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More overseas Chinese grads return home for improved entrepreneurship environment

chinese graduates, overseas chinese, chinese job market

The chance to work at a Silicon Valley start-up and snag a work visa used to be the ideal dream for Chinese citizens who graduated from universities overseas. But an increasing number now opt for a different path – a better start back home.

对希望投身高科技行业的中国留学生来说,得到在硅谷初创公司的工作机会并获取工作签证,曾经是完美梦想。但现在,越来越多的中国留学生选择走另一条路——回国以获得更好的开始。

As China pours more money into spurring innovation, the number of Chinese students returning to China to work after studying abroad has steadily increased, with many citing more attractive jobs offers and an improved environment for entrepreneurship as the main reasons for their ticket back to China.

近年,中国为促进创新投入大笔资金,留学之后回国工作的中国学生人数也稳步增长,其中许多人都表示,更加吸引的职位和创业环境的改善是他们选择做“海归”的主要原因。

“I feel like there are many more opportunities in China because the internet is still booming and there are many open areas that need to be worked on,” said Orion Zhao Oulun, a 24-year-old returnee. “The market in the US is much more saturated.”

24岁的中国“海归”赵欧伦说:“我觉得中国的机会多得多,因为互联网正在发展,很多开放的领域可以做。美国的市场则饱和得多。”

Originally from Beijing, Zhao graduated in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley. He obtained a H1B work visa for a software engineer position at a Silicon Valley start-up. But Zhao this year decided to move back to China and start his own company.

赵欧伦是北京人,2013年在加州大学伯克利分校获得电脑科学学士学位。拿到美国H1B工作签证之后,他加入了一家在硅谷的初创公司,做软件工程师。今年,他决定回国创业。

At first, he was unsure about whether he wanted to return home after completing his degree. But he was swayed by the better climate for entrepreneurs on the mainland and the greater number of positions, he said.

刚毕业的时候,赵欧伦不确定是否要回国。他说,内地越来越多的创业机会,以及较多的高级职位空缺让他最终作出决定。

“If you just graduated and you join a start-up in Silicon Valley, you’re probably just a software engineer at the junior level. But come back here and you might have a shot at becoming a senior engineer,” Zhao said.

赵欧伦说:“如果你刚毕业,然后加入了一家硅谷公司,你可能只能做一名初级软件工程师。但回来之后,你也许有机会成为高级工程师。”他还说,在硅谷的经验让他得到创业所需的技能。

The number of Chinese going overseas to study and the number coming back has been steadily increasing in recent years. According to the Beijing-based think tank Centre for China and Globalisation, about 284,700 students headed overseas to study in 2010, while about 108,300 returned for work – less than 40 per cent. Last year, 459,800 headed out, while about 364,800 came back – a return rate of 79 per cent.

近年中国留学生的数目和“海归”的数目都在稳步增长。据总部在北京的智库中国与全球化中心数据,2010年,大约28.47万名学生出国留学,大约10.83万人回国工作,回流比不足40%。去年,45.98万人出国留学,有大约36.48万名人回国,回流比高达79%。

chinese graduates, overseas chinese, chinese job market

China is encouraging entrepreneurship to create new drivers of growth in science and technology amid the wider economic restructuring. Earlier this month, the government announced plans to set up at least eight new pilot zones to foster innovation.

随着中国经济下行的压力加大,政府鼓励大众创业,并在科学技术领域寻找新的经济驱动力。本月较早前,中国政府宣布设立8个创新试验区。

Stephen Wu, a Shanghai-based director at Spring Professional, a recruiting firm in Asia, said the main reason graduates in engineering or IT were coming back was the internet and technology boom, particularly in the smartphone market. But some students were also finding it difficult to obtain work abroad, he added.

亚洲招聘公司Spring Professional的上海总监Stephen Wu说,工程学系或IT学系的毕业生回国的主要原因是互联网和技术的蓬勃发展,尤其是在智能电话市场。另外,在外国难以找到工作及获得工作签证,也是很多学生回流的原因。

“Ten years ago, students went abroad to study with the initial intention to not come back. But now you look at the young students – they want to come back because the China economy grows so fast,” Wu said.

Stephen Wu说:“10年前,留学生出去是不准备回来的。但现在你看看这些年轻的学生,他们希望回来,因为中国的经济发展得很快。”

Efforts to attract local talent back to China include government subsidies for senior-level positions. Aside from being offered higher paying jobs, overseas returnees also enjoy an easier process to apply for hukou, he said.

他表示,吸引留学生回国发展的还包括政府为高级职位提供的补贴。除了可以获得较高的工资之外,“海归”还可以得到其他福利,比如更容易获得户口。

Although the rate of returnees has increased, people who stay abroad for more than five years are more likely to remain overseas, the centre found earlier. About half of those who had stayed abroad for fewer than five years said they were willing to return home. But for those who were past the five year mark, the figure fell to about 30 per cent.

中国与全球化中心2013年发布的一份报告显示,虽然“海归”的比例整体上升了,但在海外工作超过5年的留学生更倾向于留在外国。在海外生活少于5年的留学生中,大约有一半人表示他们愿意回国,但在海外生活超过5年的人中,只有大约三成人有同样想法。

Michael Zhang, who obtained a doctorate in applied physics from Stanford University in 2012, decided not to return upon graduation. He has been working as a software engineer in Silicon Valley for 3 years.

来自长沙的Michael Zhang于2012年在斯坦福大学成为应用物理学博士后。他毕业之后决定不回国,而是在硅谷成为了一名工程师并自己创业,一干就是3年。

“In the US, say you want to found a company – I know exactly what to do. All these things are set up for you to succeed,” Zhang said. But back home, "you hear stories about entrepreneurs getting financial support and inflating the value of their company to boost its image."

Michael Zhang说:“在美国,比方说你想成立一家公司,我很清楚要怎么做。一切都为你的成功做好了准备。但在国内,你会听到这些故事,比如人们拉投资的时候会做作假,以提升自己的形象。”

Mao Rui, an associate professor of computer science and software at Shenzhen University and an overseas returnee, said the infrastructure for research and government regulations were not as effective on the mainland compared to the US, but he’s optimistic about the future.

深圳大学电脑科学和软件学副教授毛睿也是一名“海归”。他说,虽然中国的研究基础设施和政府规管没有美国的那么完善高效,但他对中国的未来仍然乐观。

“Fortunately, it’s improving every year,” said Mao, who couldn’t find a job abroad. “The job market in China keeps getting better.”

由于在国外没有找到工作而回国的毛睿说:“幸好每年都在进步。中国的职业市场一直在变好。”

2016-06-23

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