"At least 18 provinces, including big cities like Beijing and Shenzhen, have increased the minimum wage by an average of 20 percent from Thursday as officials hint cheap labor may no longer be considered China’s sole competitive edge."It is expected that all 23 provinces plus the 4 big municipalities will follow suit.
Sun Qunyi, an expert with Wage Research Institute at the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, said this round of wage increases is compensation to low-income workers since the global economic crisis froze wages in 2009.
The share of personal income in China's gross domestic product has fallen to 39.7 percent in 2005 from 56.5 percent in 1983, statistics released by All-China Federation of Trade Unions showed. Wage increases were also far behind the economic growth.
Despite the increase, the minimum wage is still quite low compared with the average wage level. The average wage in Hainan was 2,077 yuan, but the minimum wage stood only at 630 yuan.The move appears before a background of rising social tensions and strikes in the recent past.