Category: Living & Working in China

01/13/14

Permalink 09:33:40 am, by dacare, 524 words, 336 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China, Living & Working in China

Expats in top demand for Chinese state-owned enterprises

There has been a significant increase in the demand for foreign professionals to represent Chinese state-owned enterprises abroad as the nation gears up its global commercial activities and plans listings of its domestic companies on international bourses.

Robert Parkinson, founder and CEO of RMG Selection, an international recruitment firm with offices in the China, says that the job market started picking up in the second half of 2013, and ended the year with strong indications of good hiring activity continuing into 2014 on the back of growing optimism and confidence. One the areas that is seen robust recruiting is for foreigners who can represent Chinese interests abroad, and have specific knowledge of capital markets and listings regimes.

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RMG recently published the results of a survey of the China job market, done in conjunction with academics from the University of Nottingham. The research report, 2013 China Talent-flow Survey Report 2, tracked several trends such as the rate of ‘job-hopping’ in various industries, including financial services and professional services.

Of the 4,000 participants in the survey, more than a quarter had changed jobs in the previous 12 months compared to about a fifth in the previous survey period (end 2012/early 2013). Parkinson says candidates demand – and get – increases varying from 20% to 50% each time they move.

Most of the ‘job-hopping’ activity was concentrated among candidates who earned 50,000 RMB (over US$8,000 per month), while the age demographic most likely to change jobs was the so-called “millennials” – candidates born in the early 1990s – with 43% reporting they had changed employer in 2013.

“Many Chinese graduates will take pretty much any job they can find because the job market is so competitive. But once they have settled, and a better offer comes along, they will move quickly.”

RMG is seeing a flood of ethnic Chinese to China – either nationals who have worked abroad moving home, or people with Chinese ancestry and family connections wanting to seek opportunities in what Parkinson described as a very ‘hot’ market.

But Chinese companies were also seeking out foreigners who could represent their interests abroad – especially people with a strong understanding of and experience in international capital markets – skills that many Chinese nationals currently lack due to the country’s historically closed economy.

But for expats, finding a job in China and even looking for another role when already working in the country is challenging. Many channels available to finance professionals in other parts of the world, such as company recruitment portals, job boards, newspaper listings, and internet sites are practically non-existent.

One of the reasons, says Parkinson, is cultural. “Candidates, especially senior people, regard it as beneath them to look for jobs – they expect employers and headhunters to come to them.”

This supports one of the key findings for the research: that using headhunters is still the preferred channel for Chinese companies to find candidates. In the recent survey, the researchers found that the percentage of Chinese companies using headhunters had increased from 35% to 57% in the past year.

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12/24/13

Permalink 01:24:52 pm, by dacare, 1188 words, 500 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China, Living & Working in China

Job center focuses on helping expatriates

Moving your entire life to a foreign country can be hard. Finding housing, schools, medical care, not to mention a decent job, are just a few of the hurdles expatriates face.

Now China hopes to entice more skilled experts to its shores by making the task of relocating and securing a dream job a little bit easier.

The newly revamped Shanghai Employment Promotion Center has been modeled as a one-stop shop for foreign job seekers.

With more than 430 of the world’s top 500 companies now with offices in Shanghai, one step is to attract experts in short supply.

Shanghai is home to more than 160,000 expats. In 2013, they again ranked Shanghai as the most attractive city in China.

But while Shanghai may wow with its good looks, it’s the overall package that entices expats.

The Shanghai pilot free trade zone, launched on September 29, is China’s latest move in expanding economic dealings with the outside world.

Once upon a time, Chinese bureaucracies like the SEPC were little more than a rubber-stamp department, drowning applicants in mountains of paperwork.

But, at its base in Shanghai, staff here are now trying to woo workers from all corners of the world with the benefits of grabbing a job in the city.

Utilizing networks

Ding Feng, the center’s director, said they are the first port of call for companies seeking a recruitment permit, a requirement for hiring foreign workers in China.

“Foreign job-seekers could get work visas with the recruitment permit and then apply for a foreigner employment permit,”Ding said.

Documents here are in English, allowing foreigners with little knowledge of Chinese to register for employment or extend their visa.

“This is my first time and so far it seems to be very efficient,”one American job seeker said.“The staff are very helpful.”

Beyond the paperwork, the center has now extended its scope to helping expats utilize educational, medical and social networks.

It’s all part of the government’s recent endeavor to make their departments more service-oriented. Foreign employees, who are referred to as“foreign experts”in China, are among the target population of such services.

Rose Oliver from Britain is one of them. The 49-year-old works as a professor at Shanghai University.

“I found it to be more than just a bureaucratic-like agency,”Oliver said.

“It is more than an office that facilitates visas. They are actually concerned with expats’working lives, their lifestyles and the quality of life they have in China.”

Oliver said it’s the center’s personal touch that has helped her to“have real exposure to Chinese culture.”

This includes the cultural events run by the center that provide foreign experts with knowledge about living in China.

According to Huang Weimao, deputy director of the Shanghai Foreign Experts Affairs Bureau, streamlining all-important social security services is another vital role. The SEPC is under the bureau’s jurisdiction.

“We have close contact with expats, to give them help with obtaining child education, medical care and even housing,”Huang said.

The help is appreciated by expats like Oliver.“They provide a lot of security.”

“When we have problems, I contact Huang. We don’t necessarily have daily contact. But at least there is the knowledge that they are there if you need them,”Oliver said.

Health care concerns

Besides basic medical insurance, the bureau has coordinated with a state-owned company to offer tailored medical services for expats.

“Foreigners tend to have higher requirements,”Huang said.

The offerings of assistance have been expanded as part of the Expats Residence Law. The law, which took effect on July 1, grants foreign workers with a bachelor degree or above, equal access to investment, government jobs, schooling, and an all-important driver’s license.

Russian biologist Philip Khaytovich works in a joint scientific research center established by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Germany’s Max Planck Society.

“Before it was not clear what to do with us, because there was no legal framework to deal with foreigners, like how to provide social insurance,”Khaytovich said.“Now it has all changed.”

Khaytovich is part of China’s“1,000 Foreign Talents”program used to recruit scientists from around the world.

“I was fortunate to get into the talent program, as it provides generous support for our work. I think this can make China a very attractive place for research.”

The bureau is responsible for the program’s talent recruitment. With the top 500 companies on the look-out for executives and managerial experts, the bureau is right there helping.

Huang is especially seeking experts in the ship building, automobile, electro-mechanics and new materials industries.

Long-term visa

As part of luring and securing expat workers, China has plans to introduce a long-term visa. It will replace the working visa, which must be renewed annually.

“A lot of expats are willing to stay for a long time,”said Oliver.“They aren’t just coming for a year or two. They are coming to make a life here.”

Huang also just put another improvement in the pipeline.

“Foreign experts require a flexible visa policy," Huang said.“The creation of the Shanghai free trade zone provides a chance for change.”

Khaytovich, 40, said he has already considered retiring in China.

The new residence law for expats allows foreigners to collect a pension, but Huang still admits new provisions may take some fine tuning.

How to apply for a foreigner employment permit

Requirements:

1. Applicants should be in good health with no infectious diseases such as leprosy, AIDS, STDs or pulmonary tuberculosis. They should also have no other disease according to specific job requirements.

2. An assured work unit.

3. Professional skills, proper educational degrees and over two years of work experience related to the job.

4. No criminal record.

5. Valid passport or other international travel identification that can substitute.

6. Men between 18 and 60 years old and women between 18 and 55, under common situations.

7. Other requirements required by laws and regulations.

Application materials:

1. An application form.

2. Copies of valid business licence or other legal registration certificates and organization code. Foreign enterprises should also provide a copy of the approval certificate.

3. The applicant’s resume including the highest educational degree and complete experience. The resume should be printed in Chinese with the employer’s seal.

4. Related certificates of applicant’s skills (certificates should be issued by related organizations or by the applicant’s former employers.)

5. Copy of related educational diploma to the job in China.

6. Copy of the applicant’s valid passport.

7. Other materials required by issuing authorities.

Where to submit

? Shanghai Employment Promotion Center

Address: 4F, 77 Meiyuan Road

Phone: 12333 or 3251-1585

Opening hours:

9am to 11:30am and 1:30pm to 5pm from Monday to Thursday

9am to 11:30am and 1:30pm to 3:30pm on Friday

Closed at weekend.

? Foreigners in Huangpu, Xuhui, Jing’an, Changning, Jiading and Putuo districts and the Pudong New Area can go to district employment promotion centers to apply for the permit. Foreigners in other districts must go to the Shanghai Employment Promotion Center.

Huangpu: 525 Nanchezhan Road

Xuhui: 1F, 9118 Humin Road

Jing’an: Counter 5, 2F, 241 Wuning Road S.

Pudong: 3995 Pudong Road S.

Changning: 1F, 517 Wuyi Road

Jiading: 1F, 119 Jiajian Road

Putuo: 1F, 1036 Wuning Road

Sponsor Link: The leading executive search firm in China

12/10/13

Permalink 10:16:56 am, by dacare, 1379 words, 655 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China, Living & Working in China

Hot on the recruitment trail

Bringing in international students is a bonanza or provinces... so where is Manitoba?

CHENGDU, China -- Sandy Prentice is the international program administrator for the Kootenay Lake School Division. The name rang no bells for me. It helped, however, when Sandy explained Kootenay Lake is the school division that serves Nelson, a town of 8,000 in southwestern British Columbia.

What on earth are you doing here? I asked.

"What everybody else is doing," she responded. "I'm recruiting students."

We were in a great exhibition hall at the impressive Shangri-la Hotel, built on park-like grounds at the forks of the Jin and Funan rivers in downtown Chengdu. The hall was filled with neat rows of booths, like streets along which thousands of students, many with their parents, window-shopped for an "international" school where they might study in English.

The largest "district" in this booth city was occupied by American institutions, but there were strong representations from the U.K., France, Italy, Spain, New Zealand, Ireland and on and on.

Canada occupied a couple of blocks, where, not surprisingly, B.C. and Ontario had the most storefronts. Quebec was there, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan... but not Manitoba.

They were all recruiting students, evidence not so much of a desire to spread "international" know-how, but of the vast amounts of money spreading know-how can earn.

"International education brings into B.C. about $2.1 billion a year," Colin Doerr, a director with the B.C. Council for International Education. "It's right up there with coal development."

B.C. attracts about 23,000 students a year, about one-quarter of the 80,000 international students who arrive in Canada annually. Extrapolating from B.C.'s experience, that makes the sector worth more than $8 billion a year to the Canadian economy.

Not all of those students arrive from China, although a great many of them do.

Sending children abroad to be educated has long been the practice for China's elites. But its popularity is growing as the middle class grows.
Recent Chinese government data indicate 20 per cent of Chinese families are middle-class, meaning 30 per cent of income is available for uses other than necessities. Given China's one-child policy (changed to two-child at the Communist party's recent third plenum) and a culture of saving, it means there are tens of millions of families that can afford to send their child abroad, and they are doing so in ever-greater numbers, and at ever-younger ages.

"Studying abroad is very popular," Ivy Zhang, my Canadian-educated translator said. "People realize that English is a very strong skill, even if you work in China."

Which brings us back to Sandy Prentice, an exemplar if ever there was of how even the smallest Canadian jurisdictions can benefit from reaching out to China, and in particular to the huge, largely untapped second-tier markets such as that offered by Winnipeg's sister city, Chengdu, population 14 million.

Prentice said Nelson realized some time ago there were benefits for both sides in recruiting international students, especially in recent times when Chinese families saw additional benefits in sending their children abroad at high school (and even younger) ages to prepare for university entrance.

Kootenay Lake today teaches 150 foreign students from 11 countries, the biggest contingent from Germany (for whom skiing is a big attraction) followed by Korea, Brazil and China.

Each student earns the school division $12,000 in tuition, a total of about $1.8 million a year, a lot of money for a division that serves a total population of 20,000 -- the 8,000 residents of Nelson and 12,000 more in its catchment.

Then there are economic spinoffs in payments to host families and to the wider B.C. economy as a result of family visits, usually in Vancouver during school breaks. Often families will buy a second residence in Vancouver to facilitate visits over periods that can span six years and more (three high school years and at least three years of postsecondary study).

Prentice explained Nelson is a "white-bread valley" that has few connections with the increasingly international tenor of globalization.

Part of the foster-parent program is designed to change that, if only a little, by requiring families to prepare Chinese meals and share Chinese entertainments. Relationships between foster and Chinese families often become permanent, as do bonds between students and "Mama Bears and Papa Bears."

Colin Doerr, of the B.C. council, said the one-to-one relationships 80,000 international students a year forge over their time in Canada are perhaps the most significant enduring benefit of international education programs... for both sides.
"They provide the single most important partnerships of all that we do," he said.

In the swirl of bodies, I was often stopped and questioned by students, who assumed because of my age and white beard, I must be a professor. Others would stop me for no other reason than to chat in English. One young man followed me for a time eavesdropping on my conversations. "I find it very interesting to listen to what you say," he explained.

At the Saskatchewan booth, we stopped an older woman, thinking she might be considering a career change, but found instead she was an "auntie" picking up brochures for a niece whose mother was at work and could not attend.

The involvement of extended family in educational aspirations is common in China, where traditional family fealty is now more narrowly focused.

The auntie said she was instructed to collect information about Saskatchewan because "it is safe and has clean air."
It was a recurring theme. Hosa, a strapping 6-2 Grade 12 student accompanied by his much shorter parents, said he was looking at Canada because of its "harmony."

His parents, however, were less philosophical.

"Definitely it will be Canada," his father said. "It is a good country with good air quality."

"Saskatchewan has become pretty aggressive about recruitment," said Ian Morrison, a recruiter for the Saskatchewan Institute for Applied Science and Technology. "Saskatchewan's population has grown 10 per cent in the last five years and will grow by 10 per cent again in the next five years, mostly from Asia. Traditionally, we never pursued them (international students) but now we have to. We need them."

He said the Moose Jaw institute has about 350 students from China and is seeking more.

"Most of them are using us for immigration purposes," Morrison said.

For the most part, Chinese students enrol in programs that also earn university credits. After three years, they graduate and are eligible for permanent resident status, which allows them to work. It also makes them eligible for resident tuition fees, which are about one-third of the $10,000 to $15,000 they had been spending as international students.

If all goes well from Saskatchewan's point of view, the students will remain in the province and became highly trained members of the workforce.

We stopped an intense-looking young woman with large, round owl glasses and short pigtails tied above her ears, her clothing and Ugg boots showing a meticulous fashion sense.

Rebecca said she was a Christian and had chosen her name from the Bible.

I confess an inability to guess women's ages in China, perhaps because they are, for the most part, petite.

I asked her if she was looking for a school to which she might go after graduating from high school.

"I am a master's student in linguistics and I'm looking for a school to purse a doctorate," she replied.

Ah, yes, of course.

Rebecca said she was looking for a school in Canada because "I have lots of friends there."

Her English was flawless, but her accent, like so many accents in China where English teachers might be from anywhere in the global village -- from England to India -- was impossible to describe.

She said, however, that the accent of the country in which she studied mattered -- she wants to sound mid-Atlantic.
I asked if she planned to remain in Canada, return to China, or go elsewhere.

"Maybe, it depends," she said.

Which struck me as an extraordinary thing to say. That a young Chinese woman in Chengdu confidently could contemplate a career path that would take her anywhere in the world of her choosing struck me as evidence of how quickly China has changed.

But when I said so, she responded instantly.

"It has always been this way for some people," she said. "Now there are just more of them."

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11/26/13

Permalink 08:53:05 am, by dacare, 802 words, 735 views   English (US)
Categories: Living & Working in China, Technical, IT Recruiting

Huawei Hires Foreign Executives in Global Push

Huawei Technologies Co., which is struggling to break out of the mold of a Chinese company, is recruiting more Western executives and rolling out a long-term incentive program to attract foreign workers.

The moves come as the Shenzhen-based company expands aggressively overseas and tries to remake itself into a global brand. Huawei, which generates two-thirds of its revenue outside China, is now the world's second-largest supplier of telecommunications-network equipment after industry leader Ericsson. ERIC-B.SK -0.30%

Yet Huawei's senior executives are predominantly Chinese, and only about one-quarter of its 150,000 employees are non-Chinese nationals.

Huawei's fast growth in the telecom-equipment market has drawn criticism in the West.

A U.S. congressional report last year labeled the company a security threat and questioned whether it has close ties to the Chinese government. Similar concerns have been raised in Australia and the U.K. Huawei has denied the allegations.

To attract workers in India, where Huawei hires many engineers for its local research-and-development facility, the company earlier this year introduced an employee-benefit program modeled after its China share-ownership program. That program lets Chinese workers buy a stake in the company and profit when Huawei does well.

Huawei plans to roll out this benefit to other countries, said spokesman Roland Sladek. He declined to elaborate.

The move is significant because Huawei has called its Chinese share-ownership program a driver of the company's success. About 74,000 of the 110,000 Chinese nationals employed at Huawei are shareholders.

In India, Huawei employees become eligible after two years. But unlike its China program, overseas employees can't actually own a stake in the company.

Still, the program is likely to allow the company to "create a strong loyalty among the best talent" as it expands overseas, said Mr. Sladek, who joined Huawei last year from ST-Ericsson, a European joint venture of Ericsson and semiconductor-manufacturer STMicroelectronics STM +0.89% NV.

If Huawei is seen as an international firm, this could ease security concerns and give it greater access to local markets, said Sandy Shen, a Gartner Inc. research director based in Shanghai. "It's very important that they put on the face of a global company when they go into international markets."

Huawei's efforts to transform itself into a global company are becoming apparent at its Shenzhen headquarters.

Indians, Pakistanis, Chinese and Westerners are among the 30,000 employees who work on the nearly square-mile campus. The campus offers Western restaurants serving steak, and an Indian and halal canteen with freshly made chapati flat breads.

CT Johnson, a 45-year-old U.S. finance expert, left Ericsson last year to be Huawei's corporate controller. Mr. Johnson said he had qualms about taking the job, questioning whether "they might be hiring me as a Western guy just for show and without real responsibility." But, he said, those concerns turned out to be unfounded as he was granted access to Huawei's financial statements and details of its operations. Mr. Johnson has since changed jobs within the company, leading a division that negotiates sales contracts with customers.Still, all of Huawei's 13 board directors are Chinese, raising questions about how much impact a handful of foreign executives will have.

Huawei has also hired a number of other high-profile Western executives to diversify its management team, including Colin Giles, a former Nokia Corp. executive from Australia, and John Suffolk, formerly the U.K. government's chief information officer.

Other Chinese technology companies are taking similar steps. Lenovo Group Ltd. 0992.HK +1.77% , which bought International Business Machines Corp.'s personal-computer business in 2005, has hired more executives and managers from Western competitors in recent years.

Lenovo overtook Hewlett-Packard Co. HPQ +0.24% as the world's biggest PC maker this year.

Western executives are becoming increasingly receptive to Chinese companies, said Bhavya Sehgal, head of Asian-Pacific research for Frontier Strategy Group, as these companies expand and snap up assets around the world.

Huawei also has more opportunities to recruit executives, in part because some Western rivals have been struggling and cutting jobs, said Canalys analyst Matthew Ball.

In October, Alcatel-Lucent ALU.FR +0.77% of France said it would reduce its workforce by roughly 15%. In July, Huawei said its revenue for the first half of the year rose 11% from a year earlier to 113.8 billion yuan ($18.7 billion).

Mr. Johnson said he is adjusting to an "indirect" manner of communication at a Chinese company. In one of his first projects for Huawei, Mr. Johnson forged ahead with a new method of compiling financial reports, not understanding that colleagues' questions were really an objection.

"At Western companies, I would expect my subordinates to challenge me, in a direct but respectful way," Mr. Johnson said. "At Huawei, and I suspect in most Chinese companies, that's the same as cursing."

The project was later scrapped.

"Chinese companies are giving control, but the question is whether they give all the independence required for Western executives to be successful," said Mr. Sehgal.

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10/25/13

Permalink 10:32:11 am, by dacare, 1157 words, 422 views   English (US)
Categories: News of China, Living & Working in China

Returnees are 'seed capital' for startups

Wen Xuejun's budding dream in the United States blossomed in China.

After staying in the US for 16 years, and holding an endowed chair professorship at Virginia Commonwealth University, Wen returned to China and set up Ryan Nanomedicine Co Ltd in Suzhou, East China's Jiangsu province.

"I have an ambition to transfer my achievements in the lab into useful medical products, and I chose to realize this ambition in China, after careful consideration,"said Wen, who now serves as the company's president.

Wen is one of dozens of people who took part in the latest 1,000 Plan Entrepreneurship Competition in Suzhou. The contest is especially designed for experienced entrepreneurs who have an overseas background.

It's part of a project known as the One Thousand Talent Plan, which has been administered by the central government since 2008.

The program is China's most ambitious specialist recruitment program in recent years. It aims to attract top international specialists in fields such as science and technology, finance and corporate management to start companies in China.

For decades, going overseas for further study was a relatively rare opportunity, and a highly desirable move for bright and ambitious people. Many of them put down roots abroad, obtaining permanent residence and building a life in a new country.

But studying abroad is becoming easier for ordinary people, and more graduates — as well as established professionals — are thinking of coming back to China, with its fast-growing economy that has become the world's second largest.

For Wen, who had an established career and a family in the US, the biggest attraction of China was strong financial support.

After winning the championship, he received 10 million yuan ($1.6 million) in strategic funding from venture capital investors, as well as 300,000 yuan in prize money.

Wen's lab in the US mastered a core technology to make collagen-coated medical catheters, which are more resistant to bacteria and cost less.

But the cost of commercializing the technology in the US would have been too high, Wen said.

The US Food and Drug Administration certification process is an expensive and complicated procedure, and hiring a team for the project would have cost at least 1 million yuan a year.

"However, I am much more familiar with the certification process in China, although the paperwork is much more time-consuming. What's more, human resources are cheaper,"Wen said.

Poon Hak Fei had a similar experience. He joined Nanosolar in Silicon Valley in California after getting his doctorate in chemical engineering at Princeton University. He then co-founded an energy storage solution startup, but he still chose to set up his first wholly owned company in Suzhou.

"To be fair, the working and living environment is very nice in the States, as well as the pay. But I do not want to miss the market opportunities in China,"he said.

Poon set up a company to make conductive nanofilm last January, with $2.2 million in strategic investment from Northern Light Venture Capital. He said he expects the company to be profitable by the end of 2013.

"The logic is to make world-class products at a lower cost in China. Meanwhile, the local government is quite efficient, and the managers from the venture capital company are very helpful,"he added. He added that a cluster of nanotechnology companies has formed in the Yangtze River Delta region, which is another plus.

Talk about China losing its labor advantage is widespread these days. According to a recent report by the Boston Consulting Group, "Made in America, Again”, the cost advantage China has over the US is shrinking fast.

"Within five years, rising Chinese wages, higher US productivity, a weaker dollar, and other factors will virtually close the cost gap between the US and China for many goods consumed in North America,"the report said.

There are also reports of manufacturer such as vehicle producers moving back to the US from China.

But people like Poon believe that for technology-intensive sectors, China still has its advantages.

"China has very smart technicians and skilled workers. They are very willing to learn, very good at solving problems. They just lack some systematic training, but they cost half as much as their US peers,"he said.

So it's possible that some blue-collar industries formerly outsourced to China will leave, but skill-intensive ones won't, he added.

Government funds earmarked for universities and research-and-development centers were used over the past couple of decades to cultivate the first wave of entrepreneurs in China.

Banks, local governments with technology zones and industrial parks later became technology investors.

Today, the rise of China's venture capital sector is supporting the entrepreneurial environment.

Media reports have said that VC investment in China peaked at $6.3 billion with 362 deals in 2011.

VCs are still keen on the Chinese market, although they've become more cautious because of a freeze on initial public offerings since late 2012, which blocked a common exit mechanism.

"You've got to go to the early stage to find good opportunities,"said Deng Feng, founder and managing director of Northern Light.

"In recent years, venture capitalists were like hunter-gatherers picking the low-hanging fruit.

"Now, we have to become peasants who labor together with the enterprises that we've invested in, to make a profit,"he said.

But that also means more opportunities for people with "hard"technology such as Wen and Poon to attract capital for their innovations.

"China has a solid base in its manufacturing industry. It's very easy to combine the hard technology and undertake mass production here,"Deng said.

Deng himself is a "returnee executive”, who was born and grew up in China. He studied and worked in the US before returning to China and setting up his VC firm in 2005. Northern Light focuses on early-stage, technology-enabled business opportunities.

"Talented returnees are displaying explosive creativity and energy in China, and becoming fresh troops in leading China's strategic emerging industries,"a central government said.

The report said that revenue generated by enterprises under the One Thousand Talent Plan has reached 63.2 billion yuan, generating profits and tax revenues of 3.5 billion yuan.

Even beyond this program, more young Chinese are returning home to find economic oppotunities.

"It is easier to achieve fast growth for companies in China due to the thriving economy. I plan to go back and start up my own business, although I am reluctant to leave the great technology atmosphere in the US,"said Wang Pu, 32, who works as an engineer for Google Inc in the US.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said 272,900 overseas students came back to China in 2012, up 46 percent from the previous year.

Although many returned students complain that it's hard for them to find jobs, high-end talent is in great demand everywhere in China. Besides the One Thousand Talent Plan, local governments at all levels are wooing well-educated specialists.

For example, Pudong New Area in Shanghai released a five-year plan late last year under which it earmarked 300 million yuan to attract world-class talent in finance, shipping and other strategic emerging industries.

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10/09/13

Permalink 05:26:24 pm, by dacare, 539 words, 341 views   English (US)
Categories: Living & Working in China

China, Japan entering global competition for foreign workers

Some say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If that’s the case, Canadian immigration officials should be flattered.

According to Chinese news media, China will be introducing a list of skills currently in demand in the country, in order to aid its recruitment of foreign talent.

A report in the China Daily in late September quoted an unnamed foreign affairs official saying Beijing is “identifying shortages in the domestic labour market” to “learn what types of workers (domestic firms) felt are hard to find.”

The wording strikes an uncanny resemblance to what Canadian immigration minister Chris Alexander said in Vancouver just two weeks ago — that the federal government, through its Expression of Interest program, is looking to fill areas where there is specific labour needs with foreign talent.

Also shared by Beijing’s announcement and Alexander’s speech was a call to private enterprise to help the central governments compile the most up-to-date list possible, so the foreign talent being brought into the country can immediately integrate and contribute.

Coincidence? More than likely. But the fact that a major power in global politics is now taking a similar model as Canada in identifying and addressing domestic talent deficiencies demonstrates both the effectiveness of the Canadian system and the fierce competition for the best and the brightest around the world.

Beijing’s announcement came two years after the city of Shanghai began publishing its own oversea recruitment list, according to China Daily. The list was modest in size — 72 positions that nine state-owned enterprises were looking to fill.

The national skills list is to be published next year, although no other details, such as the number of positions needing to be filled, have been released. It is unlikely that the numbers would be as large as the Canadian program — Beijing specified “foreign recruitment,” not “immigration,” as the key process of gaining talent, indicating they are looking to fill only the top echelon of the labour market.

Still, with China looking for talents in the management, technology and science fields, and the market’s access to a region where the two biggest economies (China and Japan) are both on the rise this year (not to mention the growing importance of the Southeast Asian markets, led by the big six of Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines), the attractiveness of the opportunities for foreign workers speaks for itself.

In some places closer to China, the draw of Beijing is already rivalling that of the United States. The South Korean government released data last week that 62,855 Korean students studied in China in 2012, almost quadruple the number (16,372) recorded in 2001.

The data also shows, however, that North America — both the U.S. and Canada — continue to be extremely popular, as well. Seoul’s figures put the Korean student population in the United States at 73,351, the most of any nation around the world. Canada, meanwhile, sits third at 20,658, followed by Japan and Australia.

What this means is that, while Canada may be faced with other countries competing for the same foreign talents, it still has an inherent attractiveness to immigrants and potential labour. The key, however, is not to become complacent — because, as it can be seen above, the competition is fierce.

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