Candidates line up to take the national civil service examination in Wuhan, in China's central Hubei province, on November 28, 2021. ( AFP / STR)

False posts misrepresent report of civil service examination in China

Copyright AFP 2017-2022. All rights reserved.

Posts claiming that Indonesia's civil service job vacancies have been given to Chinese citizens — and not to Indonesians — have circulated on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. However, the claim is false. According to Indonesia's civil service agency, only Indonesian citizens are allowed to take civil service jobs in the country. The posts misleadingly referenced a headline from an Indonesian-language news report about 1.4 million people taking the 2021 civil service examination in China, not in Indonesia. 

“AFTER MILLIONS OF FOREIGN WORKERS WERE INTENTIONALLY BROUGHT IN FROM CHINA, NOW [Indonesian] CIVIL SERVICE JOB VACANCIES WERE ALSO GIVEN [to the Chinese],” reads a screenshot of a Indonesian-language WhatsApp message featured in this Facebook post on December 1, 2021.

“THE SCENARIO OF HANDING OVER [Indonesia’s] SOVEREIGNTY TO CHINA PLUS THE TRANSFER OF THE COUNTRY'S CAPITAL IS FINALLY COMPLETE,” the screenshot continues, referring to Jakarta’s plan to move its capital from Jakarta to East Kalimantan province.

The WhatsApp message then continues: "Astagfirullah Chinese citizens were given the opportunities to become public officials, while many Indonesians alone are still out of jobs! Oh God destroy this regime soon."

On top of the screenshot, there is a link to an Indonesian-language news article headlined: “1.4 Million Chinese Citizens Take the 2021 Civil Service Test, Competition Is Supertight”.


Screenshot of the misleading post, taken on December 6, 2021

"Astagfirullah" is an Arabic expression often uttered by Indonesian Muslims to signify sad astonishment. 

The claim also appeared in other posts on Facebook here, on Twitter here and here, and on YouTube here.

However, the claim is false. 

Indonesia's National Civil Service Agency (BKN) states on its website that those eligible to apply for the country's civil service positions are: "Indonesian citizens who wish and meet the requirements according to the regulations of each agency (formation, position, etc.) as long as the required age limit is met."

Below is a screenshot of BKN's website: 

Screenshot of BKN's website

A Google search result of the Indonesian-language headline in the misleading screenshot found that the original article was published by Indonesian-language news outlet on November 29, 2021.

Below is a screenshot of the article:


Screenshot the article

The article was originally a news report from Indonesian state news agency Antara, published on the same day here.

The first two paragraphs of the report read: "Around 1.42 million Chinese citizens faced a fierce competition vying for 31,200 local civil service positions in 2021.

"The number of civil service job applicants rose 40 percent compared with last year, according to the National Civil Service Agency (NCSA) as quoted by local media on Monday."

State-run newspaper China Daily published this report on November 29, 2021, saying: "The national civil service exam for recruitment next year was held on Sunday, with 1.42 million people sitting for it, about 40 percent more than last year. Only 31,200 will be recruited, making the odds of getting a position about 1 in 46."

Articles from, Antara and China Daily do not reference Indonesia.

The Southeast Asian country hosted 35,781 workers from China — around 36 percent of the country’s total foreign workforce, according to official figures from May 2020.