Officials in many provinces and cities in China have continuously received pay-cut announcements this month. The cuts range from 20% to 30%. The first provinces to suffer from the cut were Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Guangdong, Fujian, Shanghai. A female civil servant in Zhejiang has filed an online appeal since her annual salary was reduced by $8,000.

According to this civil servant, the Hangzhou financial department announced that her benefits would be reduced without any specific reason. She believed that her family would be affected by the local government’s decision, so she hoped that netizens would help spread the news to raise a wave of public awareness. However, online internet users have calculated that her annual salary was over $31,000—more than most local people and other civil servants. They said she was blessed, and she did not appreciate it. The post was deleted on the 7th.

According to a report, the Shanghai police station’s chief in command salary was reduced from $55,000 to $31,000. As for the lower positioned officers, their yearly salary decreased from $38,000 to $24,000. After the salary cut, the whistleblower said the local civil servant’s families could not afford to buy a house.

Chinese civil servants’ salaries were divided into fixed wages and performance-based salaries. The latter was linked to local finances. Chinese social media users commented that the country’s economic slowdown was due to the pandemic. Therefore, the local authority decided to increase income and reduce expenditure. Other provinces and cities were expected to follow suit. Some also said that the areas most affected by the pay cuts had the best employee compensation, which had something to do with the so-called Xi Jinping’s “common prosperity” policy.

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