Many companies in the country are resorting to executive pay cuts to deal with the global economic slowdown, executives and human resources managers have said.
The moves are reportedly being made in industries such as aviation, steel, power generation, petrochemical, finance, information technology, securities and real estate.
Similarly, Chinese companies including State-owned enterprises (SOEs) are planning to scale back their reward schemes for staff this year as they find ways to cut costs, industry observers have said.
Sany Heavy Industry Co, one of the country's largest heavy machinery manufacturers, made headlines recently when its chairman Liang Wengen offered to cut his salary this year to 1 yuan, while the company cut other board members' salaries by 90 percent.
Leading aluminum producer Chalco reportedly plans to cut executive pay by as much as 50 percent, after profits plunged last year on declining metal prices.
China Eastern Airlines' management teams are also expected to have their wages slashed by up to 30 percent, local media reported.
Human resources experts told China Daily such moves showing executives' efforts to share some pain with rank-and-file employees can shore up goodwill among employees, when broader pay cuts and workforce reductions are announced.
"But such moves will not necessarily drag these companies back to the black. It is just one of the many strategies they have to take," said Luo Zhongwei, a senior researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Luo said the deteriorating economic situation could also force some companies to reflect upon their operations.
"Fast growth can cover up a lot of problems. Some of our employees were spending lavishly. These problems are exposed when the outside environment worsens. We must execute cost-saving initiatives now," said Duan Dawei, Sany's vice-president and finance director.