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Overseas Returnees to China Have Bright Prospects for Employment and Entrepreneurship

Thursday,Aug 23, 2018

400 2018年中国海归就业创业调查报告-1-1

Center for China and Globalization (CCG) and Zhaopin Limited (Zhaopin)  jointly released the "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.

 

Studying overseas

More Chinese students chose to study overseas over the past decade. The top reasons were: to learn the culture and life of other countries and enrich personal experience (76%); to improve independent living ability (52%); and higher education quality abroad (51%).

UK, US, Australia, Japan and South Korea were the top five destinations that attracted the most Chinese students.

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Regarding majors chosen by Chinese students, 43% studied economics and business, 14% selected arts and humanities, and 10% engineering.

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As to the highest degree obtained overseas, about 56% of Chinese students got master’s degrees and 38% got bachelor’s degrees. An increasing number of students chose to study overseas for bachelor’s degrees.

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Returning to China

The top reasons for overseas Chinese to return to China were: 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%).

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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.

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In terms of overseas work experience, only 30% had no work experience. About 23% returned to China with 1 to 3 years of experience and more than 15% had over 3 years of experience.

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Most Chinese returnees had no overseas entrepreneurship experience. Only 4% had successful entrepreneurship experience.

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In recent years, a "Talent War" was waged in some cities to help attract talent with favorable policies. About 65% of overseas returnees believed that the "Talent War" showed that local governments gave more importance and attention on talent, and 52% said more policy supports were needed for overseas returnees.

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Regarding which incentive policies were needed to attract overseas returnees, top choices included: raising salaries and benefits (65%), improving employment mechanisms for returnees (57%), and providing household registration and housing (36%).

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Employment for returnees

According to the survey, about 72% of overseas returnees were currently employed, 5% were starting their own businesses and 16% were looking for jobs.

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When seeking employment in China, overseas returnees believes they had advantages in: language and cross-culture communications; global perspective; more adaptable and independent; and critical thinking capability.

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When looking for jobs, 49% of returnees applied through recruitment websites and APPs, 22% sent resumes directly to their target companies, and 19% relied on recommendations from their families and friends.

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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.

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Top industries that hired overseas returnees included finance, communications, software and IT services, manufacturing, education, and wholesale and retail.

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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.

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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.

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Entrepreneurship for returnees

Among those returnees who started their own businesses, nearly half did so in 2017, compared with 18% in 2016 and 9% in 2015.

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The top five industries that overseas returnees chose to start businesses were communications, software and IT services, wholesale and retail, education, manufacturing, and leasing and business services.

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For their entrepreneurship endeavors, the supports they needed were: market development (41%); favorable environment for entrepreneurship (35%); financial services (34%); and entrepreneurship mentoring (25%).

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The challenges these entrepreneurs were facing included: high operation cost (56%); unfamiliarity with domestic market (38%); and difficulty raising capital (37%).

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