The sapping demand caused by the global financial crisis has hit hard on several coastal provinces in China. The Ministry of Human Resource and Social Security recently sent a notice, emphasizing a stable employment as the most important task. Shandong and Hubei provincial authorities require government review and approval before any company fires more than 40 people. The Qingdao city of Shandong even demands a nod from local officials before laying off 20 workers or more than 10% of the total employees.
In south China, media has reported thousands of close-downs amid the crisis, some senior managers even committing suicide or fleeing overseas. Although the government has announced the 4 trillion yuan (586 billion dollars) stimulus package, there are widespread doubts on whether the plan can effectively make up for the job losses. The government fears outburst of serious social problems, if not well tackling the shaky job market.
Source: BBC Chinese, November 18, 2008