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Third-party mobile analytics provider Analysys.cn has released its Q3 2019 online job board report (in Chinese), identifying some worrying macro trends for a sector that continues to be dominated by horizontal superpower 58.com (NYSE: WUBA).
According to Analysys’ methodology, Q3 was the fourth consecutive quarter of declining market value for online job boards. Demand for low income positions was particularly stagnant, due to an economic slowdown in China and ramifications from the trade war with the U.S. The market grew by just 0.1% last quarter, down from over 31% in Q3 2018, the second consecutive quarter of sub-2% growth. The online job board market for Q3 2019 was valued at RMB 3 billion ($426 million U.S.) by Analysys.
Looking at a platform-by-platform comparison, horizontal 58.com (NYSE: WUBA) remains largest player, accounting for 37.7% of jobs-related traffic, while verticals 51job.com (Nasdaq: JOBS) and Zhaopin are neck and neck for second place at 21.7% and 19.2%, respectively. Total paying customer accounts for 51job fell by over 14% year-over-year in Q3.
Zhaopin was acquired by Australian recruitment conglomerate Seek Ltd. in Oct. 2017. The company will be central to Seek’s newly-formed “Seek Investments” division — a portfolio of companies that will be managed for “medium to long-term (more than 5 year) capital appreciation, rather than short-term profits.”
Zhaopin spent 2018 focusing on shifting to a freemium listings model. According to Seek, the switch has been instrumental in driving increases in employers and job postings over the past year. Non-paying business users can post up to ten listings on the site for free. Zhaopin has more than 160 million registered job-seekers on its platform and 6.3 million corporate clients.

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