Official nepotism figure among China's civil servant jobs draws scepticism

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 January, 2013, 1:41pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 January, 2013, 2:50pm

While some job seekers in China would do anything for a civil service job  many people believe job seekers with parents working for the government have a better chance of being hired.

Recent comments made by China’s Minister of Human Resources and Social Security appear to support this belief – although he probably did not intend them to.

“Sixty per cent of new hires by the central government offices come from rural or ordinary urban families,” said Yin Weimin. “They have no background [connections].”

Yin said exams were required for all applicants. This showed that the system was fair and equal, he added.

But Yin’s comments failed to convince netizens. They responded by criticising the civil service's hiring practices on Weibo, China’s twitter-like service.

“[Yin’s comments] show that the other 40 per cent of civil service jobs are snatched by the children of China’s 0.5 per cent,” a Weibo post by Wu Bihu, a professor at Peking University, said.

China has 6.89 million civil servants, which is about 0.5 per cent of its total population.

Another Weibo post said: “This explains why everyone wants to work for the Communist Party – even your child’s job is taken care of.”

While civil service salaries in China may not seem high, civil servants are entitled to many benefits, including transport subsidies, better health care, and exclusive retirement plans. In addition to nepotism, civil servants are also repeatedly criticised for corruption..

In an obvious attempt to pacify online anger, an official at State Administration of Civil Service told the People’s Daily  on Wednesday that about 90 per cent of new government employees come from “ordinary” families.