CHINA> Regional
White collar workers feel the pressure amid global financial crisis
Updated: 2008-10-28 09:51

White collar workers at Chinese branches of many multinational companies are now facing increased pressures and reduced salaries as their headquarters cut daily expenses to cope with the current global financial meltdown.

The crisis dealt its first blow by causing the closure of two toy factories in southern China's Guangdong Province in mid October. The move resulted in a loss of over 6,000 jobs. Since then, more businesses in China, especially multinationals whose headquarters are in the center of the financial storm, are facing tough times.

The recession in the financial market hit most companies that make a profit from banks and financial companies.

Wen Xiang, a mid-level manager at an American multinational company in Beijing, says he feels increased pressure in his job with his headquarters expecting more output despite scaling back on expenses.

Wen said his US-based headquarters wrongly expect businesses in China to remain strong, and are therefore pushing even harder on the local branch.

"But business has actually seen a decline with lesser demand. That means more responsibilities and less money to spend," Wen said.

However, employees from companies whose profits are less affected by the global financial turmoil and those who saw increased business opportunities are more optimistic about their jobs.

Nie Bomin, a Beijing-based employee of IBM, said his company will have to think twice before laying off employees as they are producing something valuable for the market.

The company, that focuses mainly on data management, is less affected and reported unexpected profits in first three quarters of this year.

According to a recent survey of 5,000 white collar workers by human resource website, 26 percent said they had postponed their plans to seek new jobs due to the ongoing financial crisis.

"During difficult times, it's best not to rush into anything new," Wen said.