How to Hire & Pay a remote worker in China

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Hiring and paying remote workers in China can be a daunting task, laden with unique challenges. Navigating the complexities of a foreign job market, cultural differences, and legal requirements can seem overwhelming. However, rest assured that there are viable solutions to these obstacles. In this article, we’ll explore the key steps and considerations involved in hiring and compensating remote workers in China. From legal compliance to cultural nuances, we’ll guide you through the process to ensure a successful remote work arrangement.


Where to find remote Talent/Candidate in China

Chinese job listing platforms

In the fast-paced world of job recruitment, China has emerged as a powerhouse, driven by a booming economy and a burgeoning workforce. The country’s dynamic job market relies heavily on digital platforms that bring together employers and job seekers. Chinese job listing platforms play a pivotal role in this process, offering a plethora of opportunities for both employers and candidates.

1. 51job (前程无忧): 51job is one of China’s most prominent job listing platforms, with a vast and diverse user base. It allows employers to post job listings and job seekers to create detailed profiles. The platform offers various services, including resume reviews and skill assessments, making it a comprehensive resource for both parties.

2. Zhaopin (智联招聘): Zhaopin is another influential player in the Chinese job market. It provides a user-friendly interface for job seekers and employers, featuring a vast array of job postings. Zhaopin also offers valuable career development tools such as resume building and interview preparation resources.

3. Liepin (猎聘网): Liepin targets a slightly different demographic, focusing on mid-to-senior level professionals. It is known for its data-driven approach to match candidates with job opportunities. Employers can use Liepin’s tools to identify the most suitable talent for their organizations.

4. Boss Zhipin (Boss 直聘): This platform has gained significant attention for its mobile-first approach. Job seekers can apply for positions easily with just a few taps on their smartphones. Boss Zhipin also utilizes AI technology for job recommendations and to streamline the hiring process.

5. Lagou (拉勾网): Lagou is a leading platform for tech-related job postings, catering to China’s growing tech industry. It connects tech professionals with startups and established tech companies, making it a crucial resource for the rapidly expanding tech sector.

Recruitment Platform: HROne

HROne is a human resource service provider. HROne’s PEO & EOR services are built for foreign companies whose business operations require hiring local or foreign employees in China. While all employment, HR, administrative and legal matters are outsourced to HROne, your company is able to have a physical presence in China without the need to set up a legal entity.

These platforms offer various benefits for both employers and job seekers in China. Employers can tap into a vast talent pool, streamline their recruitment processes, and access tools to identify the most suitable candidates. Job seekers can explore a wide range of job opportunities, create detailed profiles, and receive valuable career development resources.

China’s job listing platforms are not only facilitating job matching but also contributing to the country’s economic growth. As the world’s most populous nation continues to evolve, these platforms will play an increasingly vital role in shaping the Chinese job market, connecting talent with opportunity and driving the nation’s workforce into a prosperous future.

NNRoad’s recruitment service

NNRoad provides temporary & permanent staffing solutions through our employer of record (EOR) services to ensure that your business in China complies with local labor laws and regulations. We shortlist highly qualified candidates from a wide range of industries and process monthly payroll. Acting as the Employer of Record, NNRoad takes on all local employer liabilities.

How to Hire Remote Employees in China

Hire employees with your own company in China


1.Full Control: Employing staff within your own company in China gives you full control over the recruitment process, ensuring that you can select candidates that align with your company culture and objectives.

2.Stronger Integration: In-house employees tend to have a stronger sense of belonging and commitment to your company, potentially leading to increased productivity and loyalty.

3.Confidentiality: Sensitive information and trade secrets can be better protected when employees are directly hired and can be subject to stringent non-disclosure agreements.


1.Complex Legal Compliance: Navigating China’s labor laws and regulations can be highly intricate, including issues related to work permits, taxes, and social benefits, making it challenging for foreign companies.

2.Administrative Burden: Handling the administrative tasks associated with employing staff can be time-consuming and may require the assistance of local experts or legal counsel.

3.Costs: Employing staff directly in China can be costly due to payroll taxes, social benefits, and other mandatory expenses.

In conclusion, hiring employees within your own company in China provides control and integration benefits, but it comes with complex legal requirements and administrative overhead. Balancing the pros and cons should be a crucial consideration when making such a decision. Many foreign companies opt for a hybrid approach, combining in-house staff with outsourcing or utilizing professional employer organizations to navigate the complexities of hiring in China.

Hire employees through an EOR provider (NNRoad)


1.Simplified Legal Compliance: EOR providers specialize in navigating the complex web of Chinese labor laws and regulations, ensuring full compliance with local requirements, including work permits, taxes, and social benefits.

2.Quick Market Entry: Hiring through an EOR provider allows your company to enter the Chinese market rapidly, saving time and resources compared to setting up your own legal entity.

3.Reduced Administrative Burden: EOR providers handle payroll, benefits, and HR tasks, relieving your company of the administrative overhead associated with in-house employment.

4.Flexibility: It’s easier to scale your workforce up or down based on your business needs without the long-term commitments associated with traditional employment.


Limited Control: Your company may have less control over the selection and management of employees, as the EOR provider takes care of these aspects.

In summary, EOR providers offer a convenient and compliant solution for hiring employees in China. However, it comes with reduced control over certain aspects of employment. Choosing to work with an EOR provider should align with your business goals, operational needs, and budget considerations.

Hire employees as independent contractors


1.Flexibility: Independent contractors provide flexibility as they work on specific projects or for defined periods, allowing your company to adapt to changing workloads and requirements.

2.Cost Savings: Employing independent contractors can reduce labor costs, as you’re not responsible for taxes, social benefits, or other employee-related expenses.

3.Reduced Administrative Burden: Independent contractors handle their own taxes, reducing your administrative overhead and legal compliance responsibilities.

However, it’s important to navigate China’s strict labor laws and ensure that contractors genuinely meet the criteria for independent contractor status, as misclassification can lead to legal and financial consequences.

Cons: The consequences of misclassifying employees as contractors

In China, the repercussions of such misclassification may include:

1.Legal Penalties: Employers may face legal actions, fines, and penalties for violating labor laws and regulations. Chinese labor laws are strict and non-compliance can result in significant financial liabilities.

2.Back Pay and Benefits: Misclassified workers may be entitled to back pay, overtime, and missed benefits, which can lead to substantial financial settlements for the employer.

3.Tax Liabilities: Employers may be held responsible for unpaid taxes, social benefits, and pension contributions, potentially resulting in substantial financial obligations.

4.Future Compliance Scrutiny: Authorities may closely scrutinize the employer’s future labor practices, leading to ongoing compliance challenges.

Overall, misclassification of employees as contractors can lead to costly legal battles, financial setbacks, and damage to a company’s reputation, making it crucial for employers to accurately classify their workers in compliance with local labor laws.

How to Pay Remote Workers in China

 EOR / local currency 

One effective method is to utilize an Employer of Record (EOR) or a local entity to handle the payroll process in Chinese Renminbi (RMB). By using an EOR provider like NNRoad you can pay in USD or EUR; and we take care of paying the employees in CNY.

 For international companies paying in a different currency, conversion rates and currency exchange fees should be carefully considered to optimize cost-effectiveness for both the employer and employee.

Payroll Processing: Your chosen EOR or local entity will process payroll, deduct the required taxes and social contributions, and distribute net payments to remote workers. It’s crucial to provide all necessary information to your EOR for accurate payroll processing.

Compliance and Reporting: EOR or local entity handles all necessary tax reporting and compliance matters, including deductions for personal income tax (PIT) and social insurance contributions, which vary based on location and income.

Paying remote workers in China through an EOR or local entity not only ensures compliance but also fosters trust with your employees by simplifying the payment process. It’s essential to work with experts or consult legal counsel to navigate the complexities of Chinese labor and tax laws effectively.

Can you pay remote employees in foreign currency?

Yes, you can pay remote employees in foreign currency not if they are full time employees in china , but there are some considerations and potential challenges associated with doing so:

1.Employee Consent: Ensure that remote employees are willing to accept payment in a foreign currency. Some employees may prefer to be paid in their local currency to avoid exchange rate fluctuations and related fees.

2.Exchange Rates: Exchange rates can fluctuate, which may affect the actual amount that remote employees receive. Employers should decide whether they will use the exchange rate at the time of payment or another agreed-upon rate.

3.Banking and Transfer Fees: Both employers and employees may incur fees when converting and transferring foreign currency. It’s essential to clarify who will bear these costs, as they can impact the overall compensation.

4.Local Laws and Regulations: Ensure that paying in foreign currency complies with local labor and tax laws in both the employer’s and the employee’s countries. Some jurisdictions have specific regulations regarding currency of payment.

5.Tax Considerations: Foreign currency payments may have tax implications for both the employer and the employee. Consult with tax experts to understand the tax consequences in China.

6.Contractual Agreements: It’s important to have clear contractual agreements specifying the currency of payment, exchange rates, and any associated fees.

Many companies choose to pay remote employees in their local currency to simplify the process and avoid complications related to exchange rates and regulatory compliance. However, if you decide to pay in a foreign currency, transparency and clear communication with your remote workers are key to maintaining a positive working relationship.

Laws for hiring contractor and employees in China

Hiring contractors and employees in China involves navigating a complex legal landscape. When engaging independent contractors, it is essential to establish clear contractual agreements, specifying the scope of work, compensation terms, and the contractor’s independent status. This is crucial as misclassification can result in significant legal consequences. Chinese labor laws are stringent and favor employee rights, and misclassifying workers as contractors when they meet the criteria for employment can lead to fines, back pay claims, and other penalties.

When hiring employees directly, employers must establish a legally compliant entity in China, which can be a wholly foreign-owned enterprise (WFOE), a representative office, or other forms of legal entities. Compliance with China’s labor regulations, including work permits, taxes, and social benefits, is paramount. These laws also govern issues like working hours, leave, and employment termination. Employee contracts should adhere to the local labor standards, and employers should consider drafting bilingual employment agreements to ensure clarity for both parties.

Furthermore, Chinese labor laws require employers to contribute to social insurance programs, such as pension, medical, unemployment, work-related injury, and maternity insurance, and to withhold personal income tax from employee salaries. Non-compliance with these obligations can lead to severe legal repercussions.

Additionally, China’s labor laws have stringent regulations related to overtime, minimum wage, and employee rights, all of which employers must adhere to. These laws are enforced by local labor bureaus, and failure to comply can result in fines and legal actions.

In summary, understanding and complying with the intricate labor and employment regulations in China is essential when hiring contractors or employees. Employers must ensure that their hiring practices adhere to the local labor standards, and consulting with local legal experts or professionals familiar with Chinese labor law is highly recommended to avoid legal pitfalls and maintain a harmonious employer-employee relationship.

How to terminate a Chinese remote employee?

Terminating a Chinese remote employee requires compliance with labor laws and must protect the rights of both the employer and the employee. Firstly, it’s crucial to have a valid and lawful reason for termination, such as poor performance, a breach of employment contract, or a business-related reason.

1.Notification and Documentation: Provide written notice of termination to the employee, specifying the grounds for termination and the notice period, which is typically 30 days unless otherwise stated in the employment contract. Keep thorough documentation of all communication related to the termination process.

2.Severance Pay: In accordance with Chinese labor laws, employees are often entitled to severance pay, typically one month’s salary for each year of service. Ensure you calculate and provide the appropriate severance package, and be prepared for negotiation.

3.Work Handover: Request the employee to complete any pending work, return company property, and transfer necessary information before their departure.

4.Exit Interview: Conduct an exit interview to gather feedback and ensure a smooth transition.

5.Legal Consultation: Consult with legal experts or HR professionals knowledgeable about Chinese labor laws to ensure the termination process complies with local regulations, avoiding any potential legal disputes.

Terminating a Chinese remote employee must be conducted respectfully and in full compliance with the applicable labor laws to prevent legal issues and maintain a positive employer reputation in the country. Legal counsel or HR specialists with expertise in Chinese labor regulations are valuable assets in navigating this process effectively.

NNRoad offers a comprehensive solution for your global expansion needs. With our extensive expertise as an Employer of Record (EOR) service provider, we streamline international hiring, ensuring compliance with complex local regulations. Take the hassle out of managing the global workforce and partner with NNRoad to expand your business with confidence. Contact us today to explore how we can help you achieve your global hiring goals.

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