In early 2016, the Chinese government announced that state-owned steel and coal companies would be restructured, resulting in the loss of 1.8 to 6 million jobs. In April, seven government agencies jointly release a set of guidelines outlining a strategy for mitigating the fallout from this latest round of mass layoffs. One of the key elements of this strategy is the encouragement of entrepreneurial activity through tax relief and subsidised â€˜microcreditâ€™ for laid-off workers. Does the promotion of entrepreneurship and self-employment have the potential to meet the needs of the newly unemployed? Or is this strategy actually part of a wider ideological project aimed at individualising responsibility for social welfare and fragmenting labour?