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Chinese techies flee Silicon Valley,‘bamboo ceiling’highlighted

Thursday,Jan 18, 2018

From: the record

 


Chinese tech workers are not only looking homeward, they’re moving back for better jobs, according to a new report.

Part of the reason for the purported exodus? A perceived "bamboo ceiling" that blocks the rise of Asian techies into leadership positions.

The report cites a number of factors driving Chinese workers out of the Valley and pulling them back to the nation of their birth. Aside from potential ethnicity-related handicaps to advancement, career opportunities are seen as "more abundant" in China, Bloomberg reported. "Bubbly times" for Chinese internet firms means compensation is sometimes higher in those firms than in their U.S. peers, according to the report.

"U.S.-trained Chinese-born talent is becoming a key force in driving Chinese companies’ global expansion and the country’s efforts to dominate next-generation technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning," according to Bloomberg.

"Where college graduates once coveted a prestigious overseas job and foreign citizenship, many today gravitate toward career opportunities at home, where venture capital is now plentiful and the government dangles financial incentives for cutting-edge research."

Hans Tung, a managing partner at venture capital firm GGV Capital — which has offices in Beijing, Shanghai and on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, told Bloomberg that "more and more" Chinese engineers who have worked long-term in the Valley are finding it "much more lucrative" to hitch their futures to fast-rising Chinese firms.

"At Google, at LinkedIn, at Uber, at Airbnb, they all have Chinese engineers who are trying to figure out, ’Should I stay, or should I go back?’" Tung said.

The tech industry has surpassed the financial sector as the No. 1 attraction for Chinese returning home from overseas, making up some 16 per cent of returnees, a 10 per cent jump from a 2015 poll, according to a survey by the Center for China & Globalization (CCG) and employment website Zhaopin.com, Bloomberg reported.

"The number of graduates returning from overseas — mainly from the U.S. — skyrocketed to 432,500 in 2016, up 22 per cent from 2013, the survey shows," Bloomberg reported.

Diversity data from major Silicon Valley tech firms gives credibility to the report’s suggestion that a "bamboo ceiling" is in play, hindering Asians from becoming tech company leaders.

At Google — which led the way on reporting diversity numbers — Asians make up 39 per cent of the tech workforce but only 27 per cent of leadership. At Apple, Asian workers hold 31 per cent of tech jobs, but just 23 per cent of leadership positions. At Facebook, Asians make up 49 per cent of the tech workforce, but occupy only 21 per cent of "senior leadership" positions.

 

From the record,2018-1-13

 

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