For young people (those still looking for a mate, in particular), taking a factory job would be a big blow to their status, regardless of the level of pay. Better an unemployed white collar professional than an employed manufacturing worker, welder, or truck driver. It's similar in the US. Financially the median person is better off becoming a truck driver at 19 than pursuing a law degree (and racking up the associated debt), but being a trucker is really socially limiting. Likewise manufacturing in China, I expect.