China’s Austerity has Far Reaching Consequences

It is a little like getting a lump of coal in your Christmas stocking. Office workers in China are receiving only the cheapest of perks for lunar new year this year, as employers replace the iPhones and iPads of yesteryear with everyday items from spring onions to sanitary towels.

For decades, China’s “spring festival” holiday has been the high point of work life but the combination of Beijing’s austerity campaign and the country’s economic slowdown has once again left workers in no mood to be festive.

Since President Xi Jinping took office in 2012 and unleashed an unprecedented anti-corruption campaign, many government departments and state-owned enterprises have cancelled traditionally lavish, taxpayer-funded year-end office feasts and galas, replacing them with abstemious canteen meals and staff skits.


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