Weird Policies, One by One

This is another day – a typical day in my life in Shanghai. It is raining hard, and I go to the other office and spent the day there.

Let me show me what happened.

Personal Income Declaration

The HR team sent out notice to everyone to claim their personal income. The local tax department has a list of people (with ID number) who should claim tax, and said everyone must claim it before the end of March, otherwise, the fine will be 2,000 RMB to 10,000 RMB.

It also stated that foreign citizens in China don’t need to claim if they can prove that they lived outside China for continuous one month or 90 days in total in the previous year. That may (or may not) be good news for many people. The good news is, someone don’t need to claim and the bad news is, expats may still need to pay the tax.

One Family, One House?

Besides personal tax claim, recently there are many policies coming out. Some sounds strange for me. For example, there is a proposal in the people’s congress to enforce “one family, one house” policy.

The proposed policy restrict that every family in China can only have one house. People will be punished for the second house. The idea is to lower the house price.

This sounds ridiculous for me. It seems people are trying to get back to the planned economy system.

Real Name for Bicycles?

There is another similar proposed policy. The National Public Security Bureau is said to plan to enforce real name registration for bicycles. That means, they want to set up a system for the 1.6 billion people that every people need to provide their real names (national ID) to buy bicycles. The idea behind this is, too many bicycles are stolen. The Public Security Bureau don’t have any good idea, so they think if every bike has a registered owner, and if they find anyone who ride a bike that is not registered under his/her name, it may be a stolen bicycle.

Well. I have no idea about how they can easily create a policy like this. Do they expect everyone to wear national ID with them, or forbid people to lend their bike to others? I suspect the cost to enforce it is higher than bicycle.

Anyway, the good thing is, the voice of different opinion started to be heard, no matter how weired it seems to me.

Fall Over

It was raining, and the floors and stairs are slippy. I fall over one step and hit the steps heavily. It was dangerous, and my back still hurt. Be careful in this big city, especially in rainy day. There are many shining floors that is as slippy as ice in the rain.

8 Comments

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  2. My understanding of the tax policy (and I’m certainly not an expert!) was that the government was trying to make sure it gets all the money it is owed. Anybody earning 120,000 RMB or more per year, Chinese or foreign, must fill out a tax return. Of course, most income tax is paid on a PAYE (Pay As You Earn) basis, so it shouldn’t be necessary, but apparently the tax department was doing this to make sure it was getting everything it should. Of course, for foreigners in particular and for some Chinese I guess, there are rules about how long you spend in China to determine whether you’re “resident for tax purposes” or not. I don’t really understand any of this, but I do have an article saved for reference purposes, and this policy struck me as being common sense.

    The other ones you mention certainly are weird, though. One family one house, fine. But where are people supposed to rent houses from? Landlords may not be good, but they’re often useful. Real names for bicycles? Good luck!

  3. Turtle butts everywhere. I hate them =)

  4. Turtle butts everywhere. I hate them =)

  5. I don’t think the real name bike thing is possible at all.

    Actually, as i remember, there should be a licence plate issued by the govt (probably police bureau) on every bike running in streets. As the law is such, I believe the very most of us are illegal cyclers.

  6. Communist China is famous with the weird policies — convert to Communism (hey, let’s all live together in communes!), the Great Leap Forward (hey, let’s melt all of our metal tools to make useless steal!), the Cultural Revolution (hey, let’s close our schools and burn all of our books!), the one child policy (hey, let’s abort all of our second pregnancies!).

  7. I assume one would need a legal entity (i.e. business licence) to become a landlord, that’s all. The policy is to dissuade regular families from using real estate as an investment asset, as opposed to securities or bank deposits.

    The one child policy is necessary. Anybody that thinks otherwise does not understand the basic cultural difference between East and West, between individual rights (resulting in public suffering) and public rights (results in individual inconvenience). There is no absolute right or wrong here.

  8. Jianshuo, you will make many, many foreigners happy if you can ask the local tax office, or even better, provide us a translation of the new regulations.

    My wife Xiuying has been to the tax office in Huangdao south of Qingdao.

    They told her that they don’t want to claim any tax from foreigners who have their income ONLY in their home country.

    That was why no one bothered to make a translation into english of the regulation.

    (If a foreigner is employed IN CHINA, then he is naturally going to pay tax.)

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