China's civil servants face new rules when changing jobs

BEIJING • Chinese civil servants will face new restrictions when changing jobs as the authorities move to prevent them from using official posts to make personal profit, the state news agency has reported.

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 for three years after resigning from their government jobs.

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

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

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Competition for such appointments is notoriously intense.

As at the end of 2015, China 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 a less attractive one.

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

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

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

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 29, 2017, with the headline 'China's civil servants face new rules when changing jobs'. Print Edition | Subscribe