In recent days there have been widespread reports on Chinese social media that the Guangdong provincial government has announced a 25% pay cut for civil servants, sparking online debate. Although officials have not publicly responded to the reports, sources in Guangdong and other provinces have revealed that civil servant pay cuts across China are now an undisputed fact. Many netizens have commented on the above reports, urging the government to clarify whether the 25% cut is real, but officials have remained silent.
Analysts attribute these pay cuts to the collapse of local government income, which depends on revenue land sales. Government land sales have plummeted in the current recessionary environment, even falling as low as zero in some areas.
According to unconfirmed reports, the Guangdong provincial government recently held a press conference announcing the decision regarding pay cuts, confirming earlier speculation. Prior to this, several other provinces had already lowered civil service wages, including a 25% reduction in Zhejiang, 15% in Jiangsu, and 20% in Fujian. With the Guangdong news, broader civil service pay cuts seem imminent.
During more prosperous years, civil servants in economically vibrant regions enjoyed higher salaries. Some areas in Shandong have gone months without disbursing wages.
Source: Radio Free Asia, July 11, 2023