Jan. 28 – As different parts of the country have very different living standards, China does not have a unified minimum wage level for the entire nation. Instead, the task of setting minimum wages falls on the shoulders of local governments. Each province, municipality, autonomous region, and even each district sets its own minimum wage level according to local conditions.
Typically how it works is the provincial government sets out multiple minimum wage “classes” for the region as a whole, and each city and county within the region chooses the appropriate minimum wage level based on local economic conditions and living standards. For example, in its latest round of minimum wage increases, Zhejiang set out four minimum wage “classes” across the province, with some top-tier cities such as Hangzhou, Ningbo and Wenzhou choosing the highest minimum wage standard (“Class A”), while other cities, including Jiaxin, Jinhua and Taizhou, settled on the next-highest minimum wage level (“Class B”).