What happened: According to an alleged internal document circulated online, Beijing-based Xiaomi is offering incentives for staff to move to its Wuhan and Nanjing offices. Those who make the move can keep their Beijing-level salary – likely significantly higher than average for a second-tier city – and receive an RMB 30,000 relocation bonus, as well as get help in buying a local home. In addition, Xiaomi would provide over two weeks of hotel accommodation at RMB 400 per night and the opportunity to rent “talent apartments” at subsidized rates. In return, workers must stay at their new office for at least two years.
Why it’s important: After going public in Hong Kong this year, Xiaomi may be feeling secure enough to shift more staff out of the first-tier tech hub of Beijing. In doing so, the electronics manufacturer can not only reduce the cost of employment but also take advantage of various perks that second-tier cities are offering to lure in companies. It’s not the first tech giant to do so: this past summer, due to high costs fellow smartphone maker Huawei began relocating staff of several departments from Shenzhen to the Guangdong factory town of Dongguan.