The government plans to end jobs for life for some 30m government employees, Xinhua reported. The system will be replaced with work contracts that require employees to pass tests on job skills. The change was announced by vice minister for personnel Shu Huiguo at a meeting in January of personnel officials from around the country. The report said that the new system would affect 1.3m institutions and would lead to lay-offs and job losses.
The new system should be implemented over the next three years, as state-funded institutions including think-tanks and publishing houses have signed contracts with their employees that end their current lifelong tenures. Analysts quoted by South China Morning Post said that the move would be difficult to implement and it risked upsetting social stability, as it would be particularly unpopular among intellectuals.