A Guide to Minimum Wages in China in 2022 (Last Updated on April 11, 2022)

Posted by Written by Qian Zhou and Zoey Zhang Reading Time: 8 minutes

We offer a guide to minimum wages in Mainland China and discuss how labor costs are affected by changes to the minimum wage levels.


Minimum wages in China continue to rise.

Starting in 2022, Shenzhen and Henan raised their minimum wage standards from January 1, while Chongqing, Hunan, and Fujian will raise their minimum wage standards from April 1. Meanwhile, Hebei province has announced that it plans to adjust its minimum wage standards in 2022 after completing an ongoing process of evaluation and calculation.

Since 2021, more than 20 provinces in China have raised their minimum wage standard, including Anhui, Beijing, Guangdong, Hainan, Heilongjiang, Hubei, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Ningxia, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanghai, Shanxi, Sichuan, Tianjin, Tibet, Xinjiang, and Zhejiang.

Currently, Shanghai has the highest monthly minimum wage among 31 provinces (RMB 2,590/US$400 per month) and Beijing has the highest hourly minimum wage (RMB 25.3/US$3.9 per hour). Eight regions – Shanghai, Guangdong, Beijing, Tianjin, Jiangsu, Shandong, Hubei, and Zhejiang – have surpassed the RMB 2,000 (US$308) mark in their monthly minimum wage standards.

At the lower end of the wage spectrum, Yunnan’s minimum wage level (RMB 1,350/US$213 per month) is slightly higher than that in Anhui (RMB 1,340/US$212 per month).

What is the minimum wage in China?

According to China’s Provisions on Minimum Wage, the legal minimum wage refers to the minimum labor remunerations that shall be paid by the employers to the employees under the precondition that the employee has provided normal labor within the promissory working hours or within the working hours that is prescribed in the labor contracts.

The minimum wage standards are determined by provincial governments by taking into consideration factors, such as the minimum living costs of local employees and their dependents, the urban residents’ consumption price index, the social insurance premiums and the housing funds paid by the employees themselves, the average salary of the employees, the level of local economic development, the local employment status, etc.

In general, the minimum wage standards appear in two forms, namely the monthly minimum wage standard and the hourly minimum wage standard. The monthly minimum wage standard applies to full-time employees while the hourly minimum wage standard applies to non-fulltime employees, such as part-time and temporary employees.

To be noted, the minimum wage is just the basic wage that employers must pay their employees, which excludes overtime pay, night shift allowance, summer high temperature allowance, the special working environment allowance, and subsidies for meals, transportation, and housing.

Nevertheless, China’s minimum wage standards do include the social insurance premiums and housing fund contributions paid by employees in most regions. In fact, it is possible that the employee’s take-home pay is lower than the corresponding minimum wage standard in these regions. Only a few regions, such as Shanghai, clearly stipulate in their local rules that their local minimum wage standards exclude social insurance premiums and housing fund contributions.

Local governments in China are generally required to update their minimum wages every few years but have the flexibility to adjust wages according to local conditions.

Most provinces set different classes of minimum wage levels for different areas depending on the given region’s level of development and cost of living. For example, a higher minimum wage class is established for the provincial capital and the most developed cities in the province, whereas smaller cities and rural areas fall under a lower wage class.

Minimum wage in China guide

A complete guide to China’s minimum wages can be found below.

Minimum Wages in China 2021

Province/region Class City/urban area* Monthly minimum wage (RMB) Hourly minimum wage (RMB) Effective date
Anhui A Hefei 1,650 20 2021.12.03
B Bengbu

Huaibei

Huainan

Xuancheng

1,500 18
C Anqing

Fuyang

Huangshan

1,430 17
D Certain county-level cities 1,340 16
Beijing 2,320 25.3 2021.08.01
Chongqing A Certain suburban districts and counties 2,100 21 2022.04.01
B Certain suburban districts and counties 2,000 20
Fujian A Xiamen 2,030 21 2022.04.01
B Fuzhou

Quanzhou

Pingtan FTZ

1,960 20.5
C Zhangzhou

Ningde

1,810 19
D Sanming

Nanping

1,660 17.5
Gansu A Lanzhou

Jiayuguan

Yumen

Dunhuang

1,620 17 2017.06.01
B Hezuo 1,570 16.5
C Linxia 1,520 15.9
D Certain county-level cities 1,470 15.4
Guangdong A Guangzhou 2,300 22.2 2021.12.01 (Shenzhen’s minimum wage standards was effective since January 1, 2022)
Shenzhen 2,360
B Zhuhai

Foshan

Dongguan

Zhongshan

1,900 18.1
C Shantou

Huizhou

Jiangmen

Zhanjiang

Zhaoqing

1,720 17
D Other cities 1,620 16.1
Guangxi A Nanning

Liuzhou

Guilin

Wuzhou

Beihai

Fangchenggang

Qinzhou

1,810 17.5 2020.03.01
B Yulin

Baise

Guigang

1,580 15.3
C Certain county-level cities 1,430 14
Guizhou A Guiyang

Qingzhen

Chishui

1,790 18.6 2019.12.01
B Kaiyang 1,670 17.5
C Xifeng

Xiuwen

1,570 16.5
Hainan A Haikou

Sanya

Yangpu Economic Development Zone

1,830 16.3 2021.12.01
B Qionghai

Danzhou

Sansha

1,730 15.4
C Wenchang

Other cities

1,680 14.9
Hebei A Shijiazhuang

Baoding

Langfang

Tangshan

Qinghuangdao

1,900 19 2019.11.01
B Handan

Xintai

Hengshui

Zhangjiakou

Chengde

1,790 18
C Shenzhou

Xinle

Yizhou

1,680 17
D Certain county-level cities 1,580 16
Heilongjiang A Harbin (except certain districts)

Daqin

1,860 18 2021.04.01
B Qiqihar

Mudanjiang

Jiamusi

Suihua

1,610 14
C Heihe

Yinchun

Daxinganling

1,450 13
Henan A Zhengzhou

Luoyang

Anyang

2,000 19.6 2022.01.01
B Kaifeng

Puyang

Nanyang

1,800 17.6
C Weihui 1,600 15.6
Hubei A Wuhan 2,010 19.5 2021.09.01
B Huangshi

Yichang

Huanggang

Tianmen

1,800 18
C Certain county-level cities 1,650 16.5
D Shengnong

Other county-level cities

1,520 15
Hunan*** A Changsha

Zhuzhou

1,930 19 2022.04.01
B Xiangtan

Yueyang

Changde

1,740 17
C Zhangjiajie

Yongzhou

Yiyang

1,550 15
Inner Mongolia A Hohhot

Erenhot

1,760 18.6 2017.08.01
B Hulunbuir

Xilinhot

1,660 17.6
C Bayanur

Ulanhot

1,560 16.5
D Arxan 1,460 15.5
Jiangsu A Nanjing

Suzhou

Zhenjiang

Changzhou

Wuxi

2,280 22 2021.08.01
B Yangzhou

Nantong

Lianyungang

2,070 20
C Suqian 1,840 18
Jiangxi A Nanchang 1,850 18.5 2021.01.21
B Jiujiang

Shangrao

Pingxiang

Ji’an

1,730 17.3
C Yichun

Fuzhou

1,610 16.1
Jilin A Changchun 1,880 19 2021.12.01
B Jilin

Songyuan

Yanji

Huichun

1,760 18
C Siping

Liaoyuan

Tonghua

Baishan

Qianguo county

Fusong county

1,640 17
D Baicheng and the rest counties (cities) 1,540 16
Liaoning A Dalian

Shenyang

1,910 19.2 2021.11.01
B Anshan

Dandong

Fushun

Yingkou

1,710 17.2
C Chaoyang

Fuxin

1,580 15.9
D Huludao

Tieling

1,420 14.3
Ningxia A Yinchuan

Shizuishan

1,950 18 2021.09.01
B Lingwu

Wuzhong

Zhongwei

1,840 17
C Guyuan 1,750 16
Qinghai 1,700 15.2 2020.01.01
Shaanxi A Xi’an 1,950 19 2021.05.01
B Baoji

Hancheng

Hanzhong

Tongchuan

Weinan

Xianyang

Yan’an

Yulin

1,850 18
C Ankang

Shangluo

1,750 17
Shandong A Dongying

Jinan

Qingdao

Weifang

Weihai

Yantai

Zibo

2,100 21 2021.10.01
B Binzhou

Jinning

Laiwu

Linyi

Rizhao

Tai’an

Zaozhuang

1,900 19
C Dezhou

Heze

Liaocheng

1,700 17
Shanghai 2,590 23 2021.07.01
Shanxi A Most districts under Taiyuan; some districts and county-level cities under Datong, Changzhi, Jincheng, Shuozhou, Yizhou, Jinzhong, Linfen, Lvliang, and Yuncheng 1,880 19.8 2021.10.01
B Most county-level cities under Datong, Changzhi, Shuozhou, Yizhou, Jinzhong, Linfen, and Yuncheng 1,760 18.5
C Other county-level cities 1,630 17.2
Sichuan*** A Chengdu 2,100 22 2022.4.1
B Certain districts under the jurisdiction of Chengdu 1,970 21
C Other districts and county-level cities 1,870 20
Tianjin 2,180 22.6 2021.07.01
Tibet 1,850 18 2021.05.25
Xinjiang A Karamay

Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous Region

1,900 19 2021.04.01
B Changji

Shixenze

Urumqi

Wujyachu

1,700 17
C Aksu

Arai

Kashgar

Korla

Kumul

Tumxuk

Turpan

Wusu

1,620 16.2
D Atlay

Atush

Bortala

Dacheng

Gulja

Kuytun

1,540 15.4
Yunnan A Kunming 1,670 15 2018.05.01
B Certain counties under the jurisdiction of Kunming 1,500 14
C Other county-level cities 1,350 13
Zhejiang*** A Hangzhou

Ningbo

Wenzhou

2,280 22 2021.08.01
B Huzhou

Jinhua

Shaoxing

Taizhou

2,070 20
C Lishui

Zhoushan

1,840 18

Notes:

*Certain provinces set minimum wage standards at the county or district level. The cities listed in the table are examples and are not exhaustive.

**Highlighted areas denote jurisdictions that updated their minimum wage in 2022. The monthly minimum wage is for full-time employment while the hourly minimum wage is for part-time employment. 

*** Hunan, Zhejiang, and Sichuan provinces allow each city to decide which minimum wage level to apply. The cities given as examples are therefore subject to change.

What is affected by the minimum wage increase?

As the minimum wage rises, minimum standards for other employee benefits, such as overtime pay, other allowances, and subsidies, increase in kind.

Housing fund

The minimum contribution base of the housing fund in many cities is the same as the local minimum wage standards. The change of the minimum wage means the adjustment of the housing fund contribution base in the following months. The ceiling of the housing fund contribution base is usually three times the local average monthly salary of employees in the previous year and the floor of the housing fund contribution base is usually the same as the local minimum wage standard.

To be noted, however, the adjustment of the housing fund contribution base is not always in sync with the change of the minimum wage standard. For example, to reduce labor costs and help struggling businesses survive in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Shanghai government decided that its minimum contribution base of the housing fund in 2021 will follow the 2020 minimum wage standard, rather than 2021 one.

Companies are suggested to pay attention to announcements from the local government.

Wages during the probation period

Article 20 of the Labor Contract Law stipulates that the wage amount of a worker during their probation period shall not be less than the lowest wage amount for the same job position in the employer’s organization or 80 percent of the wage amount agreed in the labor contract and shall not be less than the minimum wage standard of the locality of the employer.

Therefore, the wages paid by the enterprise to the probationary employees who are on regular attendance should not be lower than the corresponding standard amount.

Wages during sick leave

Different cities have different standards regarding sick leave payments. But one universal rule is that the sick leave wage shall not be lower than 80 percent of the local minimum wage, according to the Opinions on Several Issues concerning the Implementation of the Labor Law of the People’s Republic of China (Lao Bu Fa [1995] No. 309).

Correspondingly, the minimum sick leave wage standard shall be adjusted with the increase of the local minimum wage standard.

Severance payment

Article 27 of the Implementation Regulations for the Labor Contract Law of the People’s Republic of China stipulates that the monthly salary used for calculating the severance payment to an employee shall be no less than the local minimum wage standard. If the average pay of the employee in the 12 months before the termination of the labor contract is less than the local minimum wage standard, the local minimum wage standard shall be used to calculate the severance payment.

Wages during the suspension of work or production

Companies may decide to suspend their businesses or production in the wake of internal or external difficulties, such as during lockdowns caused by the pandemic. According to relevant provisions on wage payment during the period of suspension of production:

  • If the suspension period is within one wage payment cycle, salaries shall be paid according to the standards stipulated in the labor contract; and
  • If the suspension period goes beyond one wage payment cycle, the living allowance shall be paid by the enterprise, and the living allowance shall be implemented in accordance with the relevant local regulations.

Referring to the regulations of Zhejiang Province, Hubei Province, and Shaanxi Province, the employer is required pay living allowance at 70~80 percent of the local minimum wage.

Wages of dispatched employees

According to Article 58 of the Labor Contract Law, during the period in which a dispatched worker is not assigned any work duties, the labor dispatch agency shall pay the worker remuneration on a monthly basis pursuant to the local minimum wage standard.

Wages of injured workers

Article 35 and Article 36 of the Regulations on Work-Related Injury Insurance stipulates that where a worker who sustained a work injury is certified grade 1 to grade 6 disability, he/she shall enjoy corresponding benefits, such as a one-off disability subsidy and monthly disability allowance covered by the work-related injury insurance fund in accordance with the disability grading, among other factors.

Regarding the monthly disability allowance, the injured workers shall be paid at 60-90 percent of their average monthly wage in the 12 months before the injury. Where the amount of disability allowance calculated is less than the local minimum wage standard, the shortfall shall be covered by the work-related injury insurance fund.

Unemployment insurance benefits

The Guiding Opinions of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and the Ministry of Finance on Adjusting the Criteria for Unemployment Insurance Benefits (Ren She Bu Fa [2017] No.71) stipulates that:

With the development of the society and economy, all provinces shall, on the premise of ensuring a sustainable fund, appropriately improve the level of unemployment security step by step, to improve the unemployment insurance benefit criteria to 90 percent of the local minimum wage standard.

In practice, the unemployment insurance benefits are usually paid at 70-80 percent of the local minimum wage standard.

Impact on China’s labor costs

Minimum wages only tell part of the story of labor costs in China.

As China’s economy moves up the value chain and makes the transition to innovation and services, most workers employed by foreign-invested enterprises earn above the minimum wage.

For example, workers in Shanghai made an average of RMB 10,338 (US$1,632) per month through 2020 – nearly four times the local minimum wage.

Moreover, employer social insurance and housing fund obligations add around an additional 37 percent to employers’ labor cost on top of the employees’ gross salary.

For foreign investors, rising wages are an unavoidable feature of doing business in China. Yet, when other factors like productivity, infrastructure, transportation costs, and access to a massive domestic market are considered – China may still emerge as the more cost-efficient option compared to countries with lower statutory labor costs.

When comparing locations for foreign investment into China, minimum wages are a helpful barometer to gauge labor costs across different regions.

From there, identifying industry-specific wage levels, availability of talent, and access to regional incentives offer a more nuanced view of ultimate labor costs within a given region.


About Us

China Briefing is written and produced by Dezan Shira & Associates. The practice assists foreign investors into China and has done so since 1992 through offices in Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Suzhou, Guangzhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. Please contact the firm for assistance in China at china@dezshira.com.

Dezan Shira & Associates has offices in Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, United States, Germany, Italy, India, and Russia, in addition to our trade research facilities along the Belt & Road Initiative. We also have partner firms assisting foreign investors in The Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh.

2 thoughts on “A Guide to Minimum Wages in China in 2022 (Last Updated on April 11, 2022)

    Uzay Ozsevimli says:

    Do these amounts given below include tax? Are they net wages or gross wages?

    “Shanghai continues to have the highest minimum wage in China, at RMB 2,480 (US$358) per month, followed by Shenzhen and Beijing, both at RMB 2,200 (US$318) per month.
    At the lowest end, the minimum wage in certain areas of Guangxi province is RMB 1,000 (US$145), with rural areas in Liaoning (RMB 1,120/US$162), Hunan (RMB 1,130/US$163), and Anhui (RMB 1,150/US$166) slightly higher.”

    Melissa Cyrill says:

    Hello
    Under the current individual income tax system, the threshold to pay tax is RMB 5,000, even if all other kinds of deductions are not considered. Minimum wage in all provinces are still below this number. In this sense, the minimum wages are tax excluded. The minimum wage standard doesn’t include allowances, overtime pay, and social insurance contributions paid by the employers, as well as non-monetary income. However, it does include the social insurance contributions paid by the employees. Thus, we cannot say it’s net wages.

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