Official interference in personal matters has a long history in Communist China. The 'one child policy' birth control rules, which were imposed in the late 1970s limiting most couples to a single offspring, is the most well known. Lately, it has been reported that a Chinese company plans to demand its employees seek approval to get pregnant and fine those who conceive a child without permission. This circular triggered scathing criticism from Chinese media.
A policy distributed by a credit co-operative in Jiaozuo, in the central province of Henan, read, "Only married female workers who have worked for the company for more than one year can apply for a place on the birth planning schedule. The employee must strictly stick to the birth plan once it is approved. Those who get pregnant in violation of the plan such that their work is affected will be fined 1,000 yuan ($161)."
A company representative admitted that the lender sent the notice to its staff but said it was only a draft seeking employees' comment. The policy said, "Violators will not be considered for promotion or awards and their incentives and year-end bonuses will be cancelled if their pregnancy severely hindered their work."
A worker at a different bank in Henan said, "Our company asked staff for their pregnancy plans at the beginning of every year."