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Overseas graduates prefer starting business in new tech

By Liu Xuan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-08-21 19:01

As more Chinese overseas students choose to return home to pursue their future careers, some are deciding to be their own boss and 19.8 percent of these choose to work with new technology and the internet, according to a recent report.

The report was prepared by Zhaopin, a company providing human resource services for both individuals and companies, and the Center for China and Globalization, a think tank in China.

Li Qiang, marketing director of Zhaopin, said that, unlike previous years when traditional industries took a large share, the newly-released report shows that the young generation of entrepreneurs now favors new tech and the internet.

In last year's report, 18.6 percent of entrepreneurs chose the pharmaceutical industry as their first choice for starting a new business, following new tech and retail at 13.6 percent each.

The latest report reveals that Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou and Wuhan are the top five cities where entrepreneurs would like to be based, at 24.3 percent, 8.1 percent, 6.6 percent, 5.9 percent and 4.4 percent respectively.

"As an innovation center, Beijing especially Zhongguancun is more attractive to overseas entrepreneurs," said Li Qiang, director of research department of Zhaopin. "It also shows the first-tier cities are dominant, while some distinctive second-tier cities are rising rapidly."

The reasons for choosing particular cities vary. However, "soft power" takes precedence in choice of location. Economic development, interpersonal connections, comfortable environment, cultural diversity and resources are the five factors the entrepreneurs consider most important, taking ratios of 49.3 percent, 39.7 percent, 36 percent, 32.4 percent and 32.4 percent.

However, start-up companies and entrepreneurs are facing challenges. According to the report, 59.6 percent have not yet made a profit and 52.9 percent of entrepreneurs have failed at least once in their attempt to start a business. The main reason for failure, the report shows, is lack of experience. High operating costs also become the biggest obstacle to the company's future development.

In 2016, about 544,500 students went abroad for further study, while 32,500 students who graduated overseas came back to China, according to statistics from the Ministry of Education. As more students choose to work in their homeland, the number of entrepreneurs will also increase, demanding more detailed and thorough services to help them start up in business.

The survey shows that entrepreneurs need more help with market development, financial services, tutorship, financial support and talent introduction policies.

Although there are already hundreds of pioneer parks and incubators places and organizations that can help startups develop in most major cities, only 27.25 percent of the respondents found them useful.

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