Publication: English version of Research Report on Working Conditions in the Hotel Industry

We are pleased to announce the publication of the English version of our research report on the working conditions in the hotel industry in Shenzhen.
The Chinese version of this report had already been published last year as a part of our service sector research report.



An Exploratory Research of the Working Conditions in Shenzhen’s Hotel Industry

Executive Summary

Shenzhen, the Chinese city where labour-intensive industry used to be one of its major economic drivers, has accelerated the transformation and upgrading of industries in recent years. With factories relocating and service sector growing, migrant workers gradually shift to the service sector and become all the more scattered. Meanwhile one particular industry in the service sector, the hotel industry, had shown rapid growth despite significant drop in number of workers.


To understand the situation better, we had conducted an exploratory research in the working conditions of workers in the hotel industry in Longgang area, Shenzhen. With the assistance of student volunteers, we had conducted a total of 58 questionnaires with workers at various positions employed in chain express inns and 5-star hotels. Survey questions included the details of the recruitment process, their labour contract, working hours, wages and benefits. Below are some key observations of our result:

1. Floating salary, miscalculation of overtime work pay, low participation rate in social insurance

  • With the average base salary just over 2000 RMB, most workers had no choice but to work overtime. However the overtime pay to workers is often miscalculated and does not meet level imposed by law.

2. Student interns widely used in several positions while educational purpose in doubt

  • In certain positions, student interns form over half of the workforce in the surveyed hotels, saving employers in wages and benefits. However judging from the job nature that interns usually take up, the educational purpose seems dubious.

3. High turnover rate leads to lower motivation to handle dispute

  • Younger workers do not want to stay in the workplace or they just see the job as a “stepping stone” in their career. Even though they are unpleasant with their current situation, they are disengaged with labour processes and collective actions to fight for improvement.


Please view full report at: An Exploratory Research of the Working Conditions in Shenzhen’s Hotel Industry (2016)