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IT firms give biggest bonuses

2015-02-16 09:01 Global Times Web Editor: Qin Dexing

Include luxury cars, even up to 50 months' pay

Employees in the IT industry have been rewarded with generous year-end bonuses ranging from up to 50 months' pay to luxury cars, signaling the fierce competition for talent in the fast-growing sector, experts said Sunday.

Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry, a major supplier of Apple Inc, offered employees a total of NT$600 million ($18.6 million) cash in a year-end lucky draw held in New Taipei City, a city surrounding Taipei, Taiwan, on Saturday, with one staffer winning the highest prize of NT$12.88 million, the company said in a statement sent to the Global Times Sunday.

Hon Hai is not the only tech company that has treated its employees generously.

Some Internet companies also offered bonuses ranging from up to 50 months' pay to posh cars.

Shanghai-based app developer lianwifi.com, which launched in 2012 with around 40 employees, offered every employee who had been in the company for over four months a Tesla car as a year-end bonus.

The company's CEO Chen Danian said the move came because the company's app has the second-largest number of users nationwide behind Tencent's social networking app WeChat and aims to retain talent, according to his Weibo post on Thursday.

Baidu Inc, China's largest search engine company, offered a record number of bonuses to treat employees in 2014, and one employee even got a bonus equivalent to 50 months' pay, CEO Robin Li Yanhong said in a company conference held on January 24.

"I got a bonus that was equal to four months' pay, and that is common in the IT industry. Most Baidu employees got bonuses equal to three to five months' salaries," a Shenzhen-based employee of Baidu on condition of anonymity told the Global Times Sunday.

But Jack Ma Yun, chairman of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, said in a letter to its 30,000 employees on Friday that the group will not offer them bonuses for 2014.

Alibaba offered employees a standard 13 months' pay and bonuses annually between 2010 and 2013. But for 2014, employees will only receive 13 months' pay, according to Ma.

"Besides launching an IPO [in New York], our business performance in 2014 is not good enough for us to offer bonuses," Ma said. "In fact, we could have done better in the e-commerce, cloud computing and logistics sectors."

"A company's year-end bonus is always related to its business performance," Feng Lijuan, chief consultant at human resources service provider 51job.com, told the Global Times Sunday.

Even in the fast-growing Internet industry, extra-high bonuses are individual cases and always related to certain positions such as sales, so employees in non-core departments do not get as much, Feng said.

For most companies, offering year-end bonuses is still a major way to retain and encourage talent.

Around 84 percent of employers plan to offer a bonus to their employees for 2014, according to a report released by PXC Consulting in January, which is based on a survey of 6,432 companies.

The Internet finance industry ranked No.1 in terms of offering an average bonus of 39,873 yuan ($6,380) in 2014, followed by securities brokerages, fund firms and online gaming companies, the report said.

The real estate industry, which used to rank among the top three in bonuses, fell to No.6 by offering an average annual bonus of 25,062 yuan, according the report.

"The real estate industry has slowed down since last year, and sluggish home sales have weighed down the annual bonuses for sales managers and senior executives," Feng said.

China's anti-corruption campaign has also affected the compensation packages of employees in State-owned enterprises (SOEs), with some employees in oil giant China National Petroleum Corporation worrying that they could not get a year-end bonus, Beijing News reported on January 9.

About 20 percent of SOEs surveyed said they would lower their employees' year-end bonuses for 2014, according to a report released by human resources consultancy CIIC in January.

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