China’s officials told to wait after heading for the job exit

Senior civil servants can’t immediately take up for-profit positions in the same field

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 28 May, 2017, 10:52pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 28 May, 2017, 10:52pm

Civil servants will face new restrictions when changing jobs as the authorities move to prevent them from using official posts to make personal profit, state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday.

Those in leadership positions or at the county level and above will not be allowed to work in businesses or for-profit organisations related to their previous administration within three years of their resignation.

The measures were jointly announced by the Organisation Department of the Communist Party’s Central Committee and several government agencies.

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Lower-level civil servants should also follow the rules, but with a limit of two years, according to Xinhua.

Departing officials should submit their future professional plans and would have to report job changes during the restricted period, it said.

So-called red-collar jobs are considered stable careers with generous benefits, especially those positions based in major cities and economically developed regions.

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Competition for such jobs is notoriously intense.

As of the end of 2015, the mainland had 7.17 million civil servants, according to Xinhua.

But President Xi Jinping’s sweeping anti-corruption drive in recent years has stamped out illicit perks from official posts, making the bureaucratic career path less attractive.

Some civil servants have joined the private sector in the hope of chasing more lucrative deals, while others have set up their own businesses.

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In the last few years, the number of applicants for government jobs has also started to ebb, especially among young university graduates.

But applications still exceed a million each year, with the average number of applicants for a single job at around 50.