Dongguan’s minimum wage is set to increase by 14% next month, according to the Southern Metropolis Daily. The wage is currently set at RMB1,100 a month or RMB10.5 per hour, but Deputy Mayor Tang Qingshou says it’s time for a pay hike.
The Central Government is behind the move, Tang told investors, noting it is pushing cities to increase the minimum wage at least once every two years.
Since last year, the city has been holding conferences for foreign investors to help improve communication and understanding about the city’s business conditions.
This comes at the end of a year that has seen manufacturing jobs return to developed countries as wage increases have driven the cost of manufacturing in China upward. As an article in The Economist said in March: “The old stereotypes about low-wage sweatshops are as out-of-date as Mao suits. The next phase will be interesting: China must innovate or slow down.”
The Chinese government claims to be proactively shifting from low-end manufacturing to emerging industries, as the front page of today’s Shenzhen Daily says.
Meanwhile, The Economist is also questioning whether manufacturing giant Foxconn can continue to grow as the number of workers willing to work for low wages decreases.