How to hire remote employees in

China

There’s plenty of great talent in China. But navigating the legal frameworks to actually hire those people? That’s a different ball game. Which is what we’re for: By the end of this page, you’ll learn how you can hire people in China—without establishing your own physical presence there or paying thousands in fees.

Country snapshot

CURRENCY
Chinese Yuan (CNY)
EMPLOYER TAXES
39.76- 41.12%
PAYROLL FREQUENCY
Monthly
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE
Mandarin

What to know before you hire in 

China

Laws about hiring are complicated, and the same is true in China. But there are ways to sidestep the headaches—if your company hasn’t already established a physical presence in China, you have two real options when it comes to hiring. We’ll detail both below.

If you want to successfully hire in 

China

, you have two options:

Hire talent as contractors

Laws about hiring contractors are significantly more simple in 

China

. Onboarding talent takes days, not weeks or months. Both you, the company, and your talent have more flexibility. And in many cases, since you’re remote, the talent you’re hiring is better classified as a contractor, anyway. Of course, it’s not possible in every case, but it’s what we built Panther for.

Hire talent as employees

This is the long route. You can either establish a physical presence with an entity and register as an employer, or you can use an Employer-of-Record (EOR) solution. Odds are, you’ll find using an EOR to be the easier route. Still, using an EOR in 

China

 is expensive—it can often be $500 per month per employee—and sometimes prone to lengthy onboarding times.

Why hire independent contractors in 

China

Hiring contractors is normally the easier, faster, more flexible choice—but don’t just take it from us. Below are the specific benefits and drawbacks to hiring contractors in 

China

.

It’s the fastest way to hire globally

Hiring employees takes months, at the minimum. When you hire with Panther’s locally-generated contracts, it’s a matter of days or weeks. This means you can hire the best talent, fast, without losing them to a hellish procession of paperwork.

It’s a lot cheaper

It costs just $0 to sign up for Panther, then $49 per month to hire your contractors with Panther. If you hired employees manually (or did contracting on your own), you’d likely be on the hook for thousands of dollars each month. Setting up an entity alone can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

It’s more flexible for you & your team

Hiring contractors in 

China

 means you’re generally not on the hook for things like health insurance and paid time off. This makes hiring flexible for you, and it gives your talent more options.

It’s less risky than hiring employees

Hiring employees is a bigger commitment, and generally puts you at a bigger risk for legal fees. When you hire contractors overseas, your biggest risk is misclassification—but even then, misclassification penalties are often minimal and just require you to pay off any compensation that the person would have been owed as an employee.

Some people want to be employees

The contractor life isn’t for everyone—some people want the security that being an employee often appears to provide. Though it’s rare, this does happen, and it’s one disadvantage of manage an all-contractor team.

You might not have as much control over your talent

Most countries’ contractor-employer relationship laws stipulate that the employer can’t set fixed working hours, among other things. These laws give contractors more freedom over how and when they do their work than an employee would have. In reality, however, most contractors are willing & able to work on the company’s schedule—it’s a matter of setting expectations beforehand.

How can I pay people in 

China

?

If you’re hiring contractors in 

China

, you can pay them with Panther in a single click. You won’t need to worry about complicated wire transfers, fees, or currency conversions. We’ll take care of it all. Just make a click and your contractor will get paid in their currency of choice. This is a valuable bonus for talent in countries where the local currency is particularly weak—most people appreciate the ability to receive their payment in stronger currencies.

Hiring and paying your team in 

China

Hire and pay with Panther

Pay everyone with a single click
Get great currency conversion rates
Pay $0 in platform fees
Run payroll in seconds
Let Panther automatically create & store invoices
Let Panther automatically write locally-compliant contracts
Let Panther automatically file local tax documents

Hire and pay without Panther

Pay all your contractors individually
Do all currency conversions yourself
Shoulder the burden of platform fees
Spend hours each month making payments
Manually track & store invoices
Manually write & sign contracts
Manually file relevant tax documents

Let Panther save you from hiring headaches.

Sign up today for $0

If you want to hire employees in 

China

If you’ve read up until this point, you’ll know that it’s easier, cheaper, and more flexible to hire contractors in China than employees. Still, there are valid reasons why you might want to hire employees instead. The content below is for you—we’ll cover employer taxes and obligations in China.

Taxes in 

China

Employer tax

Pension (maximum base is 28,017 CNY)

Unemployment Insurance (maximum base is 28,017 CNY)

Medical Insurance (maximum base is 28,017 CNY)

Injury Insurance (maximum base is 28,017 CNY)

Maternity Insurance (maximum base is 28, 017 CNY)

Housing Fund (maximum base id 28, 017 CNY)

Individual tax

Leave

Paid Time Off (PTO)

PTO is calculated by the:

  • Less than 1 year of employment- no leave entitlement
  • 1-10 years of employment- 5 days’ of annual leave
  • 10-20 years of employment- 10 days of annual leave
  • 20+ years of employment- 15 days of annual leave

Public Holidays

There are 7 public holidays, however, some regions have additional holidays.

Sick Days

The duration of sick leave entitlement provided to workers is dependent on how long they have been employed by their employer:

6 months sick leave:

  • Less than 2 years of employment- 60% of the regular wages
  • 2-4 years of employment- 70% of the regular wages
  • 4-6 years of employment- 80% of the regular wages
  • 6-8 years of employment- 90% of the regular wages
  • 8+ years of employment- 100% of the regular wages

Over 6 months of sick leave:

  • Less than 1 year of employment- 40% of the regular wages
  • 1-3 years of employment- 50% of the regular wages
  • 3+ years of employment- 60% of the regular wages
  • Employees must provide a medical certificate.

Maternity Leave

A female employee is entitled to 98 days of maternity leave and an additional 15 days in the case of difficult labor or multiple births. Some cities offer additional maternity leave for women who give birth after the age of 23.

Maternity leave is paid by the Social Security Bureau in which the woman is registered and is based on an average monthly salary over the 12 month period before the birth. Social security will either pay this rate or 3 times the minimum wage, whichever is higher.  In some areas such as Beijing and China, the employer supplements the maternity pay with additional pay.

Paternity Leave

Fathers are entitled to 10 days if paid paternity leave, paid by the employer. In some cities, additional paternity leave is given.

Parental Leave

Nursing mothers are entitled to 1 hour off per day for children under the age of 12 months old.

Other Leave

None.

Marriage Leave

Each city follows its own laws, which vary between 3-10 days.  In Beijing and Shanghai, employees are entitled to 10 days’ marriage leave.

Bereavement Leave

Varies between cities and is between 1-3 days.

Termination

Termination Process

In China, it is difficult to terminate an employment contract unless by mutual agreement or if an employment contract expires.

Notice Period

The notice period in China is:

Advance notice is 30 days for both the employee and employer. However, if the employee is on probation, 3 days’ notice can be given.

Severance Pay

The Severance Pay in China depends:

Severance pay varies based on the reason for termination, but in general, severance is 1 month’s salary for each year of employment capped at three times the minimum wage, and cannot exceed 12 months.

Probation Period

  • For employment contract of 3 months to a year – a maximum of 1 months’ probation
  • For employment contracts of 1 to 3 years – a maximum of 2 months’ probation
  • For employment contracts of 3 years or more – up to 6 months’ probation
  • For employment contract for less than 3 months or that expire upon completion of assignment – probation is not permitted

Employee requirements in 

China

Working Hours

The standard workweek in China is 40 hours. Employees work 8 hours per day, 5 days per week.

Overtime

Limited to one hour per day, however, in special circumstances, can be up to 3 hours but limited to a total of 36 hours per month.

Overtime pay is 150% per hour for overtime during workdays, 200% per hour on rest days, and 300% per hour on official public holidays.  

Employees under flexible working hours are generally not entitled to overtime payment but it requires approval from the labor bureau.

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