Monthly Pay of Young CICC Trader Above $12K, Catching Eye of Chinese Web

On the evening of July 28, a screenshot showing that “the monthly income of a post-90s brokerage trader is 82,500 yuan ($12,225)” went viral on Chinese social media platforms.

The image shows that a woman posted her spouse’s income and a photo of the couple on Xiaohongshu, accompanied by an income certificate issued by the China International Capital Corporation Limited (CICC) and showing an “average monthly income of 82,500 yuan.” Along with the certificate was the text: “The income level of my husband who was born in 1993, so is it considered marital property?” The topic has ignited heated public discussion.

CICC is China’s first joint-venture investment bank, established in 1995. Its sponsors are China Construction Bank, Morgan Stanley International Company, China National Investment and Guaranty Corporation and Government of Singapore Investment Corp.

According to a report by Cailian Press on July 29, the incident has attracted the attention of CICC, and the involved male employee is being suspended amid an investigation. A source close to CICC responded to domestic media, saying that the matter also concerns Central Huijin Investment, the parent company of CICC, and that it had launched an investigation overnight after being made aware on the evening of July 28.

The above-mentioned source close to CICC said, “Salary is a sensitive topic, especially for leading brokers. In addition, a big background is that the guidelines of the regulatory authorities on the establishment of a stable salary system for brokers have just been released. This kind of news is obviously not a good thing for the brokers.”

Regarding the matter, Chinese web users have expressed varying opinions. Some said that they couldn’t help but fall into contemplation when they saw that a “good wife” exposed the CICC income proof of her husband’s monthly salary of 82,500, while looking at their own loss-making stocks and funds. Some netizens also commented that CICC is, after all, the top investment bank, and it’s not a big deal that well-performing employees can make such a high income.

Such discussions have not only made CICC a trending online topic, but they have also brought about a sharp drop in its share price. As of the close of July 29, CICC’s share price fell 2.33% to 42.41 yuan per share, with a loss of 4.9 billion yuan ($725.5 million) in market value.

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In addition, the CICC was not the only one whose stock price was affected, as the whole brokerage sector saw a sharp drop on July 29. Wind, a provider of financial information services, shows that the brokerage index fell by 1.01%. Among the 49 listed brokers, except for Everbright Securities, Guoyuan Securities, Pacific Securities, and TF Securities, other securities companies have suffered different degrees of decline.

In recent years, “showing off wealth” by brokerage employees has caused a storm of Chinese public opinion, and at the same time, it has also attracted the attention of the regulatory authorities. Regulatory and industrial self-discipline organizations have reminded institutions on related salary topics. According to industry analysis, the salary rectification of brokerage firms may kick off.