(Note: The Chinese Academy of Social Science has denied the publishment of the list, which under hot discussion for quite a few days proved to be faked)
In Chinese concept, white-collar is related to a decent life and a desirable living style. How much have you got to earn to be a qualified white-collar worker in China? A recently published report by Chinese Academy of Social Science gives people an official standard.
Here is an excerption (in RMB/ month)
一档：香港 18500，澳门 8900； 二档：上海 5350，深圳 5280，温州 5020，北京5000； 三档：杭州 4980，广州4750，苏州 4300，厦门 4100，青岛 4000； 四档：南京 3780，福州 3380，无锡3200，天津3150，济南3120，大连 3000； 五档：郑州 2880，昆明 2800，武汉 2680，海口2600，长沙 2480， 三亚 2360，重庆 2250，沈阳 2100,乌鲁木齐 2100，西安 2080； 六档：成都 1900，哈尔滨 1700，呼和浩特 1700，贵州 1600，长春 1500， 兰州 1500，银川 1100，西宁1000； 七档：拉萨900。
Class 1: Hong Kong (18500), Macao (8900)
Class 2: Shanghai (5350), Shenzhen (5280), Wenzhou (温州), a southern city famous for retail goods（5020）, Beijing (5000)
Class 3: Hangzhou (4980), Guangzhou (4750) Xiamen (4100)
Class 4: Nanjing (3780), Fuzhou（福州）,a city by Taiwan Strait (3380)
Class 5: Kunming (2800), Wuhan (2680), Changsha (2480)
Class 6: Chengdu (1900), Harbin（哈尔滨），a northern city (1700), Guizhou (1600), Yinchuan (1100)
Class 7: Lhasa（拉萨）, provincial capital of Tibet (900)
The coastal cities took the head of the list, while the mid-China cities mainly on the middle and several distant inner-land cities on the bottom. However, though a report by the national authoritative institution, the list was questioned by many netizens. Most of them grumbled that the report terribly underestimated the earning needed for one to survive like a real white-collar in China today. That is, a “white-collar” according to the standard can hardly live a decent life in such a society of surging prices.
A blogger in sina.com thought it unbelievable:
This is a result of their research? Oh my God! Such a terrible research! A white-collar can’t even eke out his/her daily living?
人生若只如初见, though with her beautiful name, commented:
It fits for the blue-collar only.
Baby Ninie (宝贝妮妮) from Ji’nan sighed:
也不知道到底什么是白领，我是济南的，反正按你说的那个标准在我们这里也就是个中农吧，哈哈。我觉得我一个月一万块钱也不够花啊，而且还没供房子。现在什么 都涨价，这个标准是现在的吗？我看着不大像，要是一个月收入3000多，连车子都快养不起了呢，光说这油价吧，97#的都快六块钱一个了，这肉吧，都十五 块钱一斤了
I don’t know what the white-collar really is. Whatever! According to that criterion, someone with the earning is only a so-so farmer here. I think 10000/month is nevertheless not enough, even though I am not paying mortgage installment of housing. Everything is now going more expensive. With 3000 RMB (the standard of his city), I couldn’t maintain the automobile. And the pork price, solely, has hit 15 RMB/500g. What a life!
Moreover, another focus of the blogsphere is the deteriorating living condition and heavier pressure on the white-collar, the people working in urban offices. A widely circulated saying tells the life of the white-collar:
We work harder that an ass, eat worse that a pig, get up earlier that a rooster, ring out later than a street girl, adulate more than a kiss-ass, merely eking out basic living, though looking better than any other. We look cool, sound good, but live a life so poor, with money earned by sweat and toil, grinded by self-respect and salary.
辰雨如君 spoke for the blue-collar:
As the white-collar are yelling for being hard up, we blue-collar had better go begging. It’s soon when I am going to be a beggar.
Finally, let me cite the introspection of blogger 大智若, who discussed why people tended to make white-collar as their identities and whether the category is necessary, to end the post:
The political nature of class differences is fading away and gives the place to the economic nature. In the cities, a new era of all people wandering has come. We immerse ourselves in the reminiscence of old homes and have a pain in common, the pain that we lost our identities in perplexity. Who am I? Where do I belong to? Where am I going?