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Younger Chinese are spurning factory jobs that power the economy

By David Kirton

SHENZHEN, Nov 21 (Reuters) – Growing up in a Chinese village, Julian Zhu only saw his father a few times a year when he returned for holidays from his exhausting job in a textile mill in southern Guangdong province.

For his father’s generation, factory work was a lifeline out of rural poverty. For Zhu, and millions of other younger Chinese, the low pay, long hours of drudgery and the risk of injuries are no longer sacrifices worth making.

“After a while that work makes your mind numb,” said the 32-year-old, who quit the production lines some years ago and now makes a living selling milk formula and doing scooter deliveries for a supermarket in Shenzhen, China’s southern tech hub. “I couldn’t stand the repetition”…

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