongue’s memory of the last batch of crayfish, crayfish tasters have to gargle with milk ( to get rid of the spicy feeling) and mineral water (to get salty and savory flavor out) so as to achieve maximum precision. If it is found not meeting the standard, the entire batch cannot be put on the market.
A cray fi s h t a s t e r e a t s a n average of 1kg, at best, 2.5kg of crayfish a day. As the World Cup boosts sales, factories often work overtime until 2am. In such case, it is normal for Qu to eat hundreds of crayfish every day.
Qu’s company has about 50 fulltime “crayfish tasters”, the highest annual salary can reach up to RMB 600,000. Now as the company’s production capacity is expanding, crayfish tasters are in urgent need. However, the company admits that a qualified taster must be familiar with every step including cooking, quality control and supply chain. Talents as such are relatively scarce.
Deliverymen — every day delivering orders till early morning and sending 300 bottles of beer at most at once
The World Cup is a festival for fans. To let the fans celebrate it well, the deliverymen work all night, who can be called the busiest group.
At 7:00 pm on June 17, before the beginning of the match between Costa Rica and Serbia, Ele.me received an order from a party house in a shopping mall in Putuo District of Shanghai, that about 20 fans made an urgent request for 300 bottles of beer. This is the order that books the most beer at a time on the platform since the start of the World Cup.
I n t h e Fe n g n i a o d e l i ve r y terminal at 91 Yanchuan Road, Putuo District, the 26- year- old delivery brother Wu Yingbing quickly took action. Before receiving the order, he was browsing game information on his mobile phone. Although the game was about to begin, in his eyes, the customer’s order is more important. During the World Cup, the booking volume of beer greatly increased as the fans were enthusiastic. How to transport 300 bottles of beers that is 25 boxes is a problem. Wu Yingbing and other five deliverymen went to the RT- MART Cao’an store of to carry beers.
Wu Yi n g b i n g is a fresh deliveryman as he started this job in February this year. He once lost money in opening a roast duck restaurant. Therefore, he came to Shanghai and, with the expectation of higher income, became a delivery brother at Ele.me.
After half an hour, they sent the 300 bottles of beer to the party house. The twenty customers collectively applauded them when the delivery men opened the door, as they solved the fans’ uncomfortableness of no alcohol like timely rain.
Fans drink beers while watching the World Cup. In Shanghai, the city never sleeps; there are tens of thousands of delivery drivers like Wu Yingbing, who still receive orders after 9 or 10 pm.
New economic forms such as local living services and logistics generate a huge number of new job opportunities. During the World Cup, the enthusiasm of the fans boosts the delivery platforms, which enables delivery men like Wu Yingbing to see the hope of a salary
Taobao anchor — selling sports equipment through live video streaming
In the early morning of Shanghai, Taobao anchor Li Wei ( Angelalee Li Linglu) just finished a live video streaming, and it was less than 7 hours before her next show. The World Cup also makes the sports Taobao anchor popular. Correspondingly, they adjust their biological clock to Russian time.
After the breakfast, Li needs to spend a lot of time planning the next live video from the theme, presentation forms, to the selection and arrangement of the live venue.
As a big fan, during the World Cup, all of Li’s live broadcast time follows the World Cup schedule.
At 8 pm on July 15, the match between Egypt and Uruguay began
in Yekaterinburg. Thousands of miles away in Shanghai, Li Wei and her assistant have already arrived at the Hongqiao Old Kele Training Base. Her live broadcast starts at 5 o’clock and ends at 11 o’clock. She watched the World Cup live with the football players on the training ground, and at the same time explained the events for the fans in the Taobao live broadcast room, predicted the outcome of the game, and also recommended qualified sports equipment and products to the fans every now and then. In the middle of the live, she played the ball with the players for a while. Because of her attention, explanation and prediction of the World Cup, the number of Li’s fans rapidly grows.
Li Wei entered the Taobao live broadcast platform in January this year. Her fans are mostly interested in sports and health. The unique opportunities offered by the Taobao platform and the enormous potential of the entire Alibaba ecosystem have greatly interested her. She foresaw that this will also be the future of vertical content e-commerce.
The data shows that there are currently 1.6 million content entrepreneurs on the Taobao platform. They are not only the new force of Alibaba’s e-commerce sector, but also a footnote for Ali’s new economic ecology and even the new employment pattern of the whole country.
Chinese worker — saving” the World Cup by producing the souvenirs
The successful opening of the World Cup also thanks to a group of women workers 7,000 kilometers far away in China who solve a “big” problem for Russia.
The story begins in two months before the opening ceremony. The World Cup Organizing Committee found that Russia’s backward light industry could not produce a large mascot of two meters high for major occasions such as the opening ceremony. In the end, the organizing committee, like the Chinese handschopping shoppers, thought of “Taobao”.
The World Cup ma scot is called “Zabivaka” and the prototype is the Russian steppe wolf. The organizing committee originally planned to make a few two-meterhigh “Zabivaka” for the opening ceremony. At the beginning, they found a group of local Russian manufacturers, but after seeing the samples, they all said that it may be out of their ability to make such big products.
Then they seek help from Alibaba, the Chinese E- commerce giant. Various resources are selected, matched and integrated in Alibaba’s database, including 30 manufacturers in Anhui, Hunan, Guangdong and other 10 provinces; steel bars, leather, silk and cotton produced in Chinese provinces; and thousands of woman workers mostly from the central and western provinces, so as to find the proper manufacturers and workers to “save the World Cup”.
A group of “elite women workers” in toy factories completed the whole process of modeling, trial work and mass production in less than one month.
In addition to the two-meter-high mascot, factories in Anhui, Hunan, Guangdong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang and other provinces jointly produce more than one million small mascots of 30 centimeters in height for the World Cup.
Un d e r t h e c u r r e nt s t r i c t environmental protection policy, many toy factories’ raw material sources have been affected. However, under the effective allocation of Alibaba, hundreds of batches of millions of World Cup mascots are produced smoothly and successfully. Big data precipitation selects and matches high-quality manufacturers for IP licensors and manufacturers then f ind the best raw material suppliers through Alibaba. As a result, the unknown Chinese female workers have also become a part of the “Made in Internet”( Internet Ma nu f a c t u r i ng ) , one o f t h e latest concepts, and having a real connection with the originally distant World Cup.
The data shows that there are currently 1.6 million content entrepreneurs on the Taobao platform.
It is vital for both China and countries along the routes to practice in the principle of green development and to advocate a green, low-carbon, recyclable and sustainable lifestyle.