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Number of overseas returnees higher than before pandemic, report says

By Cheng Si | | Updated: 2024-02-28 14:10
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Though the number of overseas Chinese students returning to the Chinese mainland to find work declined in 2023 due to concerns about employment prospects and uncertainties about international politics, the figure was still higher than that seen five years ago, according to a recent report by a job recruitment portal.

The report by Zhaopin said that the mainland saw increasing number of returned students from 2020 to 2022, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the number of returnees was down last year.

It said the number of returnees seeking domestic jobs in 2023 declined 5 percent year-on-year, but that is still 34 percent higher than in 2018.

Last year, the majority of returnees, about 40.7 percent of the total, came back from the United Kingdom. About 16.1 percent returned from Australia, and 9.9 percent from the United States, according to Zhaopin.

While the returned students were attracted by China's stably developing economy, some were concerned about finding work back home due to evolving policies affecting returnees and geopolitical insecurities.

Zhaopin's report said that many returnees have taken positions in the tourism and leisure sector, with the number of resumes submitted to companies in the industry increasing 24.5 percent last year. Job openings in some higher-level manufacturing enterprises, including those engaged in new energy and automobile research, also attracted returnees.

The report said that flexible jobs, especially short-video content creation roles, are also popular among returned students. The number of returnees serving in the livestreaming industry increased by 9 percentage points last year compared to 2022, according to Zhaopin's recent surveys.

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