Chinese internet giant Alibaba seeks to hire elderly dancers for key jobs

China’s elderly, who often complain of neglect by younger family members, are coming in for some attention thanks to a job ad from Alibaba, a top internet company in China.

Alibaba has posted a job ad on its website for two positions to research the elderly users of its e-commerce website, Taobao. Each position carries a salary of US$54,000 to $62,000 per year, which is quite high by China’s standards.

The catch is that the jobs are only open to people who have celebrated their 60th birthdays. They will work on a Taobao product tailored to the needs of middle-aged and elderly customers.

The candidates have to be influential among people their own age, have good relationships with their children, and have at least a year’s experience with online shopping.

Leaders of square dancing squads will be preferred for the positions. Square dancing is a popular pastime among China’s elderly, who show off their moves at neighbourhood parks and plazas. Other desirable qualities are those who read psychology and sociology books, and actively participate in social activities.

The successful applicants will need to organise group discussions for people their age and collect feedback about senior citizens’ online shopping experiences.

Alibaba has been flooded with résumés and inquiries from the public since it put up the ad, and the selection process has already begun.

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