Saturday, August 27, 2011

Have a good sleep !

Everybody knows that chinese people like to have a nap whenever possible. Here some photos from the german newspaper "Die Zeit" - all the photos are from REUTERS - please enjoy:

Isn't that nice ? I like especially the kids in the school !

Monday, August 22, 2011


Related to this post about Scheme 6000:
Since a few days all over Hong Kong you can find advertisings how to get the HKD 6,000 from
the government. The advertisings are everywhere:
In the MTR, on all MTR platforms, at the bus stations advertising panels + heavy TV presence on all main channels.
Wonder how much this advertising campaign costs & maybe if doing this a more humble way - how much money could be used for something more urgently / neccessary ?
Who is the advertising company getting this job done ?
Here a photo from Kwai Hing MTR platform:

Sunday, August 21, 2011

One more for the weekend !

You all be aware about one fact of YouTube: What you see today maybe tomorrow has dissapeared already because of some copyrights or any other actions taken by the one placed it into YouTube. That means years from now maybe a lot of the things you can see today will not be visible anymore - what a pity ! Hopefully this one will be visible for a long, long time: DAVID BOWIE - Heroes.
Here is the lyrics for this song - now is weekend & you will hear from me again in the next days.
I, I will be king
And you, you will be queen
Though nothing will drive them away
We can beat them, just for one day
We can be Heroes, just for one day

And you, you can be mean
And I, I'll drink all the time
'Cause we're lovers, and that is a fact
Yes we're lovers, and that is that

Though nothing, will keep us together
We could steal time,
just for one day
We can be Heroes, for ever and ever
What d'you say?

I, I wish you could swim
Like the dolphins, like dolphins can swim
Though nothing,
nothing will keep us together
We can beat them, for ever and ever
Oh we can be Heroes,
just for one day

I, I will be king
And you, you will be queen
Though nothing will drive them away
We can be Heroes, just for one day
We can be us, just for one day

I, I can remember (I remember)
Standing, by the wall (by the wall)
And the guns shot above our heads
(over our heads)
And we kissed,
as though nothing could fall
(nothing could fall)
And the shame was on the other side
Oh we can beat them, for ever and ever
Then we could be Heroes,
just for one day

We can be Heroes
We can be Heroes
We can be Heroes
Just for one day
We can be Heroes

We're nothing, and nothing will help us
Maybe we're lying,
then you better not stay
But we could be safer,
just for one day

Oh-oh-oh-ohh, oh-oh-oh-ohh,
just for one day
Just to remind you - this song was written during the Bowie Berlin times - THE WALL still existing. As I remember this is the real video for that song - it is still available on YouTube (it has almost 3 million hits until now.....).

And on top here you have the german version HELDEN (some parts look not like perfect in sync with his lips - actually it looks they just used the original english video and just copied over the german text) - very nice is the beginning with the boys and the football flying over THE WALL - very touching the middle footage of people escaping & sad the end part seeing people waving to their relatives just on the other side of THE WALL:

About the BERLIN WALL read here !
Do we need a HONG KONG WALL very soon ?

What to Do If Your Blog Goes Viral: 10 Tips

Here some great hints & tips from BirdAbroad after she got famous because of posting the fake Apple Store pictures from Kunming - please read this:
What to Do If Your Blog Goes Viral: 10 Tips
BirdAbroad | August 20, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Tags: Fake Apple Stores, Seriously?!, Work | Categories: Uncategorized | URL:
When my blog went viral because of the fake Apple store post, I was totally caught off guard and made a lot of mistakes. I know it's all very exciting when this happens and people start contacting you from all over the world, but it pays in the long run to be hardheaded about this in advance. Below are a few pieces of friendly advice based on my experience, in case going viral ever happens to you.
Please add your own tips on this in the comments section!
1.Recognize what's coming. Have 1,000 people visited your blog in the past hour, when previously only 10 people came in a day? Is your content being rapidly Tweeted? Welcome to the land of the viral internet! Prepare to take action.
2.Decide what you want out of this experience. Are you looking to become famous on the internet? A full-time blogger? The next Paris Hilton? Or are you looking to maintain your privacy and your regular life? This will inform how and where you allow your content to be distributed.
3.Consider buying the domain name of your blog address (e.g. for, buy
4.Consider putting up ads on your blog. You may find this tacky, but when you realize that your content is spreading all over the internet and lots of people are making money off of it, you may feel differently.
5.Make sure you have a copyright notice prominently displayed. Decide on a policy of how your content can be used by different media outlets (e.g. blogs, print media, television). Be aware that US law does not recognize the "moral right of attribution" - that is, just because you ask to be publicly credited when you give permission for your content to be reproduced elsewhere, doesn't mean the outlet has to credit you. You having given permission for use of your content is enough for them to run it.
6.Consider watermarking all of your photos, or disabling the ability of others to download/right-click your content if you want to maintain strict control (this may or may not be easily done, depending on who is hosting your blog).
7.Realize that your content may have considerable financial value - don't just give it away to people who are going to be making money from it. (Remember: multibillion-dollar media conglomerates are not your friends.) In particular, demand in advance that you be remunerated for any use of your content in print or on TV. Technically, there's no difference in terms of copyright violation online/on TV/in print if your content is used without your permission, but there's something particularly galling about not being paid for your content to be used in print or on TV by someone else. May them pay up.
8.If you give permission for your content to be reproduced, do so in a limited way - BE EXPLICIT. For example: "Yes, you have the right to use this one particular photo for this one particular article, and nowhere else. You may not archive my content for future use."
9.Do not ever give permission for your photos to be freely used by a major warehouse of photos like Agence France-Presse (AFP), Getty Images, or the Associated Press (AP). These places have tens of thousands of clients, who will be buying your photos from them, without any financial gain for you. Your photos will be reproduced by numerous outlets credited only AFP/Getty/AP, without crediting you. AFP/Getty/AP will claim that they have no control over this - while this may be true, it will not help ease your feeling that very bad things should happen to these people. Giving your photos to one of these agencies will mark the end of your control over your photos - BEWARE.
10.Do not be impressed or intimidated by your unauthorized content showing up in prominent places - get on the phone or send them an email and make sure they remove your content or pay your for it - or both. The following outlets are among the numerous places that abused the content of this blog:, CBS News, New York Post, The Independent (UK), Le Figaro (France), and USA Today. I AM NOT IMPRESSED.
Anyone got anything else to add?
Good post - I believe she is very right with all of the points !
Going viral maybe sometimes comes as a surprise - nobody knows when it will happen>

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Can't believe it - the week is gone already. Here some music for your weekend.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

BIRDABROAD - about the fake Apple Store & more

Yes I know I am late with this one - I hope you don't mind. The blog is anyhow worth reading not only because of that Apple story.Please click here !
I also put the blog link on to my side bar - please come back and check frequently. Thanks.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Your weekend music !

Some tunes from PREFAB SPROUT - its long time ago - but it is simply nice ! Have a nice weekend.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Room with a view in Jiangxi province

Just back from a trip to a very small place in Jiangxi province. Approx 150 km south from Nanchang.
The village with no street lights - after dark & when the "shops" are closed you need a torch to go outside.
Actually when you are in China and there is no sight of massage salons, barber shops or walking ladies in the
night, then you know you are at the very bottom of China.
The hotel was "pure" luxury for RMB 300 / night (crazy price for rooms with cockroaches of 2 inch size).
Here some photos made from the hotel room:
Here the lift lobby at 5th floor - shoot out from the lift:

Finally 2 photos from the hotel room inside - I did not use the rubber shoes generously offered by the hotel.
Please also see the nice, natural wall painting in "mould - technique":

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Shenzhen Universiade

Don't know so much about this up-coming sports event in Shenzhen. As heard there was already a big "clean up" of disturbing elements in Shenzhen - to make the City look nice for visitors, not to look like the ugly Shenzhen many of us know. Wonder if the LoWu Shopping Mall will be closed during that event.Here is the Handbook for this UNIVERSIADE event starting at the end of this week.
Handbook for the Athletes - click here !

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Finally some good Vibrations for your weekend

If you dont like this - then you dont like music - 2 versions here 2nd one in very good quality:

Greetings to the USA ! By Jimi Hendrix........

As today was not a very good day for stock market etc - mainly caused by worries about what is going on / not going on in the United States of America.
Take that for the weekend:


Some more info about the domestic helpers looking for permanent residency

Here some cuttings about that issue. First one is from CHINADAILY.COM.CN - Second one is from - the filipino community:
Govt may seek ruling on abode right
Updated: 2011-08-05 06:26
By Andrea Deng (HK Edition)

Stopgap measures possible to delay foreign domestic helpers from seeking residency

The government may seek an interpretation of certain provisions of the Basic Law that relate to the right of abode after the Court of Final Appeal ruling on a Filipino petition seeking the right after seven years of residency.

Insiders who attended Thursday's special discussion held by the Executive Council said that if the petition is successful and Filipino domestic helpers are granted the right of abode, the government may employ stopgap measures.

That may include applying to the court to suspend execution of the ruling, or to restrict visa extensions of foreign domestic helpers who have stayed in Hong Kong for less than seven years.

Some contended that executive measures such as those would not be effective for those who have stayed in Hong Kong for more than seven years.

If the law is changed, there will be an estimated 125,000 foreign domestic helpers eligible to apply for permanent residency.

In addition, the government pointed out that each domestic helper has three children on average, meaning there may be more than 400,000 foreigners who may become entitled to the right of abode "overnight".

The Filipino petition comes up for review on Aug 22.

Meanwhile, grassroots employees are worrying that they may lose jobs if foreign domestic helpers are granted the right of abode.

Chow Kwai-ying, president of the Commercial Organization and Domicile Services Employments Association, voiced concern on Thursday that the large population of foreign domestic helpers, who will be able to choose other kinds of jobs if they become permanent residents, will exacerbate competition for employment for part-time domestic services and other low-paying trades.

Eman Villanueva, secretary general of the United Filipinos in Hong Kong, offered his rebuttal, saying that many of the foreign domestic helpers he talked to remain "undecided" over their career future if the law is changed.

"I don't understand why Hong Kong people are so concerned about it. Not necessarily all the eligible migrant workers intend to stay in Hong Kong forever, but some will choose to go home and stay with their families. It's just more convenient for them to depart and come back, and I believe that this is a right that they should enjoy," Villanueva told China Daily.

"Migrant workers do not have the intention to steal the jobs from local people whatsoever. It is also largely dependent on the need of employers - whether they want to hire people who can speak Chinese or people who just need to do some part-time jobs," he said.

Chow, however, said that part-time domestic helpers will be affected the most if the foreign domestic helpers change their jobs, since the job nature is very similar.

She cited statistics from the Employees Retraining Board that there are more than 100,000 local people who are trained and qualified as domestic helpers, yet the market is neither large nor stable.

She said that a few hundred members of the association have phoned and expressed concern.

However, Villanueva said: "Some migrant workers do intend to change to other kinds of jobs - because they are graduate students - such as school teachers or nurses, though it's another matter whether they could secure these jobs; others don't even have any idea what kind of jobs will be available to them other than domestic service."
China Daily
(HK Edition 08/05/2011 page1)

Here the 2nd one:
4 Pinay maids wage legal battle for permanent HK residency
By Carina Roncesvalles (The Philippine Star) Updated August 03, 2011 12:00 AM
HONG KONG – At least four Filipino domestic workers who have been working here for more than 20 years have waged a legal battle for the Hong Kong government to grant them permanent residency.

The High Court is scheduled to hear one of the three petitions on Aug. 22, which was filed by Evangeline Vallejos, a domestic worker here since 1986.

The two other petitioners are Irene Domingo and her husband Daniel, who worked here as domestic workers from 1982 to 2007 and from 1985 to 2007, respectively. Two of their three children who were born here are already permanent residents.

Josephine Gutierrez, who had been working here as a domestic worker since 1991, also filed a similar petition.

The Court is set to hear the petition of the Domingos on Oct. 18 and of Gutierrez on Oct. 26.

In their petitions filed at the Court of First Instance last December, the Filipinos asked the Court to declare them as permanent residents of this city under the Basic Law.

The Basic Law, the city’s mini-constitution, states that permanent residents include non-Chinese nationals who have “ordinarily resided in Hong Kong for a continuous period of not less than seven years and have taken Hong Kong as their place of permanent residence.”

The Filipino domestic workers also asked the court to declare as unconstitutional the Immigration Ordinance that refuses permanent residency rights to domestic helpers.
Under the ordinance, “a person shall not be treated as ordinary resident in Hong Kong while employed as a domestic helper.”

The Filipinos also asked the court to declare that the Immigration Ordinance contravenes the Bill of Rights Ordinance that provides rights without distinction of race.

The Filipinos’ claims for right of abode have elicited widespread interest and even scare tactics among local residents.

The Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), the city’s biggest pro-government party, estimated that 500,000 new residents could settle in Hong Kong if the judicial review favors the domestic helpers. The estimate was based on the assumption that each eligible domestic helper would bring his or her spouse and two children to the city.

Data from the immigration department here showed that there are 138,933 Filipino domestic workers who are earning at least HK$23,740 (P20,130). The figure accounts for 47.5 percent of the total foreign domestic helpers (FDH) population of 292,473 as of June. It is estimated that at least one-third of the total FDH population have worked here for more than seven years.

The Philippine consulate reported that there are 12,452 Filipino permanent residents in the former British colony, while there are around 5,000 holders of work permits and dependent visas as of last year.

DAB claimed that the unemployment rate could rise to 10 percent from 3.5 percent if domestic helpers would get residency status that would eventually allow them to apply for jobs as local minimum wage earners.

Foreign domestic helpers are excluded from the initial hourly minimum wage rate of $28 (P150) implemented last May.

Legislator Paul Tse earlier feared that a rush of domestic helpers with permanent residency would gravely affect the city’s welfare resources.

Legislator Regina Ip, meanwhile, said the Hong Kong government should seek an interpretation of the Basic Law from Beijing before the court rules on the domestic helpers’ petition.

Comment from me: It is also somewhat to question why not any domestic helper ever have tried to apply for permanent residency after being here for 7 years ? And this is because of this:
Under the ordinance, “a person shall not be treated as ordinary resident in Hong Kong while employed as a domestic helper.”

For example in Denmark you only can hire a maid as a so-called Aupair for a maximum of 1 year & with a maximum work hours of 8 per day. After the period is over the Aupair need to move on means out - mostly to another Scandinavian neighbour country like Sweden or Norway. A normal maid (domestic helper like filipina or indonesians) in terms we are used here is not existing at all in Europe.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Guo Meimei says she was ‘deeply sorry’

Here some explanations from Guo Mei Mei & her mother on the Larry Lang Live Show. According to this all the money comes from her mother who made millions on the stock market in the early 90's just with a few thousand start capital. Believe it or not !
2011-August-5 08:53 Shenzhen Daily
GUO MEIMEI, the woman who embarrassed the Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) by flaunting her lavish lifestyle online, said all her luxury possessions were gifts from an entrepreneur and her mother who had no links with the charity group.

The 20-year-old unemployed woman who posted photos of her collection of Hermes bags and a Maserati car on her microblog, said, during “Larry Lang Live” — a Chinese Business News television program Wednesday, that only two of the Hermes bags she showed were authentic — one was a gift from her mother and the other was from Wang Jun, a real estate developer in Shenzhen.

Guo said Wang once told her he planned to invest in a company which had some ties with the RCSC and joked he could get her a manager’s position. Guo said she then changed her identity on her microblog from “actress-singer” to “General Manager of Red Cross Commerce” to show off to her friends.

She never expected this would ignite anger online with many Internet users claiming she must have used public donations to fund her lifestyle and that she landed the position through her relationship with a deputy head of RCSC, whose name was also Wang Jun.

Guo said Wang, the real estate developer, later withdrew his investment from the China Red Cross Bo’an Asset Management Co. after the scandal broke in June.

“I was deeply sorry,” said Guo.

Guo’s mother, Guo Dengfeng, who also appeared on the show, saying she had raised her daughter alone after a divorce. They had an affluent life due to successful stock market investments.

Before her daughter was born, Guo Dengfeng was already a millionaire and owned two properties in Shenzhen bought with money made on the stock market. (SD-Agencies)

Here a photo of Guo on that talkshow - I will try to find the whole show as a video.

Some great old Hong Kong views..............

In the mood for some historical films etc - I will not comment more - just enjoy - some are quite special:

This one is very nice - just to remind you how much spoiled our kids are today:

I like the opium smoking scene..................

Last one - THE PEAK - some of the buildings are still there today:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Right of Abode for Domestic Helpers in Hong Kong

Never stopping discussion - in my opinion they should be entitled to have the right of abode after 7 years - but many others (esp. local HK people) think they should not have this right. Yes, yes - HK is looking for democracy ? This maybe could be a good example how willing the HK people are to have real democracy. Skip democracy in that issue ? YES ! As long as you are treating your maid like a piece of shit - unfortunately I am afraid 70% of all this employers doing like this. How can your "slave" suddenly became a citizien - eye on eye with YOU !
Read here copied from Spike of Hongkie Town:
Right of Abode Issue for Domestic Helpers Getting Ugly
Posted by Spike
Jul 30
For those who don’t know about this, an important component of Hong Kong’s economy is the domestic helper. Mostly female, mostly from the Philippines and Indonesia, they come here on special visas and are expected to work a 6 day week and usually a 16 hour work day (or more) and in return are paid roughly HK$3580 (US$500)(not sure what the current legal minimum is) plus room and board and a plane ticket for a home visit every two years. No matter how long they’ve been here, they can’t qualify for HK permanent resident status and if they lose their job, they have just two weeks to find another one or have to leave.

Many of these people are now banding together to protest what they see as unfair treatment by the government and demanding the ability to apply for permanent resident status after seven years. The upcoming lawsuit has thrown the HK government and many HK residents into a frenzy. The SCMP reports this morning that there is a “storm of opposition online” including, wait for it, a Facebook group. The name of the group on Facebook is ”Against foreign helpers obtaining right of abode. Protect the welfare of Hong Kong people from being seized” and that page has all of 1,200 likes. Given the number of people in Hong Kong who are on Facebook, I’m not sure that 1,200 “likes” should be enough to even qualify for news coverage.

Who are the people who are against this happening? People like, ahem, Movie Tam, who has written, ”Foreign helpers only come to Hong Kong to work. What makes them qualified to have the right to stay in Hong Kong?” Someone named Pixer writes, ”The maids have `three lows’. Low education, low income and low experience, but they know English. Employers will therefore tend to recruit them more as they will accept lower wages.”

Fortunately, there are also people with silly English names on the side of the maids. People like Fish Ip, who is the campaign organiser for the Hong Kong Federation of Asian Domestic Workers Unions. Fish says, “It is quite unfair that other people living in the city for seven years can have the right of abode but the helpers never can. People should look also into the core problem like the constitutional issue instead of making verbal attacks on these helpers.”

The maids fuel our economy. The current state of our economy practically screams two income families and both spouses cannot go out and work without having someone to stay home to take care of the kids and grandparents and pets and plants.

As near as I can figure it, the fear comes from lower class HK citizens. I suppose they are thinking that once a domestic helper gets permanent resident status, they no longer have to work as a domestic helper, they can go out and compete for other jobs. But what jobs might they qualify for based on their most recent experience? Hotel chambermaid? Line cook or waitress?

My take on it is that these people have done the time and are just as deserving of resident status as anyone else. And if you’re afraid that a foreign maid might take your job away, maybe you should be examining what’s gone wrong in your life rather than attempting to ruin someone else’s.

Addendum #1 – I think the attitude of some people on this is consistent with the mainland government’s approach to things. As an example, the Chinese government attempting to spur on the local film industry not by investing in the kind of education that would lead to better film makers and better films but by keeping 90% of foreign films out of Chinese cinemas (years after joining the WTO to boot). So it’s easier to be negative – to hate these non-Chinese or if not hate them, at least deny them what should be their basic rights because they know that they themselves can’t deal with the competition. They can’t compete so they seek to push others down.

Addendum #2 – Assuming that Mr. Movie Tam chose Movie as his English name because he likes movies, now I’m wondering why half the male population here isn’t named Fucking. Though that does increasingly seem to be the English name for Hong Kong’s Chief Executive.
Here the link to Spike - please also read the comments on his post regarding this issue - thanks.
Spike is here - please click !

Effect of China’s New Social Insurance Law on Foreign Employees/Employers

Important to read this for all foreigners employed (legally !) in the mainland. It still seems unclear when this will come in effect - but it will come in effect (sooner or later). Question is if this is just a measure to drive out foreigners to work in China and to put pressure on foreign companies to hire more local staff instead of foreigners (if local staff can fill same position - same quality ?) as foreign or so-called "expats".
For the last 30 years or more "foreigners" (this also means Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan etc.) have contributed a big portion to the success of China's position in the world economically & otherwise. Honestly speaking it is my belief without that help from the outside China would not be where it is today. Please read the below info about the plans for now - lets see and wait:
Effect of China’s New Social Insurance Law on Foreign Employees/Employers
Posted on July 26, 2011 by China Briefing
Jul. 26 – China’s new Social Insurance Law (SIL) – which just took effect on July 1 – has attracted more attention than ever from foreigners living in China because of the provision set out in Article 97 which has been frequently translated into English in the following manner:

“Expatriates working in China may participate in social insurance schemes in accordance with this law.”

While China has already issued a document specifically clarifying foreign employees’ participation in the country’s social welfare system, it still has not made it 100 percent clear specifically which types of foreign individuals will be included in the scheme, and precisely how the new law will impact their paychecks and welfare. In his recent presentation, Adam Livermore, regional manager at Dezan Shira & Associates, introduced China’s social welfare system in detail at an event held by Servcorp in Beijing and cast a light on the new law’s potential effect on foreign employees.

Introduction of China’s social welfare system
China’s social insurance system is comprised of pension, medical insurance, unemployment insurance, maternity insurance and work-related injury insurance. The table below offers a general range of SIL contribution rates across the country and should help foreigners (and their employers) in China figure out how much more they may need to pay once they are involved in the country’s social welfare system. It is important to note that foreigners in every city should learn the actual contribution rates applicable in their area, since the rates can vary considerably by region.

However, for a foreign individual who earns a salary three times higher than the average social salary in his/her city, the amount the individual and the individual’s employer needs to contribute is:
■Employer/employee contribution rates to mandatory benefit = three times the city’s average monthly social salary × the applicable contribution rates

For example, the social average monthly salary for Beijing is currently RMB4,201, so the maximum amount of salary that employers/employees will have to account for in terms of social welfare contributions is RMB12,604. Please note that this figure will also vary across regions.

The clarification and confusion arising from “The Interim Measures for the Participation in Social Insurance of Foreigners Employed in China”
Having realized that the administration of foreign employees within China’s social welfare system may be more complex than for Chinese citizens, the central government issued a document entitled “The Interim Measures for the Participation in Social Insurance of Foreigners Employed in China (Draft for Comments)” on June 10 in an attempt to clarify issues related to the pension refund as well as the compliance to international social insurance treaties. It explicitly states that:
■Expatriates are required to participate in the Chinese social insurance system and pay the social insurance premiums in accordance with relevant regulations
■Where a foreigner departs China prior to the stipulated age for receiving pension, his/her individual account will be retained. If the foreigner reenters China for employment, the contribution period can be calculated cumulatively
■Upon written application by the foreigner, the social insurance agency may pay the foreigner the amount in his/her individual account in one lump sum and terminate the basic pension relationship
■Upon the foreigner’s death, the amount remaining in the individual pension insurance account can be inherited
■For foreigners who are nationals of countries that have entered bilateral or multilateral treaties relating to social insurance with China, his or her social insurance participation will be handled in accordance with such treaties

However, in his presentation, Livermore pointed out there is still confusion regarding the new document that may need further legal explanation from the government.

First of all, it is not clear who exactly will be included in the program. Livermore believes foreigners employed by Chinese entities (including representative offices) holding work permits will most likely be included, and foreigners employed by overseas entities but staying over 183 days in China during a year may also be required to participate in the scheme. Citizens of countries with bilateral agreements in place (currently Germany and South Korea) may be partially exempted if they can prove they are making contributions in their home country.

Secondly, it remains unknown when foreigners’ participation in the scheme will actually be implemented and whether implementation in different cities will vary. Since the new SIL already became effective on July 1, there is a possibility that foreigners’ contributions may be backdated at a later date to July 2011. However, some experts speculate that actual implementation will likely commence from 2012, as backdated contributions may add complications to effective administration of the system.

Thirdly, experts are still wondering whether foreigners will need to contribute to all the five social insurance items. According to Livermore’ presentation, it is likely that foreigners will at least be subject to pension and medical insurance contributions, the two most important components of China’s social insurance system.

Based on such speculation, questions arise concerning how exactly foreigners can claim their pension contribution back when they plan to leave China and whether they can actually benefit from their contributions. For example, no regulations so far have clarified the precise procedures to redeem pension as a lump-sum or the proportion of pension foreigners will finally obtain. In addition, if a foreigner has worked in China for 15 years and is eligible to claim his/her own pension, there is no clear guidance yet that shows the individual how to collect it.

Since the quality of medical services covered by medical insurance is one of the major concerns of most foreigners living in China, it is also essential that future regulations clarify whether foreigners’ contributions to medical insurance will at least partly cover the cost incurred from using international clinics.

While foreigners may also be forced to contribute to work-related injury insurance, maternity insurance and unemployment insurance, further explanations may be needed from the government to justify the contributions. For example, will practices of maternity insurance be consistent between Chinese nationals and foreigners under the current regulations that do not restrict foreigners to the one-child policy? How do foreigners out of employment benefit from unemployment insurance when they are not legally allowed to stay in the country if not employed?

The “Interim Measures” document is only a draft so far and it remains unclear whether or how the Chinese authorities will adjust the implementation details based on different social voices. However, from the perspective of foreign employees, it is critical that the new regulations be made fair and transparent enough to allow them to benefit from the welfare system in proportion to their contributions.

The bright side
While many foreign employees in China may worry about losing more money out of their paychecks to the social welfare system, they may also want to look on the bright side.

First of all, if the pension contributions – the largest portion of the individual contribution – can be redeemed tax-free, foreigners may effectively end up paying slightly less individual income tax.

Secondly, more bilateral treaties may be put in place once all the related regulations are officially released, and that will allow citizens of more countries to enjoy conditional exemptions from the social mandatory system.

Third, compared to other countries, caps on contributions in China are still relatively low.

It is also hoped that, in the long term, foreigner participation in the Chinese social welfare system will drive the various state insurance systems – particularly the medical insurance system – to function more effectively, so an increasingly robust and transparent system will offer more benefits to both Chinese nationals and foreigners.

Dezan Shira & Associates is a boutique professional services firm providing foreign direct investment business advisory, tax, accounting, payroll and due diligence services for multinational clients in China, Hong Kong, Vietnam and India. For further information and clarification on China’s new Social Insurance Law, please email or visit the firm at
Most important is: How to get your money back !