Multinational companies seeking to set up lower-cost operations in Asia will
face higher wage costs in China than in India, according to a study by Mercer
Human Resource Consulting.
The report showed that the average base pay was higher in China than in India
in 95% of the 42 job roles examined. While pay differences were less stark at
lower levels, some senior managers and professionals in China were found to earn
more than double their counterparts in India.
The survey found that HR managers in China earn an average of £16,600
compared with £7,900 in India, while project managers and financial analysts
earn £12,200 and £6,900 respectively in China compared with £5,200 and £4,400 in
At the lower end of the salary scale, customer service assistants receive
£1,300 a year in China compared with just £800 in India, while skilled
production workers earn £1,200 compared with £1,000 in India.
Mark Sullivan, worldwide partner at Mercer, said: ‘While it is far cheaper to
employ staff in both China and India than Europe or the US, India appears to
have the advantage of slightly lower wage costs.
‘Although wage costs are lower in India, there is a high demand for skilled
workers there, particularly at the executive level. If demand continues to
outweigh supply then we can expect wages to increase substantially over the next
‘The challenge for employers is to make sure they retain their top staff and
equip lower-level employees with the necessary skills to move up the
organisation’, Sullivan added.
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