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Shenzhen tamps down wages with eye on China's manufacturing exodus

City plans first rule change in 17 years as companies chase cheaper labor abroad

Workers assemble TVs at a Shenzhen factory. The city plans a major overhaul to stem the rise in wages.   © Reuters

GUANGZHOU -- The Chinese city of Shenzhen will overhaul its rules on worker pay for the first time in 17 years, looking to curb surging labor costs and stem the exodus of companies to cheaper markets in Southeast Asia and elsewhere.

A bustling technology hub, Shenzhen's plan boils down to three main components -- reducing overtime pay for irregular workers, tightening bonus rules and extending deadlines for paying employees.

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