top of page

Understanding the Minimum Wage in China

Minimum wages in China continue to rise. As of February 19, 2024, Shanghai has the highest monthly minimum wage among 31 provinces at RMB 2,690 (US$370) per month, and Beijing has the highest hourly minimum wage at RMB 26.4 (US$3.7) per hour. Twenty-one regions, including Anhui, Beijing, Chongqing, Fujian, Gansu, Guangdong (including Shenzhen), Hainan, Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Liaoning, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanghai, Sichuan, Tianjin, and Zhejiang, have surpassed the RMB 2,000 (US$275) mark in their monthly minimum wage standards.

At the lower end of the spectrum, Jilin and Xinjiang's minimum wage level (RMB 1,540 per month) is slightly higher than that in Heilongjiang (RMB 1,450 per month).

In 2023, fourteen provinces, including Anhui, Beijing, Guangxi, Guizhou, Gansu, Hainan, Hebei, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanghai, Shanxi, Tianjin, and Yunnan, raised their minimum wage standards.

In 2024, new minimum wage standards took effect in Henan, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang from January 1. Hubei's new minimum wage standards took effect from February 1, Ningxia's from March 1, Jiangxi's from April 1, and Liaoning's too effect from May 1.

According to China’s Provisions on Minimum Wage, the legal minimum wage refers to the minimum labour remunerations that employers must pay employees under the condition that the employee has provided normal labour within the promised working hours or as prescribed in the labour contracts.

Types of Minimum Wage Standards

Minimum wage standards in China generally appear in two forms:

  1. Monthly minimum wage standard: Applies to full-time employees.

  2. Hourly minimum wage standard: Applies to non-fulltime employees, such as part-time and temporary workers.

The minimum wage excludes overtime pay, night shift allowances, summer high-temperature allowances, special working environment allowances, and subsidies for meals, transportation, and housing. However, it often includes social insurance premiums and housing fund contributions paid by employees in most regions, resulting in lower take-home pay than the stated minimum wage.

Local governments are generally required to update their minimum wages every few years but can adjust wages according to local conditions. Different minimum wage classes are set for different areas based on the level of development and cost of living. For instance, provincial capitals and developed cities have higher minimum wage classes, while smaller cities and rural areas have lower wage classes.

Minimum Wage Guide

Province/region

Class

City/urban area

Monthly minimum wage (RMB)

Hourly minimum wage (RMB)

Effective date

Anhui

A

Hefei

2,060

21

2023.3.1

Anhui

B

Bengbu, Huaibei, Huainan, Xuancheng

1,930

20


Anhui

C

Anqing, Fuyang, Huangshan

1,870

19


Anhui

D

Certain county-level cities

1,780

18


Beijing

-

-

2,420

26.4

2023.09.01

Chongqing

A

Certain suburban districts and counties

2,100

21

2022.04.01

Chongqing

B

Certain suburban districts and counties

2,000

20


Fujian

A

Xiamen

2,030

21

2022.04.01

Fujian

B

Fuzhou, Quanzhou, Pingtan FTZ

1,960

20.5


Fujian

C

Zhangzhou, Ningde

1,810

19


Fujian

D

Sanming, Nanping

1,660

17.5


Gansu

A

Lanzhou, Jiayuguan, Yumen, Dunhuang

2,020

21

2023.11.01

Gansu

B

Hezuo

1,960

20.5


Gansu

C

Linxia

1,910

20


Gansu

D

Certain county-level cities

1,850

19.5


Guangdong

A

Guangzhou

2,300

22.2

2021.12.01

Guangdong

-

Shenzhen

2,360

-

2022.01.01

Guangdong

B

Zhuhai, Foshan, Dongguan, Zhongshan

1,900

18.1


Guangdong

C

Shantou, Huizhou, Jiangmen, Zhanjiang, Zhaoqing

1,720

17


Guangdong

D

Other Cities

1,620

16.1


Guangxi

A

Nanning, Liuzhou, Guilin, Wuzhou, Beihai, Fangchenggang, Qinzhou

1,990

20.1

2023.11.01

Guangxi

B

Yulin, Baise, Guigang

1,840

18.6


Guangxi

C

Certain county-level cities

1,690

17


Guizhou

A

Guiyang, Qingzhen, Chishui

1,890

19.6

2023.02.01

Guizhou

B

Kaiyang

1,760

18.3


Guizhou

C

Xifeng, Xiuwen

1,660

17.2


Hainan

A

Haikou, Sanya, Yangpu Economic Development Zone

2,010

17.9

2023.12.01

Hainan

B

Qionghai, Danzhou, Sansha

1,850

16.3


Hebei

A

Shijiazhuang, Baoding, Langfang, Tangshan, Qinghuangdao, Cangzhou, Handan

2,200

22

2023.01.01

Hebei

B

Xintai, Hengshui, Zhangjiakou, Chengde

2,000

20


Hebei

C

Certain country-level cities

1,800

18


Heilongjiang

A

Harbin (except certain districts), Daqin

1,860

18

2021.04.01

Heilongjiang

B

Qiqihar, Mudanjiang, Jiamusi, Suihua

1,610

14


Heilongjiang

C

Heihe, Yinchun, Daxinganling

1,450

13


Henan

A

Zhengzhou, Luoyang, Anyang

2,100

20.6

2024.01.01

Henan

B

Kaifeng, Puyang, Nanyang

2,000

19.6


Henan

C

Weihui

1,800

17.6


Hubei

A

Wuhan

2,210

22

2024.02.01

Hubei

B

Huangshi, Yichang, Huanggang, Tianmen

1,950

19.5


Hubei

C

Certain county-level cities

1,850

18.5


Hunan

A

Changsha, Zhuzhou

1,930

19

2022.04.01

Hunan

B

Xiangtan, Yueyang, Changde

1,740

17


Hunan

C

Zhangjiajie, Yongzhou, Yiyang

1,550

15


Inner Mongolia

A

Hohhot, Erenhot

1,980

20.8

2021.12.01

Inner Mongolia

B

Hulunbuir, Xilinhot

1,910

20.1


Inner Mongolia

C

Bayanur, Ulanhot

1,850

19.5


Jiangsu

A

Nanjing, Suzhou, Zhenjiang, Changzhou, Wuxi

2,490

24

2024.01.01

Jiangsu

B

Yangzhou, Nantong, Lianyungang

2,260

22


Jiangsu

C

Suqian

2,010

20


Jiangxi

A

Nanchang

2,000

20

2024.04.01

Jiangxi

B

Jiujiang, Shangrao, Pingxiang, Ji’an

1,870

18.7


Jiangxi

C

Yichun, Fuzhou

1,740

17.4


Jilin

A

Changchun

1,880

19

2021.12.01

Jilin

B

Jilin, Songyuan, Yanji, Huichun

1,760

18


Jilin

C

Siping, Liaoyuan, Tonghua, Baishan, Qianguo county, Fusong county

1,640

17


Jilin

D

Baicheng and the rest counties (cities)

1,540

16


Liaoning

A

Dalian, Shenyang

2,100

21

2024.05.01

Liaoning

B

Anshan, Dandong, Fushun, Yingkou

1,900

19


Liaoning

C

Chaoyang, Fuxin

1,700

17


Ningxia

A

Yinchuan, Shizuishan

2,050

20

2024.03.01

Ningxia

B

Lingwu, Wuzhong, Zhongwei

1,900

18


Qinghai

-

-

1,880

18

2023.02.01

Shaanxi

A

Xi’an

2,160

21

2023.05.01

Shaanxi

B

Baoji, Hancheng, Hanzhong, Tongchuan, Weinan, Xianyang, Yan’an, Yulin

2,050

20


Shaanxi

C

Ankang, Shangluo

1,950

19


Shandong

A

Dongying, Jinan, Qingdao, Weifang, Weihai, Yantai, Zibo

2,200

22

2023.10.01

Shandong

B

Binzhou, Jinning, Laiwu, Linyi, Rizhao, Tai’an, Zaozhuang

1,900

19


Shandong

C

Dezhou, Heze, Liaocheng

1,820

18


Shanghai

-

-

2,690

24

2023.07.01

Shanxi

A

Most districts under Taiyuan; some districts and county-level cities under Datong, Changzhi, Jincheng, Shuozhou, Yizhou, Jinzhong, Linfen, Lvliang, and Yuncheng

1,980

21.3

2023.01.01

Shanxi

B

Most county-level cities under Datong, Changzhi, Shuozhou, Yizhou, Jinzhong, Linfen, and Yuncheng

1,880

20.2


Shanxi

C

Other county-level cities

1,780

19.1


Sichuan

A

Chengdu

2,100

22

2022.04.01

Sichuan

B

Certain districts under the jurisdiction of Chengdu

1,970

21


Sichuan

C

Other districts and county-level cities

1,870

20


Tianjin

-

-

2,320

24.4

2023.11.01

Tibet

-

-

1,850

18

2021.05.25

Xinjiang

A

Karamay, Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous Region

1,900

19

2021.04.01

Xinjiang

B

Changji, Shixenze, Urumqi, Wujyachu

1,700

17


Xinjiang

C

Aksu, Arai, Kashgar, Korla, Kumul, Tumxuk, Turpan, Wusu

1,620

16.2


Xinjiang

D

Atlay, Atush, Bortala, Dacheng, Gulja, Kuytun

1,540

15.4


Yunnan

A

Kunming

1,990

19

2023.10.01

Yunnan

B

Certain counties under the jurisdiction of Kunming

1,840

18


Yunnan

C

Other county-level cities

1,690

17


Zhejiang

A

Hangzhou, Ningbo, Wenzhou

2,490

24

2024.01.01

Zhejiang

B

Huzhou, Jinhua, Shaoxing, Taizhou

2,260

22


Zhejiang

C

Lishui, Zhoushan

2,010

20



  • Certain provinces set minimum wage standards at the county or district level. The cities listed in the table are examples and are not exhaustive.

  • Highlighted areas denote jurisdictions that updated their minimum wage in 2023. The monthly minimum wage is for full-time employment, while the hourly minimum wage is for part-time employment.

  • Hunan, Zhejiang, and Sichuan provinces allow each city to decide which minimum wage level to apply. The cities given as examples are therefore subject to change.

Salary Components

Base Salary and Bonus: The employee’s base salary must be stated in the labour contract. Employers can also include one-off payments, such as a 13th-month salary payment around Chinese New Year. Companies should be cautious when including payments other than the base salary in the labour contract as they become legally obligated to make the payment. Employers can instead choose to pay this amount as an annual bonus, explaining that the company generally pays this amount under normal business circumstances but is not obligated to do so if performance is below expectations.

Allowances: The Chinese Tax Bureau allows foreign staff (including those from Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan) to deduct certain allowances before calculating the tax burden on their monthly salary, provided that:

  • The employment contract (and sometimes a board resolution) clearly references the amount paid under each specific allowance title.

  • Each month, the employee produces evidence (fapiao or official invoice) to show the company that the money was spent on the services described in the contract. This is valid until December 31, 2023.

Deductible allowances include:

  • Meal allowance

  • Housing allowance

  • Laundry allowance

  • Children’s education allowance

  • Home visit allowance

How much of a foreign employee’s salary can be allocated to allowances is not clearly defined by law but should be “reasonable.” Many companies adopt a proportion of 30% of the total salary and classify this portion as allowances. There is always the possibility that the tax office will challenge the company on this issue, so it is recommended that the proportion of the allowance should be set at or below this level.

Overtime Defined by Chinese Law

For employees who work beyond eight hours a day, the employer must pay a minimum of 150% of the basic salary for overtime worked. However, companies can structure overtime in several different ways, such as adopting either the Comprehensive Working Hour system or the Flexible Working Hour system, both of which usually do not entitle employees to typical overtime payments. Government approval must be sought for implementation.

For an employee to work overtime, employers must consult with employees and labour unions first. If employees do work overtime, they must be paid 1.5 times their usual wage. Employers are not required to pay overtime compensation to high-ranking managers. If employees work on a weekend, they are to be paid double their regular wage or get an additional day off during the week. If employees work on a statutory holiday, they must be paid three times their normal wage.

Overtime Payments & Regulations: Overtime is regulated by the People’s Republic of China Labour Law and is paid differently depending on the work hour system adopted by the employer:

The Standard Work Hour System:

  • Normal working day should not exceed eight hours.

  • Normal working week should not exceed 40 hours.

  • Each employee should be guaranteed at least one rest day per week.

  • Overtime rates:

  • For overtime work, not less than 150% of the normal wage.

  • For work on a rest day, where rest days cannot be postponed, not less than 200% of the normal wage.

  • For work on an official public holiday, not less than 300% of the normal wage.

Time of Work

Percentage of Hourly Salary

Extra hours worked on weekdays

150%

Hours worked on weekends

200%

Hours worked on public holidays

300%

The standard work-hour system is suitable for most types of jobs in China.

The Comprehensive Work-Hour System:

  • Overtime is applicable for hours worked above the standard set per cycle.

  • Rates match those of the standard work hour system for extra hours worked and work on public holidays.

  • No rest day is outlined under this system.

  • The system requires approval from the local labour bureau.

Time of Work

Percentage of Hourly Salary

Extra hours worked outside of normal shift

150%

Extra hours worked on public holidays

300%

The Non-Fixed (Flexible) Work-Hour System:

  • Accommodates employees whose working hours are impractical to measure.

  • Employees are paid as salaried employees with a set amount per period.

  • No overtime cost is associated with this system.

  • Appropriate work and rest schedules must be observed.

This system is suitable for roles where outcomes are more important than specific hours worked, such as:

  • Senior management

  • Salespeople

  • Employees in the transport, warehousing, and railway sectors

Non-fixed working hours cannot be applied to low-level management or non-management roles unless they fall under specific work roles like off-site sales personnel, personnel permanently based out of town, long-distance transportation personnel, non-production on-duty personnel, or others in special work positions that allow them to arrange their own work and rest schedules.

Can Woodburn help you?

 

Woodburn Accountants & Advisors is one of China’s most trusted business setup advisory firms.


Woodburn Accountants & Advisors is specialized in inbound investment to China and Hong Kong. We focus on eliminating the complexities of corporate services and compliance administration. We help clients with services ranging from trademark registration and company incorporation to the full outsourcing solution for accounting, tax, and human resource services. Our advisory services can be tailor-made based on the companies’ objectives, goals and needs which vary depending on the stage they are at on their journey.

 

Talk to an expert


Schedule a 30-mins complimentary, no-obligation call to see how Woodburn can help you. Book a call with our Head of Business Advisory - Kristina Koehler-Coluccia.

Topics we can advise on include:

  • Company Registration

  • Cloud Accounting & Financial Reporting

  • Cloud Payroll Services

  • Tax & Audit Services

  • Recruitment

  • Employer-of-Record

  • Visa Application

  • Trademark Registration

  • Switch to Woodburn

  • Partner with Woodburn (cross referral) 

Our calls are automatically scheduled via Zoom - or via Teams, WeChat or WhatsApp upon direct request. 

Our advisory calls are available from Monday-Friday from 8am to 5pm CEST and Wednesday until 9pm CEST.

 



コメント


Woodburn Accountants & Advisors is one of China and Hong Kong’s
most trusted business setup advisory firms

bottom of page