What's the Minimum Wage in China in 2023/2024? Master Guide

What's the Minimum Wage in China in 2023/2024? Master Guide

What's the Minimum Wage in China in 2023/2024? Master Guide

December 21, 2023


Picture of INS Global



Picture of INS Global



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Key Takeaways

  1. In China, minimum wage levels are set at the provincial, autonomous area, and municipal levels
  2. In 2023, the Shanghai monthly minimum wage was RMB 2,690
  3. Penalties for minimum wage violations may include fines, warnings, and often legal action


Understanding salary standards in a new market is essential to many facets of a successful start and effective long-term strategies when expanding overseas. Understanding the minimum wage in China and how it affects future pay expectations for employees can make a big difference in job performance, long-term retention, and employee satisfaction.

Foreign companies in China remain at risk of intense scrutiny from the government, so failure to provide employees with their minimum worker benefits, including a correct minimum wage, typically results in serious penalties.

In 2023, the news has been full of stories of companies in China, both local and foreign, being fined millions of dollars or penalized for improper workplace practices. However, knowing the law in these cases is just half the battle. That’s why INS Global offers all the support you need to understand local best practices and benchmarks in China.


How the Minimum Wage Functions in China


In China, minimum wage levels are set at the provincial, autonomous area, and municipal levels rather than through a single national minimum wage.

Based on variables including the local cost of living, the state of the economy, and other considerations, each region determines its own minimum wage(s).


Determining the Minimum Wage in China


Periodic modifications to minimum wage rates may be made annually or less frequently in some cases, with the majority of provinces having updated their rates in 2023.

When deciding whether to raise the minimum wage, local governments frequently consider the state of the economy, inflation, and the average salary level in the area.


What is the Minimum Wage in China in 2023 and 2024?


In 2023, the minimum wage in China is set as follows in chosen major cities or provincial areas:


Province/Region Monthly minimum wage


Hourly minimum wage


Anhui 2,060 21
Beijing 2,420 26.4
Chongqing 2,100 21
Guangdong 2,300 22.2
Hainan 2,010 17.9
Jiangsu 2,280 22
Shanghai 2,690 24
Sichuan 2,100 22



Exceptions and Adjustments to the Minimum Wage in China


Special Economic Zones


Special economic zones are often designated to encourage economic development and foreign investment. As a result, they may have different regulations regarding minimum wages, and these will be available from the zone authorities.


Industry-Specific Adjustments


Certain industries or sectors may have different minimum wage levels based on the nature of the work, generally due to a CBA or similar agreement made with the relevant workers’ organization.


Employee Experience and Skill Levels


In some regions, there may be variations in minimum wage levels based on an employee’s experience or skill level.


Probation Periods


Workers in their probation period may be paid up to 20% less than the full wage agreed upon in their employment contract. However, the probation period wage must not be less than the local minimum wage, and it cannot be less than the salary received by the lowest-paid employee with the same job in the company.



The Minimum Wage in China for Special Work Hours




In accordance with China’s Labor Law, the standard working week is defined as 8 hours per working day, spanning 5 days each week.

Any work hours surpassing the standard limit are classified as overtime, necessitating compensation at a rate of 1.5x regular pay.


Rest Days and Public Holidays


In situations where employees are required to work on a weekend day, they are entitled to receive 2x their normal pay rate, ensuring fair compensation for weekend commitments.

Employees who find themselves working on a Chinese National Holiday are entitled to compensation at a rate of a minimum of 3x their standard pay. The Chinese government has officially designated 7 paid national holidays, which include New Year’s Day, Chinese New Year/Spring Festival, Qing Ming Festival, Labor Day, Dragon Boat Festival, and National Day.


Untaken Holiday Leave


Should an employee be unable to use paid annual leave or choose to forgo it, the employer must compensate the employee with the standard wage plus 2x their standard salary for each untaken day of leave.


Tools for Determining Minimum Salaries in China


Local Labor Bureaus


Local labor bureaus or authorities determine and announce minimum wage levels in their respective regions.


Public Announcements


The rates for the minimum wage in China are typically announced through official channels and made publicly available for employers and employees.


minimum wage in China


Guarantee Compliance Worldwide with INS Global


Penalties for minimum wage violations may include fines, warnings, and, in some cases, legal action. Employers must be aware of and adhere to the minimum wage regulations applicable in their specific region to avoid potential penalties.

To assist your business in growing swiftly, easily, and safely, INS Global offers compliance and worldwide growth services. The right support ensures you can confidently answer any questions or overcome common and uncommon challenges like navigating laws around the minimum wage in China.

We assist companies in managing HR operations and ensuring compliance with employment laws in markets around the world, making entry into the Chinese market quick and easy. In order to make sure that local laws around the minimum wage in China are followed and your employees are kept safe during the expansion process, we offer the experience and expertise that comes from nearly 20 years of supporting businesses through this exciting change.

Recruiting, payroll, compliance, and other HR streamlining services are all offered by our local Employer of Record (EOR) in China. Whatever your needs, we can provide strong local resources and the appropriate professional support.

To find out more about how to ensure a smooth transition into the Chinese market, get in touch with our global expansion advisors today.


Contact Us Today

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