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China Employment Guide

Your quick guide on talent and labor compliance norms in China




Chinese Yuan Renminbi (CNY)



Payroll Frequency


GDP per Capita


Employer Tax

Based on Local Government Laws

Talent Overview

The most populous country, China, is also the world’s largest economy by GDP (based on PPP). China is the world’s largest manufacturing and exporting country and is one of the fastest-growing countries in the world. Currently, the country ranks the second most wealthy country among all other world economies.

Major economic hubs:

Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou

Skills in demand:

Engineer, IT, Management, Sales

China Map

Local Universities

The top local universities in China are as follows:

China Uni1

Tsinghua University


Local: 1

World: 248

China Uni2

Peking University


Local: 2

World: 287

China Uni3

Zhejiang University


Local: 3

World: 307

China Uni4

Shanghai Jiao Tong University


Local: 4

World: 402

China Uni5

Fudan University


Local: 5

World: 447

Salary Data

The top jobs available and their respective salaries are listed below:

Job titles Average Monthly Salary (CNY) Average Monthly Salary (USD)
Financial Manager 55,500 7,732
General Manager 49,800 6,938
Business Development Manager 46,300 6,451
Financial Analyst 38,100 5,308
Business Analyst 36,900 5,140
Project Manager 32,700 4,556
China Talentsource

Talent Sourcing Tips

Top Local Job Boards,,

Number of LinkedIn users


Top Recruitment Agencies

Access People Executive Search & Recruitment, Acropolis Associates Executive Search, Antal International – Beijing

Employing in China

Chinese employers and employees are both protected under labor laws. It provides equal opportunity based on pay and promotion.

Employee Contract

Chinese and English are the languages of employment contracts.

Probation Period

The usual probationary period followed in China is from one to six months.

Employee Leaves

Type of leave Time Period Mandatory
Annual leave/Earned Leave As per the employment contract Yes
Sick Leave 120 days Yes
Maternity Leave 14 weeks Yes


Payroll 1

Payroll Cycle

The payroll cycle followed in China is monthly.

Payroll 2

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage varies in different provinces. It ranges from 1,450 RMB – 2,690 RMB per month.

Payroll 3

Overtime Pay

The standard working hours in China are 8 hours per day and 44 hours 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. Below are the rates for overtime pay:


13th Month Pay

Most companies pay the 13th-month salary as a bonus to their employees during the month of Lunar New Year or Spring Holidays.

Employee Benefits

  • Floating bonus or Performance bonus
  • 13th Month pay
  • Pension
  • Maternity leave
  • Medical benefits
  • Employment insurance


Employer-Employee Payroll Tax

China Social Security contributions Include Pension, Medical, Maternity, Unemployment and Accidental which are mainly managed by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS). Also, there is another contribution Housing Fund which is managed by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and the employer has to contribute 5% to 25% based on the city employee is based on.

City Shanghai Beijing Guangzhou
Social insurance items Employee’s portion Employer’s portion Employee’s portion Employer’s portion Employee’s portion Employer’s portion
Pension 8% 16% 8% 16% 8% 15%
Medical (including maternity) 2% 10% 2%  9.8% 2% 6.85%
Unemployment 0.5% 0.5% 0.5% 0.5% 0.2% 0.32% to 0.8%
Work-related injury 0% 0.16% to 1.52% 0% 0.2% to 1.9% 0% 0.16% to 0.12%
Total 10.5% 26.66% to 28.02% 10.5%  26.5% to 28.2% 10.2% 22.33% to 213.77%
Ceiling for monthly salary base CNY 34,188 CNY 21,884 CNY 22,930 for pension; CNY 36,544 for medical; CNY 36,072 for unemployment

Employee Income Tax

For residents, the income tax rates are as follows:

Annual taxable income (CNY*) (1) Tax rate (%) Quick deduction (CNY)
0 to 36,000 3 0
Over 36,000 to 144,000 10 2,520
Over 144,000 to 300,000 20 16,920
Over 300,000 to 420,000 25 31,920
Over 420,000 to 660,000 30 52,920
Over 660,000 to 960,000 35 85,920
Over 960,000 45 181,920


For non-residents, the following tax rates are applicable:

Monthly taxable income (CNY) Tax rate (%) Quick deduction (CNY)
0 to 3,000 3 0
Over 3,000 to 12,000 10 210
Over 12,000 to 25,000 20 1,410
Over 25,000 to 35,000 25 2,660
Over 35,000 to 55,000 30 4,410
Over 55,000 to 80,000 35 7,160
Over 80,000 45 15,160


The standard VAT rate in China varies from 0% to 13%.

Offboarding & Termination

It is difficult to terminate an employment contract in China unless by mutual agreement or if an employment contract expires.

Notice period varies depending on the length of employment. During the probationary period, it is between 3 to 30 days, and for permanent employees, it ranges from one to three months.

The severance pay is mandatory if applicable, and the amount varies depending on the length of the employment term. It is calculated as one month’s salary for each full year. For employees with high salaries within the area, the severance pay is capped at three times the local average wage.

Visa and Immigration

For any non-PRC passport holder, a work permit is required. Exceptions include Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao residents. There occurs a grading evaluation for expatriate employees.

China Visa
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Minimum Wage

Overtime Pay

Day of Overtime Overtime Pay Rate
Weekdays 150%
Weekends 200%
Holidays 300%

Visa & Immigration