Employees of China’s internet firms set for biggest pay rises in 2018

Survey finds that strong demand for skilled internet professionals and firms’ efforts to retain staff will push wages up an average 10.5 per cent next year, above the average of 7.2 per cent for all industries

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 October, 2017, 10:05am
UPDATED : Monday, 30 October, 2017, 11:14pm

Employees of China’s internet companies are set for the largest increase in pay of any industry in the coming year, a reflection of the strong demand for talent in the fast-growing sector, according to a survey by a top Chinese human resources firm.

Internet employees could enjoy an average pay rise of 10.5 per cent in 2018, above the average of 7.2 per cent expected for all industries, according to the Human Capital Survey and Data Solution Centre, which is part of state-owned human resources firm China International Intellectech Corp (CIIC).

“The internet will continue to be the most active and better paid sector thanks to its continuous vitality and dynamics,” said Pang Limin, deputy general manager of the centre. “Demand for talent is unlikely to wane thanks to the proliferation of start-ups and the ongoing rise of internet giants amid the fast evolution of technology.”

Such an environment is providing ample opportunities for internet employees to change jobs frequently, Pang said. In the first half of 2017, the staff turnover rate in the internet sector rose to 20.4 per cent over the previous year, much steeper than the average for all industries of 12 per cent. The slowest turnover rate, 9 per cent, was in the energy and petrochemicals industries.

Another factor fuelling turnover is that skilled internet professionals are also sought after by other industries amid the growing integration of the old and new economies, unlike for example financial staff, who are also active job-hoppers but stay in the same industry.

A director in the internet or finance sector could earn 1 million yuan (US$150,000) annually, or double the package of a counterpart in manufacturing, the survey found.

But it also found that hefty pay rises do not necessarily guarantee that staff will stay, forcing employers to improve their talent management practices.

Behind the internet sector in terms of pay rises, the finance and pharmaceuticals industries are forecast to see an average increase of 8.1 per cent, while energy and petrochemicals, with the slowest staff turnover rates, could see the lowest average pay rise of 6.3 per cent, the survey said.

It also said that privately owned enterprises, which create 80 per cent of jobs in China and contribute half of the country’s tax income, could offer an average pay rise of 8.5 per cent in 2018, above the average of 7.2 per cent for all companies, private, state-owned and multinational.