The entry exam for the Chinese civil service took place earlier today, with 1.39 million hopefuls sitting the test which will determine whether or not they land a highly desirable desk job within the state bureaucracy.
According to NetEase, China plans to recruit 27,817 civil servants, a 25 percent increase on the intake from last year. While highly competitive, the competition is less fierce than in previous years, with 50 candidates competing for each role in comparison to 63 last year.
The government has however upped the punishment for anyone found to be cheating. Those caught will now face a criminal sentence in accordance with a law passed on November 1, potentially serving a three year jail sentence.
Incumbent civil servants are forbidden to take the annual exam this year. Most governmental positions above provincial level will be required candidates to already possess two years of working experience, while positions below the municipal level plan to recruit college graduates.
Although the number of candidates sitting the exam has dropped over the past two years, it is still remains 316 times higher as compared with statistics from 1994.
By Lucy Liu
[Images China News]