Unfortunately for some families, two chances was not enough for a son.
Stocks in Apple, Sony, Microsoft, and other consumer technology companies skyrocketed on Thursday upon announcement of China’s two-child policy, which analysts suggest will double the Chinese manufacturing workforce in the next five to seven years.
“Since the creation of the one-child policy in 1979, manufacturing companies like Foxconn have faced an abundant but not limitless supply of labor,” said Chinese labor economist Ding Zhangdi. “However, we can project that manufacturers will see the current labor pool double as early as 2020, when these workers are old enough to walk, talk, understand shapes, and solder a glass screen to an iPhone 8S.”
Government officials say that the move was intended to counteract the negative effects of an increasingly aging population. However, as some experts have noted, an influx of small-handed, impressionable workers will likely make China a more attractive destination for foreign investment.
“When an American company wants to build a plant overseas, the first question they ask is, ‘Who’s going to work here, and what’s it going to cost?’” said Jonah Lyman, an analyst at QCJ, a large international consulting group. “If the policy has the impact we expect, we should expect to see a surge in available workers being born and immediately preparing to enter the workforce in the next several years.”
“Additionally, this should ensure that wages stay competitive for the foreseeable future,” added Lyman. “Workers are less likely to ask for a pay raise when there’s a Sichuanese toddler waiting in the wings to take their jobs at a moment’s notice.” While some have suggested that the sudden influx in children will cause an undue burden on the Chinese education system with the addition of so many new students, Chinese officials have said this will “not be an issue.”