Record 13.4 million students in China take nationwide college entrance exam

A record number of high school students in China have taken the national college entrance exam that got underway around the country on Friday.

China's education ministry says more than 13.4 million candidates registered for the two-day exam this year. That is an increase of 510,000 students from last year.

Cases of cheating on the national exam have been reported over the years as the result could play an important role in the future of the participants.

Chinese media say an anti-cheating system using artificial intelligence has been put in place for the first time to detect any suspicious behavior of the candidates.

Chinese youth face severe competition in the labor market, and even university graduates are struggling to find jobs amid growing economic uncertainties.

An increasing number of high school seniors are aiming for colleges and universities that would become an advantage when looking for work.

The ratio of Chinese high school students who advance to universities or other institutions of higher education has been rising. It has grown from 30 percent in 2012 to 60.2 percent last year. Household expenditures on education have also increased.

China's National Bureau of Statistics says parents will spend more than 63,000 dollars on raising their children until they reach 17 years of age. The amount includes the cost of education.