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Incentive to “Stay on”: Learn About China’s Year-End Bonus!

Jan. 26, 2018

Chinese General Bonus

Chinese New Year is coming. The “年终奖 (niánzhōng jiǎng) year-end bonus” has recently become a hot topic in China. At the end of each year, what people most often talk about is the “年终奖 (niánzhōng jiǎng) year-end bonus”. After a year of hard work, getting a “年终奖 (niánzhōng jiǎng) year-end bonus” is both comforting and encouraging to the staff.

In China, some companies distribute “年终奖 (niánzhōng jiǎng)” via cash or through the WeChat red packet. Some companies give shopping vouchers or gifts as a bonus. Lately, some big companies give new cars to their senior staff.

Fun facts about how the year-end bonus began:
Chinese New Year is just around the corner. Falling on February 16th, 2018, It is that time of year for the year-end bonus. So, what is this year-end bonus, or annual year-end bonuses “年终奖 (niánzhōng jiǎng)”, that everyone is talking about? They happen on the last month of the lunar calendar before Chinese New Year. (Chinese New Year sometimes falls in late January, but usually happens in February due to the lunar cycle.)

Chinese and American employees receive different versions of the end-of-year bonus or annual year-end bonuses. For instance, in America, bonuses are tied to performance merits and amounts can vary depending on how the staff member performed during the year and other milestones that have been achieved or in cases where performance was more than expected. However, this bonus is mostly given as a small holiday bonus or gifts. In China, the factory and farm owners give the year-end, or annual year-end bonuses, to make sure that staff who are working in the fields and factories will return after spending time with their families during Chinese New Year. The bonus comes as a reward for their hard work and dedication. Most factory and farm workers live far away from their work and take the train home for the holiday. Chinese factory and farm workers who continue working for their employers will earn an end-of-the-year bonus, or what some companies call the “stay-don’t-leave bonus”. The enticing bonus comes at a time when holiday festivities could make it a prime occasion for workers to switch jobs and career fields. Therefore, workers expect to receive up to double their monthly salary stipulated in their contract to stay on with their employer. The year-end bonus makes each team member aware of their importance.

Chinese words knowledge points:
年终奖 (Niánzhōng jiǎng): year-end bonus, annual bonus.

Break it down:
年终 (Niánzhōng): the end of the year; year-end.

奖 (Niánzhōng jiǎng): encourage; praise; reward; commend.

Examples:
Nǐ jīnnián ná niánzhōng jiǎng le ma?
你  今年   拿    年终          奖    了 吗?
Have you received the year-end bonus this year?

Wǒ měinián dōu néng ná yí wàn kuài de niánzhōng jiǎng.
我    每年       都   能     拿   一万块     的    年终       奖。
I can get 10,000 Yuan as the year-end awards every year.

Quiz:

1. Read the dialogue below and answer the question:

Jack: Lily, nǐmen gōngsī fā niánzhōng jiǎng le ma?
Jack: Lily, 你们    公司    发     年终        奖   了  吗?

Lily: Biétíle! Wǒmen gōngsī jīnnián xiàoyì bùhǎo, shénme dōu méi fā. Nǐ ne?
Lily: 别提了!我们    公司   今年    效益   不好,   什么     都   没 发。你  呢?

Jack: Wǒmen dōu ná le sān qiānyuán de gòuwùquàn zuòwéi niánzhōng jiǎng.
Jack: 我们       都    拿  了   3   千元     的    购物券        作为      年终          奖。

Which of the following statements is true according to the dialogue?

A. Lily got a 3,000 yuan shopping voucher as the year-end bonus.
B. Jack got a 3,000 yuan shopping voucher as the year-end bonus.
C. Jack didn’t get the year-end bonus.
D. Lily’s company had outstanding achievements this year.
See Answer

— Written by Jennifer Zhu —
Jennifer Zhu is a professional Chinese teacher from eChineseLearning. She has many years of Chinese language teaching experience and received her B.A. and M.A. in “Teaching Chinese as a Second Language.”

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