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Premier praises innovation from ‘backbone of Shanxi province’

Updated: May 21,2017 9:43 AM

Liang Ruiming, a former coal mine worker in Central China’s Shanxi province, now runs an internet-based coal mine security management company.

The business, one of 26 companies started by the coal mine workers of the Shanxi Coking Coal Group, was created to help cut excess coal capacity and shift work jobs.

The workers, who were inspired by the country and company’s supportive policies, have not only created jobs for themselves, but also helped to develop a new economy and transform the traditional industry.

On Jan 5, 2016, Premier Li Keqiang visited the mine and said new industries should be developed to create jobs for workers who have been laid-off due to capacity cuts. At the time, the coal market was sluggish, and suffered from excess capacity and plunging prices.

The Premier also mentioned miners were “the backbone of Shanxi province and the entire country”.

As a result, following the Premier’s suggestion, the company set up a business incubator in April 2016 and issued worker support, offering rental assistance and seed capital.

Liang, who faced the pressure of changing jobs, decided to then start a business with two colleagues. The trio developed a software which checked coal mine security risk and a WeChat learning system for mine security knowledge.

The team has since expanded to 13 members, and their systems have also been adopted by several mines in China.

At a news conference in 2016, Premier Li said capacity cuts should not be the result of mass unemployment.

“We will try to help them find new jobs,” he said.

Liang and the stories of other worker entrepreneurs have, in fact, set a good example for the Premier’s words.