The 5 Cities With the Highest Salary in China

The 5 Cities With the Highest Salary in China
Feb 02, 2016 By

Editor's Note: All foreigners in China learn soon enough that they are getting paid twice, sometimes four times as much as their Chinese colleagues. It's an uncomfortable part of working here, but supply and demand, right? surveyed workers about their salary and bonuses if you were curious about how wide the salary gap really is. Or if you're looking for a raise, salaries are increasing around 6%, so forward this translated article to your boss. 

In winter 2015, the average pay nationwide in China was 6070 Yuan. The average salary in Beijing was the highest at 9227 Yuan, Shanghai had the second highest at 8664 Yuan. In Shenzhen, the average salary was 7728 Yuan, and in Hangzhou it was 7097 Yuan. Hangzhou beat out Guangzhou for the fourth spot. 

A survey released on January 20 shows that 60% of Chinese employers plan to increase their employees’ salaries by more than 6% in 2016. In Japan, 63% of employees plan to increase salaries by less than 3% in 2016. In China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, most employers plan to raise salaries between 3-6%.

Data from Zhaopin shows that in 2015, the average salaries in 32 major Chinese cities was 6070 Yuan. Beijing was ranked first, Shanghai second, and Shenzhen third. The pay gap is the largest between Beijing and Shanghai.

Hangzhou: Rising Star
The average salary in Hangzhou is higher than that in Guangzhou. The average salary in Guangzhou was 6,913 Yuan, and was 7,097 Yuan in Hangzhou. Guangzhou is expected to be in the top four with Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen. It seems that Guangzhou has not kept up with the pace of economic development in the three other cities.

However in all, economic development has been good in China’s first tier cities and rising star Hangzhou. Eastern coastal cities Suzhou, Ningbo and Nanjing, and southeast cities Chengdu and Chongqing have had rapid economic growth as well. These cities have the top ten highest average salaries in China.

Cities in the Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta have experienced impressive economic development and increased salaries. Harbin, Changchun, Shenyang and other cities in the northeast have had slower development and therefore lower average salaries.

Who Makes the Most?
Chinese with the highest salaries in 2015 worked in professional services and consulting (accounting, legal, human resources, etc.). The average monthly salary for the field was 10,634 Yuan. Those in securities, futures, and investment earned an average of 9,204 Yuan per month, and those in intermediary financial services (ie. brokers) made an average of 8,658 Yuan.
In the field of business, Chinese working for private enterprises had the highest paychecks in 2015 and made an average of 7,322 Yuan per month. Those working for joint ventures earned 7,134 Yuan, and those working for foreign enterprises earned 6,400 Yuan. State-owned enterprises had the lowest pay. Foreign enterprises have become more competitive in China, and pay has increased for their employees.

Hays Salary Guide reported that in 2016, pay increases will be larger in Mainland China than in four other major countries and regions in Asia. 44% of Chinese employers plan to increase their employees’ salaries by 6-10% in 2016, and 29% planned a 3-6% increase. 15% of employers plan to increase salaries more than 10%. 4% said that they would not increase their employees’ pay and 3% said they would increase it less than 3%.

In Japan, 63% of employers are planning to give their employees’ a salary increase of less than 3% in 2016. In Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia, most employers are planning to raise salaries between 3-6%.

Bonuses and Benefits
84% of Asian employers provide additional support for their employees in the form of benefits. The most common benefit, provided by 78% of employers, is health insurance or medical care. 42% offer life insurance, and 33% offer transportation allowance or a company car. 33% of employers also offer employees a pension.

In 2016, 63% of employers plan to give their employees bonuses. 95% said that bonuses will be based on company performance, 92% said it will be based on individual performance, and 37% said they will be based on team performance. However, only 10% of employers said that they could guarantee bonuses.

33% of employers said that they plan to give bonuses worth 10% or less of their employees’ wages. 44% said that bonuses can amount to 11-50%, and 13% said that they can amount to 51-99%. 10% of employers said that they expect to give out bonuses worth 100% of their employees’ salaries.

The survey shows that China has a high number of women in management positions—32%. This is second to only Malaysia, which has 37%. In Hong Kong, women hold 28% of management positions and in Singapore, 27% do. Japan has the lowest number of women in management positions, only 19%.

However, China lacks international diversity in the workplace. Only 8% of jobs in China are held by foreign employees. In Singapore, 28% of jobs are held by foreign employees. 18% are in Hong Kong, 15% in Malaysia, and 9% in Japan.

Source: QQ News

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Keywords: average salary China bonuses salary


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people around ask how much I earn. I do not know what to tell them because I might have 2 times more or even 3 times more than they have. I just change the topic

Mar 06, 2017 20:38 Report Abuse



I'm not sure where the author of this article got his source but a listing of salaries for each respective city seems a bit on low side.

Jun 01, 2016 18:08 Report Abuse



Price inflation in tier 1 cities has outstripped increases in wages by far in recent years...

Feb 18, 2016 03:17 Report Abuse



I tutored a kid whose father was an official. Tutoring was IELTS and prep for the visa interview to go to school in the UK. Stated salary: 100000 per year. Owns a Benz and a Land Rover, three houses, kid in private school, overseas vacations. Admit it, the Chinese are much more resourceful than us! And, 8% of jobs in China are not held by foreigners. Not even close. Maybe 0.02%?

Feb 05, 2016 20:02 Report Abuse



oh, i always wondered how a Chinese official making 9000 RMB a month was able to afford a high end Benz, have his 2 kids attend a private school where tuition is around $20,000 a year, go on numerous international vacations throughout the year, etc. Silly me, I thought he was really clever with his 9000 RMB a month.

Feb 03, 2016 01:30 Report Abuse



Yep, true that, and I advise every Foreigners to also play that game, be they corporate or teachers, it's easy to collect hongbao. Two suppliers battling to convince you that their product is the best? Pick the one that will give you a "bonus" for your own pocket. Little PengPeng didn't get 100 marks at the exam? Don't worry mommy, this can be easily fixed for a certain amount of money. Go ahead, no one among your colleagues will ever call you out on it because it would be like shooting themselves in the foot.

Feb 03, 2016 13:19 Report Abuse



I find it hard to believe very much of this article at all. Salaries in my city have been static, for Chinese workers, for more than 3 years. And bonuses have been reduced to not more than some toilet paper and laundry detergent. In the case of my wife, who is a department head in one of China's Big 5 companies, her bonuses used to be at least the equal of her salary. This year, as for all the people in her company, it's zero. And she tells me this is reflected right throughout the city. The Chinese teachers at my school have all had part of their salaries witheld this past year. As far as I'm concerned, my salary hasn't increased one iota in 4 years. The reasons for all this have been explained away to the state of play in the oil business. I couldn't count the number of unfinished highrise buildings that are just standing there doing nothing. There are a lot of unhappy people in this officially wealthy city these days.

Feb 02, 2016 13:52 Report Abuse



Your salary hasn't increased in 4 years? Time to find another job.

Feb 02, 2016 17:56 Report Abuse




Feb 02, 2016 11:21 Report Abuse



perhaps foreigners get paid more for display or reuptation, in some cases, but might it also be an issue of competence...

Feb 02, 2016 09:28 Report Abuse



Foreigners can do their job correctly and fix problems in a blink, also we don't have this nasty habit to use the company's resources and steal clients lists to run our own secret business on the side and we don't cheat and lie to our boss on a normal basis, this is why we get paid more. Every Chinese I have worked with do the minimum to get by and take no initiative whatsoever. Chinese managers are the worst, the ones I know all obtained their position through guanxi and do absolutely nothing beside collecting hongbao. Never mind so many local companies are on the brink of bankrupt these days and can't pay their staff.

Feb 02, 2016 18:01 Report Abuse



who said foreigners don't steal clients lists and work hard !

Feb 02, 2016 19:01 Report Abuse



Considering the enormous wealth flaunted by the few and such low reported averages salaries, tens of millions, at least , must be getting nothing, or darn close to nothing , which any tour ofthe countryside will reveal

Feb 02, 2016 09:13 Report Abuse