Civil servants

A couple prepare to pose for photos near the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, on 24 June 2023. (Greg Baker/AFP)

Regular phone calls and cash incentives: China goes the extra mile to encourage childbirth

Local governments in Chinese cities are taking extra measures to encourage couples to marry early and have children. However, given the youth’s shifting values and society’s tolerance for singlehood, these measures are falling short. Meanwhile, netizens are lamenting that government policies should not be coercive or objectify women.
Visitors at a job fair for university graduates in Hefei, Anhui province, China, on 4 September 2023. (China Daily via Reuters)

Unemployment woes abound even for graduates from China’s top schools

Even with a bachelor’s or master’s degree from top universities in China, graduates are facing a tough job market. While some are choosing to remain unemployed in hopes of better opportunities, others are exhausting all avenues to make a living, from taking the civil service examination to becoming "full-time children". Lianhe Zaobao journalists Li Kang and Zhu Yuxuan look into the issue.
Young people streaming in to take the civil service exam in Taiyuan city, Shanxi province, 28 November 2021. (CNS)

Chinese society's obsession with becoming a civil servant

How far would one go to get a job in the civil service? In China, young people are under enormous pressure if they choose to take the civil service exam, pouring everything into it — some tragic cases have ensued. Zaobao’s China Desk explores the obsession with getting into the civil service.
Commuters at a subway station in Beijing, China, on 6 March 2023. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

China cutting financial regulators' pay in push for common prosperity

One highlight of the recent report from China’s Two Sessions is the proposed reforms to the financial regulatory system. Among the changes is to place regulators under the civil service system, which would mean salary cuts of 50% or more, along with stricter regulations on staff resignations. Will China's reforms for common prosperity work?
Pedestrians cross a road in Pudong's Lujiazui Financial District in Shanghai, China, on 20 June 2022. (Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Shanghai hit by civil servant pay cuts

With the impact of the pandemic putting pressure on local government budgets across China, the latest wave of salary reductions for civil servants has taken hold in Shanghai, with no quarterly bonuses given out in some cases. China’s financial capital has not been doing well since the two-month pandemic lockdown took a heavy toll on businesses and general operations. Can the city recover?
This file photo taken on 22 March 2022 shows a woman collecting cardboard at a housing estate in Hong Kong. (Peter Parks/AFP)

Why HK civil servants' pay rise proposal is facing public outcry

Amid a bleak economic outlook, a pay increment has been proposed for Hong Kong’s civil servants, sparking criticisms that the Hong Kong government is out of touch with popular sentiment. Zaobao journalist Tai Hing Shing observes that the backlash is not just a public outcry but a way for Beijing to vent its frustration against the civil servants too.
This photo taken on 28 November 2021 shows candidates queueing to take the national examination for admissions to the civil service in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province. (AFP)

Are China's youths leaving the internet sector for the public sector?

With the ongoing pandemic and last year's crackdowns on internet giants, some young people are switching tracks and moving from the private sector — especially the internet sector — to the public sector, which is still thought of as a stable career. Will this lead to a loss of talent for the internet sector? Zaobao journalist Liu Liu speaks to young people and academics for their views.
People cross a road in the central business district in Beijing, China, on 16 December 2021. (Greg Baker/AFP)

China's desperate measures to avert a looming economic crisis

Hefty civil servant pay cuts and desperate measures to get more money in regional coffers portend headwinds in China’s economy. The “triple pressures” it currently faces — demand contraction, supply shocks and weakening expectations — will see China needing to right severe imbalances and do more than just pushing for high-quality development.
A woman wearing a face mask walks in the Central Business District in Beijing on 14 April 2020. (Wang Zhao/AFP)

China's grassroots civil servant and her story battling the Covid-19 pandemic

China's grassroots civil servants have been sandwiched between their demanding supervisors and the people, while braving the elements standing guard outside different communities and organisations throughout winter and spring during the pandemic. Young Chinese academic Lorna Wei tells the story of one of these non-medical frontline workers amid the tough fight as she salutes the numerous nameless heroes among them.