Report on Employment & Entrepreneurship of Chinese Returnees 2018

With the fast pace of economic growth in China, more and more overseas Chinese students are returning to China for career development or starting their own businesses. More than 480,900 overseas Chinese students returned to China in 2017, bringing the total number of returnees to over 3.13 million since 1978, according to statistics by the Ministry of Education.

CCG and Zhaopin have been conducting their annual survey to track the employment trends of overseas returnees since 2015. This year’s report revealed the latest development in their employment and entrepreneurship endeavors, their choices and situations before and after studying abroad. The report is based on 2,190 effective survey responses from overseas returnees this year.

Highlights for employment and entrepreneurship of Chinese returnees 2018:

The top reasons for overseas Chinese to return to China: to reunite with family and friends (67%); China’s booming economic growth (40%); and unfavorable overseas economic, political and social environments, such as work and immigration policies (27%).About 61% of returnees went back to their hometowns in China. The rest relocated mainly to developed areas, including Beijing (13%), Shanghai (8%) and Guangdong Province (7%). 

The pace of local economic growth was an important reference for overseas returnees in their relocation decisions.
While Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong were attracting overseas returnees, the Northeast and Western China were losing overseas talent.

About 65% of overseas returnees believed that the “Talent War” waged by cities to attract talent showed that local governments gave more importance and attention to talent, and 52% said more policy supports were needed for overseas returnees.

Over 72% of overseas returnees were currently employed, 5% were starting their own businesses and 16% were still looking for jobs.

About 42% of overseas returnees could find jobs within one month after they came back to China, and 41% could find employment in one to three months.

In terms of salary, about 33% of overseas returnees had a pre-tax monthly salary below RMB6,000, 25% had a monthly salary of RMB6,001 to 8,000, and 15% earned RMB8,001 to 10,000 per month.

About 80% of overseas returnees were not satisfied with their salaries. Among them, 49% said their salaries were below expectations, and 31% said their salaries were far below expectations.