Alibaba said it would hire staff older than 60 and received 1,000 applications in 24 hours

  • Alibaba’s Taobao is hiring two “senior research fellows” who must be aged over 60.
  • The company was inundated and received more than 1,000 applications in 24 hours.
  • The pivot to senior shoppers comes as China’s population ages.

When Alibaba’s Taobao posted a job vacancy for a “senior research fellow,” the compay received 1,000 applications within 24 hours.

Taobao, China’s biggest online retailer, is hiring two people who must be aged 60 years or older to assess new products aimed at middle-aged and senior consumers.

“We received over 1,000 resumes within the first day of posting the job ad, with applicants ranging from former teaches, judges, police officer and public servants expressing their interest,” an Alibaba spokesperson told Business Insider, adding that a lot of younger Taobao users are encouraging their parents to apply.

As of last week, the oldest applicant is 83 years old.

Part of the role’s popularity is undoubtedly its high salary. In Beijing, which has the highest average income for any Chinese city, residents earn $US18,660 a year. Taobao’s new hires can earn up to $US64,000.

To land that salary, applicants are expected to have a harmonious relationship with their children, be an influencer in society such as in square dance groups, enjoy reading about psychology and sociology, and have at least one year of online shopping experience.

The job ad also says that Taobao will soon be “full of middle-aged and elderly consumer groups.”

Taobao currently has more than 30 million users aged over 50. By 2020, it’s expected that China will have 255 million people over the age of 60 – a huge opportunity if Taobao can figure out what these shoppers want online.

According to Alibaba’s spokesperson, its two new hires will be working on an “exciting new version of Taobao” and adapting the app to suit this demographic.

“We are crafting a new version of Taobao that is customised for senior consumers, catering to their unique habits and needs. Besides satisfying their online shopping demands, we want to create something that helps them strengthen relationships with the younger generation, and bring them closer together,” the spokesperson said.

According to state-run Global Times, Taobao’s new senior-focused product is expected to go live at the end of January.