DALIAN - Sun Rujie, a 25-year-old PhD candidate at the University of Utah in the United States, has decided to start his own business back in China in pursuit of more opportunities.
He discussed possible cooperation on "thin film solar cell" with government officials from Henan province earlier this week at the 2010 China Overseas Chinese Scholars Conference (CHINAOCS) in Dalian, Northeast China's Liaoning province.
"The favorable policies for returning scholars are very attractive. Besides, I prefer the Chinese cultural environment," he said.
Like Sun, more overseas Chinese scholars are returning home.
More than 1,600 Chinese scholars who are studying or working abroad attended CHINAOCS, which ended on Thursday in Dalian. They submitted nearly 1,000 projects, covering electronic information, biological medicine, advanced manufacturing, new materials, energy efficiency, environmental protection and agriculture technology.
The number of Chinese scholars who have returned home after studying abroad in the last 30 years is almost 497,400, said Wang Xiaochu, vice-minister of human resources and social security.
"In 2009, the number of returning scholars exceeded 100,000, up 56.2 percent year-on-year," Wang said.
Wang said over 800 high-level overseas scholars have signed up with the "Thousand Talents" program, which was launched by the central government in 2008 in a bid to attract 2,000 overseas experts and entrepreneurs within five to 10 years.
During CHINAOCS 2010, the website of the Thousand Talents program, www.1000plan.org, was officially launched. It aims to build a bridge between overseas talent and domestic government officials. Policies and job vacancies are listed online.
The three-day conference also attracted delegates from 25 provinces and cities, introducing their policies to lure overseas talents. More than 8,000 vacancies in government institutions, universities, laboratories, big companies and State-owned enterprises were on offer.
Of all the vacancies, 85 percent require candidates with master's degree or doctoral degrees. Most of them include labs and houses. Some universities offer annual salaries as high as 1 million yuan ($147,000) for academic leaders.
Launched in 2000, CHINAOCS has attracted more than 2,400 overseas scholars to return and they have set up more than 1,600 enterprises, said Dalian Party secretary Xia Deren.