NPR logo

China Takes Aim at 'Dead Souls' on Payrolls

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/9177060/9177061" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
China Takes Aim at 'Dead Souls' on Payrolls

World

China Takes Aim at 'Dead Souls' on Payrolls

China Takes Aim at 'Dead Souls' on Payrolls

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/9177060/9177061" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

In China, unproductive workers are known as "dead souls." Often they're government employees who remain on the payroll after retiring or even dying.

A new government hotline encourages reports on employees who don't put in a full day and promises "heavy punishments" for departments that fail to cut dead weight.