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China intensifies efforts to encourage return of overseas talent

Xu Wei
Updated: Apr 4,2018 8:08 PM

China will roll out more incentives for overseas Chinese students to return to start their own businesses and create innovation, a State Council executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang decided on April 4.

Measures will be introduced to simplify the certification requirements and procedures at local levels and to make it easier for overseas Chinese students to obtain hukou, the government system of household registration for urban residency. Favorable policies concerning the schooling of returnees’ children will be implemented without delay, according to a decision at the meeting.

Premier Li said that a considerable number of Chinese students are choosing to return home for innovation and entrepreneurship each year after completing their academic studies overseas.

“The policy incentives in the pipeline require close inter-agency cooperation and coordination to see concrete results delivered,” he said.

Between 1978 and 2017, 83.73 percent of overseas Chinese students, totaling 3.13 million, came back after completing their studies, according to the Ministry of Education. In 2017 alone, the number of returning students reached 480,900, up 11.19 percent from 2016.

There are now 351 entrepreneurship parks nationwide, home to more than 23,000 companies and attracting 86,000 returnees.

According to the decision at the meeting, favorable policies will be adopted to incentivize their entrepreneurship, including intellectual property-backed loans for startup financing, simpler process for trademark registration, optimized application procedures for export qualification and support for the commercialization of R&D findings.

A public service system open to all overseas Chinese students will be established to provide all-around support for their startup businesses.

“Given the changing international environment, we must facilitate the two-way flow of talent to provide strong intellectual support to our country’s development,” Premier Li said.