There have been numerous articles and discussions recently in regards to an increasing meritocracy in China, with women being confirmed as holding up literally half the sky for Chinese Internet start-ups.
An article by Bloomberg specifically states that “the Chinese government estimates females founded 55 percent of new Internet companies and more than a quarter of all entrepreneurs are women.”
Historically, the roles of women in China have significantly advanced throughout each dynasty.
In modern times, after the formation of a Communist government, gender equality was heavily promoted. In contemporary China, particularly Shanghai, women have adapted into completely new, dominant and independent roles.
Of course, it cannot be denied that the central government can often shape reaction and debate to fit its core ideals and prescriptions.
A recent white paper outlines an initiative to promote entrepreneurship and innovation among women; thus we can presume that it will do whatever it takes to make this initiative seem effective even if it is not.
This theory is supported by those who are arguing that the “half the sky” adage, and the latest “55 percent” figure, are exaggerated.
TechinAsia, a weblog about start-ups on this side of the world, recently wrote that, earlier this year, TechBase founder Ling Zihan estimated that women have in fact only founded a mere 10 percent of Chinese new-tech ventures.
Ling’s evidence may very well be flawed, or at least require further citations and evidence, yet some are now questioning how exactly the government’s 55 percent figure was produced, what research was carried out and what specifically counts as women “influencing” the start-up? If there was just one female member in a team, does that count as influential?
In spite of that, it cannot be dismissed that the professional roles of women in China, and across the world, have increased over the past decade.