Shenzhen has decided to raise its basic monthly living allowance, from RMB1,070 to RMB1,160. This will put the city on par with Shanghai, and is retroactive to the start of this year.
To be clear, this is not a minimum wage. While the hipsters of Silicon Valley continue to push the idea of a Universal Basic Income stipend, and at least one US presidential candidate (Andrew Yang) has built his campaign on it, China has been doing it for many years already. It is known as a “minimum living guarantee” (our translation). It is different from the “social assistance standard” for “low-income residents”, which was raised to RMB1,740, and is far less than the “basic living allowance” for “people in extreme poverty”, which was raised to RMB1,856.
This is a concept whose time has not yet come in the West. But one has to wonder, as the central government considers Chinese-style solutions to problems in its Chinese-Western city of Hong Kong, whether a “minimum living guarantee” is on the table for discussion.
Read more in Chinese.