Human Resources & Payroll

Assessing China’s Tech Cities: Labor Markets in Shenzhen, Beijing, and Hangzhou

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By Alexander Chipman Koty

The competition to become “the Silicon Valley of Asia” is stiff. Hong Kong, Singapore, and Bangalore all have solid claims, while the mainland Chinese cities Shenzhen, Beijing, and Hangzhou are also strong competitors.

A recent report published by Renmin University’s National Survey Research Center replaces this hotly debated topic by dividing China’s innovative cities into three distinct tech business models: Shenzhen’s high-tech model, Beijing’s innovation-driven model, and Hangzhou’s dotcom model.

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New Online Employment Visa Application Debuted in Shanghai

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By Weining Hu

The Shanghai Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) recently announced that alien employment services counters in Shanghai will stop accepting new Employment Permit applications at 5pm on March 24, 2017. From the following day, all employers in Shanghai will be required to apply for employment permits via the online management system for foreign workers in China (Management System). The new policy only applies to foreign employees who currently hold a Foreign Expert License or an Employment License, and therefore need to apply for an Employment Permit.

Under the old visa and immigration policies, an Alien Expert License holder needs to apply for an Alien Expert Certificate in order to legally work in China, while an Alien Employment License holder is required to apply for an Alien Employment Permit. However, the above two types of foreign employees no longer need to apply for different work permits. This is because the China’s State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs will unify those two work permits into a single ‘Alien Employment Permit’, which will become effective from April 1, 2017.

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LGBTQ+ in the Chinese Workplace: Fostering an Inclusive Environment

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By Alexander Chipman Koty

On December 30, 2016, a court in China’s southwestern province of Guizhou ruled that a worker, known as Mr. Chen, was wrongfully dismissed for dressing as a man. The ruling represents a new landmark for LGBTQ+ rights in China. Although the decision did not address the transgender identity of Mr. Chen, who was born female but identifies as a male, the court deemed that the dismissal was unlawful.

The ruling follows a series of recent lawsuits regarding LGBTQ+ rights in China, including a male couple who unsuccessfully lobbied for marriage rights, a clinic that was punished for using shock therapy to make a man heterosexual, and a university student suing over textbooks describing homosexuality as abnormal behavior.

As awareness of LGBTQ+ issues in China rises, employers are facing newfound scrutiny over their treatment of sexual minorities. Employers have the opportunity to establish safe work environments for LGBTQ+ employees, and become leaders in China’s changing social climate. Doing so can boost office morale, increase work efficiency, and, most importantly, give opportunities to those too often suffering from discrimination.

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Evaluating Trade Union Law and Collective Bargaining in China: Key Considerations for Foreign Firms

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By Samuel Wrest

Industrial action in China entered uncharted territory last year. Once mainly confined to the manufacturing and construction sectors – the traditional linchpins of China’s growth – labor unrest took giant steps into the retail and service sectors in 2016, with strike action doubling in the former and growing by a fifth in the latter.

When combined with the transport sector – which continued its upwards surge in incidents by registering a 25 percent increase – labor strikes in these three sectors outweighed those in manufacturing for the first time.

The increase in industrial action in these three industries is indicative of the changing nature of the Chinese economy, which is transitioning from one powered by manufacturing and exports to one reliant on consumption and services. However, it is also a sign of the deeper problems with labor unrest that exist in China’s workforce.

As in previous years, 2016’s strikes were organized by the workers themselves and not through the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) – the only trade union that is legally allowed to exist in the country – highlighting the gap in employee representation that currently exists across all industries in the Middle Kingdom, and not just amongst blue-collar workers.

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Labor Dispatch Services: a Cost Effective Employment Option for Growing Businesses in China

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By Dezan Shira & Associates

Managing human resources is a thorny issue for some foreign-invested entities in China, particularly those who have demanding deadlines or are less familiar with the HR environment. Employee administrative procedures – which include areas such as management of recruitment, work permit applications, labor contracts, and payroll and tax declaration – can slow a project down or create operational risk.

Labor dispatch is an important option for foreign companies in China that require a low cost and flexible method to hire employees. Whether it is a company that needs to staff a short-term project within a demanding deadline, or one that needs to hire temporary workers to support its business during start-up, labor dispatch proves a top choice compared with other traditional recruitment methods.

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Navigating China’s New Improved Green Card Scheme for Foreigners

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By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Weining Hu

On February 6, 2017, the Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China (MPS) announced that it would launch a joint effort with 20 departments to assess methods to improve the practical utilization of foreign permanent residence cards in China. The MPS also confirmed that a new version of the foreign permanent residence card, also known as China’s ‘green card’, will be available this year. Requirements and application for which can be seen here.

On the same day, President Xi Jinping held the 32nd meeting of the Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reform (the CLG), where senior Chinese officials approved a set of reform proposals, including a decision to upgrade the security and identification features of the new green card.

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Why HR Audits are Important for Foreign Companies in China

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By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Zolzaya Erdenebileg

Foreign companies operating in China are increasingly finding themselves in the uncomfortable position of undergoing an internal investigation or encountering a potential labor dispute. According to national statistics released by China’s Supreme People’s Court (SPC), 2015 saw a sharp rise in labor disputes. New labor disputes, meaning disputes that arise during a contractual relationship between employee and employer, accepted by the Chinese courts totaled 483,311 – an increase of 25 percent from 2014. Labor service disputes, meaning disputes arising from “independent contractor” agreements with quasi-employment relationships, totaled 162,920 – an increase of 38.7 percent from 2014.

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Navigating China’s Temporary Driving License

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By Alberto Díaz

Driving in China can be a difficult road to navigate as using a license issued by a foreign country is not legal in the country. In addition, the country does not either recognize international driving licenses or any other documentation that has been issued outside Chinese territory. It is therefore essential for foreigners living in China to get through the application process for a Chinese driving license if they have any plans to drive a car themselves. This norm applies to all Chinese cities and provinces. Foreigners who wish to undergo the official examinations and apply for a Chinese driving license may find the procedures described here.

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Dezan Shira & Associates

Meet the firm behind our content. Dezan Shira & Associates have been servicing foreign investors in China, India and the ASEAN region since 1992. Click here to visit their professional services website and discover how they can help your business succeed in Asia.

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