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Overseas graduate returnees seek opportunities in new first-tier cities

By Ouyang Shijia | China Daily | Updated: 2018-06-26 09:22
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Overseas returnees scout for jobs at the 16th Conference on International Exchange of Professionals in Shenzhen, Guangdong province. [Photo by Xuan Hui/For China Daily]

China is embracing a massive influx of returnees, as a growing number of overseas-educated graduates return to the country to seek job opportunities, a recent report found.

Emerging new first-tier cities have gradually become popular destinations for returnees, holding increasing appeal than in previous years, according to the report released by business networking website LinkedIn.

The report said that while Shanghai and Beijing take the top two spots on the popular cities ranking list, they are gradually losing their appeal.

The eastern city of Hangzhou in Zhejiang province, home to e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and a branch of Chinese leading gaming outfit NetEase Inc, ranked fifth on the most attractive cities list, followed by Chengdu in Sichuan province and Nanjing in Jiangsu province.

Perceiving talent to be the major driver for innovation and economic growth, a wide range of Chinese cities, especially new first-tier cities, have rolled out favorable policies, such as offering housing allowances. The move is also in line with the call for a balanced development pattern for economic growth across the nation.

LinkedIn noted the trend also reflected the increasing potential for business innovation and employment in new first-tier cities, providing broad prospects and allowing job seekers to have a better life compared to living in highly competitive first-tier cities.

"To be at the forefront of the global race, China needs to grasp new opportunities to boost economic growth, and expertise will be key to seizing the chance," said Lu Jian, president of LinkedIn China.

Wang Xina, group manager of content marketing at LinkedIn China, agreed, adding that the number of overseas returnees is on the rise.

"Seeing China's big development potential, more and more overseas-educated graduates will strive to come back to the nation," Wang said.

The latest statistics from the Ministry of Education showed that by the end of 2016, 82 percent of foreign-educated graduates had chosen to return to China, compared with 72 percent in 2012.

The LinkedIn report shows 20 percent of returnees chose to work in finance in 2017, making it the most attractive industry among job seekers returning from overseas. The high-tech sector ranked in second place, attracting 13.1 percent of returnees last year.

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