2016 China Salary Guide

January 28, 2016 3 mins read
2016 China Salary Guide

This salary guide provides insights into salary trends in key sectors and professional communities within mainland China, based on what we have observed over the past year, together with a compilation of hard facts and figures on gross salaries.


In a year that saw China’s stock markets plunge by 43% during the summer, the outlook remains broadly positive for the employment market as well as for salary growth. Candidates who stay on top of developments in their sector and discipline, for example accountants who gain experience of the latest regulatory developments, and IT professionals who have successfully transitioned to digital and mobile platforms, will do well in 2016. Candidates who are agile and willing to embrace change will have a higher chance of achieving success in their career development.

Despite China’s economic slowdown, overall salaries in 2016 are expected to increase on average 5-8% across the board. With talent shortages within many sectors, those with specific in-demand skill sets and experience will command a higher than average salary increase.

Most notably, compliance and risk professionals are well placed to command higher salaries in 2016, as Chinese regulators impose tougher regulations. This is an extremely challenging exercise for most financial institutions.

There is also a growing shortage of experienced internet professionals and digital product developers. Chinese professionals that are fluent in both Mandarin Chinese and English are in high demand as well as those who have specific experience of the Chinese market.

The slowdown has also affected the banking and financial services sector, which has seen a lot of restructuring and cost reduction. Nevertheless there is a high level of demand, for mid-level professionals and a serious shortage of talent.

As roles become more specialised, professionals with specific qualifications, such as the CISCM certificate in supply chain and operations, are likely to command higher salaries.

As well as providing insights into salaries, opportunities and the talent pool, this latest guide also focused on the gender balance in various professional disciplines. Some, such as Supply Chain and Operations, remain male-dominated while procurement and order management has a significantly higher ratio of females to men. Within Banking and Financial Services, there is now a fairly even split, though senior positions are still held mainly by men. In Accounting and Finance, the ratio is roughly 70:30 in favour of females, with the split again favouring men in leadership roles, though this is changing. Interestingly, we saw more males moving into the HR function, especially those with project, change and restructuring experience.

We hope you find the insights presented in this report interesting and useful, and welcome any feedback.

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Marlon Mai's picture
Marlon Mai
Managing Director, Greater China