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China Labour Market

Wages in China have increased steadily over the last decade to the point where the country is no longer considered by international business to be an abundant source of cheap labour. However hundreds of millions of Chinese workers are still struggling to make a living wage: The cost of living in Chinas cities increases all the time.

Chinas Minimum Wage Regulations implemented by the Ministry of Labour and Social Security in March 2004, stipulate that each region should set its minimum wage at between 40 and 60 percent of the local average wage. However, very few cities have ever reached that target. In most cities, the minimum wage is around 30 percent of the average wage, while in the capital Beijing it is as low as 24 percent. 


Minimum wage workers can sometimes double their basic salary by working long periods of over-time but even then their take home pay is usually just enough to get by. Continual increases in the cost of living in Chinas cities, especially accommodation costs, mean that most minimum wage workers have very little left over at the end of the month. 

Below please find the legal provisions on working hours and payment of wages:

         The standard workweek in China is 40 hours (eight hours per day, five days per week).

         Overtime shall be paid for any work exceeding standard working hours and overtime shall not exceed three hours a day or 36 hours per month (Labour Law Article 41).

         Overtime pay should not be less than 150 percent of an employees wages during normal work days; 200 percent on rest days, and 300 percent on national holidays, such as the Lunar New Year (Labour Law Article 44).

         Wages shall be paid in legal tender to the workers in person on a monthly basis. No deduction of wages for personal gain may be made from wages due to workers. The payment of wages may not be delayed without reason (Labour Law Article 50).

         An employer shall pay wages to workers during their statutory holidays, marriage or funeral leave (Labour Law Article 51).


Despite the lifting of minimum wage every year, many fishing tackle manufactures have been experiencing the shortage of labour, we are seeing the cost of the skilled technicians is increasing more heavily in the coming days.

(sources: China Labor Bulletin)