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China’s Liepin added less than 700 new paying business customers in H1 2019, a worrying sign for the high-end recruitment marketplace. According to the company’s interim report, paying business customers reached 48,915 at the end of June — a slight increase from 48,230 at the end of 2018.

Registered individual users increased from 43.2 million as of 30 June 2018 to 51 million as of 30 June 2019, the average annual salary of these users also rose to 176,000 RMB ($24,802 U.S.).

Liepin brought in 712 million RMB ($100.3 million U.S.) in revenues in H1 2019 — a 23.1% year-over-year increase. Around 674 million RMB of this revenue — or 95% — was derived from paying business users.

Liepin’s revenue is derived from delivering matches between three distinct communities of users: 51 million job candidates, 150,000 headhunting professionals, and around 338,000 companies — of which 48,000 are paying clients. Job listings to the site are free. Premium accounts get access to AI-led candidate matching and algorithmic CV review technology products, on a pay-per-use basis.

Liepin processed more than 24 billion job and candidate recommendations in 2017, with roughly a 50 / 50 split between AI-derived recommendations and those coming from professional recruiters. More than 30% of all headhunters in China are currently registered, and business users are recommended the most suitable ones based on their expertise, recruiting track record and user feedback.

During the first six months of 2019, Liepin launched “Magic Mirror,” an AI-based interview screening system. The site is the third-largest recruitment site in China, after twin market leaders Zhaopin and 51job.