Many sectors in China are undergoing extensive digital transformation leading to the rapid development and adoption of technology. This has driven the demand for innovative tech talents with those specialising in data science, artificial intelligence, cloud, cyber security and solutions architecture being most sought after. (Robert Walters’ 2020 salary guide)
China has a national exam (“gaokao”) that has 10 million sitting for the exams on an annual basis that determines their placement in the different universities. The table below highlights the top universities that are typically sought after by those taking the "gaokao".
You could find further details about universities in China here.
The average salary range below pertains to Beijing Professionals and the ranges change with the region. Please refer to the Robert Walter 2020 Salary Survey for the other regions.
For professionals working in the tech sector in China, 40% expect a 10-20% annual salary increment while 38% expect a bonus of 11-20% of yearly salary.
English Proficiency: Low/Moderate Proficiency
Number of LinkedIn Users (2021): 51,000,000+
More information about job portals in China can be found here.
Ceiling for monthly salary base: CNY 26,541 for pension, unemployment and work-related injury; CNY 29,732 for medical insurance
*Payroll tax rates differ across provinces and can be found here.
Differs provinces, cities and areas. The highest rates are in Shanghai (2480 yuan) and the lowest is at 1120 yuan per month or 10.60 yuan per hour.
Paid on a monthly basis, by the end of the month.
13th Month Salary
Not mandatory, but customary and employees expect to receive it. Bonus is paid on a 13-month basis just prior to Chinese New Year (typically early in February). Taxed in the same way as regular earnings.
Employee stock options
Currently, most official laws and rules are for employee stock plans in listed companies in China. However, employee stock plans in China are intended to be a long-term equity incentive system in which internal employees hold shares of the company, share enterprise surplus, and improve performance.
Another factor to remember is that current Chinese employee stock plans cannot hold more than 10% of total company equity and do not allow employees to own more than 1% of company stocks.
Standard 8-hour work day, with an average working week no more than 40 hours long and at least 1 day off per week.
Overtime work is only possible after consultation with any applicable trade union unless the situation is an emergency.
Overtime is limited to 1 hour per day, or 36 hours per month.
Overtime pay on weekdays is paid at 150% of normal wages
Overtime pay on weekends is paid at 200% of normal wages
Extra work performed on holidays must be paid at 300% of normal wages
*High-ranking managers are not automatically entitled to overtime pay rates, and may be employed under the alternative Flexible Work Hour system, and they will be paid at normal pay rates for more than 40 hours a week.
7 public holidays, though some regions may have additional holidays. The dates can be found here.
Employees must provide a medical certificate.
98 days of maternity leave and an additional 15 days if there are difficulties during labor or multiple births. Paid by Social Security Bureau and is based on average monthly salary over 12 month period before birth, or 3 times the minimum wage, whichever is higher.
Range from 7 days to 30 days, differing across provinces.
Difficult to terminate an employment contract unless by mutual agreement or if an employment contract expires.
30 days notice period for full-time employee, or 3 days if employee is under probation.
Severance pay depends on whether it is termination with cause or without cause. If with cause, no severance pay is required, otherwise severance pay is required.
Severance pay if required:
One month’s salary for every year of service. If the employer does not want to comply with the 30-day advance notice period, they may pay an extra month’s salary beyond the severance pay requirement. For employees with high salaries within the area, the severance pay is capped at 3 times the local average wage.
China’s labor laws make it mandatory for employers to provide for insurance in the form of a Social Security System. It essentially consists of 5 mandatory insurance schemes that include:
The employer and the employee must contribute monthly to the Social Security Funds that differ based on the income, location, and the industry of the employee making it progressive in nature.
Further information about the contributions can be found here.
The standard VAT rate in China is 13% with a reduced rate of 5%, 2%, 1.5%, 1%, and 0.5% for certain industries.