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Better career opportunities in China trigger tide of overseas returnees
2017-03-22
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Several decades ago, the returning Chinese students from overseas studies were mostly out of patriotism to revive the homeland, now they are back for opportunities to fully develop their potential. The reasons behind the backflow vary. But they all derive from one simple fact: An ever-stronger China, both economically and culturally, is becoming increasingly charming.

Ding Xianfeng still relishes his decision of leaving the Silicon Valley to join Huawei. “If I did not quit the job of sensor system platform architect at Intel and returned to serve as director and chief scientist at Huawei’s sensor lab, I would not become a leader in the world’s sensor industry,” said Ding proudly.

Huawei, one of the top three research companies for mobile application sensors, enjoys an enormous competitive edge.

“Compared to working in the United States, my influence on the development of the sensor industry in the world has grown hundreds of times ... I represent a purchaser who needs sensors that are worth US$2 billion,” Ding told Xinhua.

Many returnees said they went back to China because of the “glass ceilings,” meaning foreigners can never climb to the top of the ladder no matter how talented and hardworking they are.

“Only when you are back in China can you make core strategies,” said Ding repeatedly.

Things are similar for Huang Xiaobo. “At that time, most of my classmates were studying abroad. But many of them are just doing trivial jobs, their talent wasted,” sighed Huang.

After years of efforts, Huang has become the director of the Institute of Lithotripsy Application at Peking University and an academic leader of the Department of Urology at Peking University People’s Hospital.

Huang did not regret his decision.

“Urology is one of the popular professions in the United States. It is barely possible that a Chinese can become the head of the urology department at any mainstream U.S. hospital,” Huang said.

According to the Chinese Ministry of Education, around 80 percent of overseas students have returned home in recent years, compared with about a third in 2006.

The Chinese government at all levels is striving to entice students back. For instance, China is now home to over 300 industrial parks aimed at incubating startups led by returnees.

Witnessing the ever-growing motherland and government incentives and business opportunities, the returnees, without much hesitation, are packing their bags for their flights home.

Source: Shenzhen Daily