Home>Top Issues

Skilled Immigrants Are Starting to Choose China Over U.S.

Monday,Jun 26, 2017

From: Independent Journal Review

 

In March, the Chinese search engine company Baidu set out on its first overseas college recruitment tour, which included visits to some of California’s top-tier tech schools like UC Berkeley, Stanford, and USC.

But the tech giant wasn’t looking for students to join its research facility in Silicon Valley.

Baidu sought to find tech-savvy students willing to decamp to Beijing to work at its headquarters, for both full-time roles and internships, according to a press release announcing the recruitment effort.

While American students can intern in China, Baidu’s permanent salaried positions in Beijing were mostly aimed at Chinese citizens in the United States. Much like the rest of the world, it’s easier for Chinese companies to hire Chinese citizens rather than trying to sponsor a foreigner’s employment.

It’s not just Baidu trying to repatriate Chinese talent working or studying abroad. Fewer highly skilled immigrants are choosing to work or study in the United States. And China, sensing the opening, is increasingly turning to economic incentives to lure back home their expats pursuing educations elsewhere.

Chinese-born students account for 31 percent of international students enrolled at American universities, making China the top supplier of foreigners in the American educational system.

But changes are afoot. There’s been a steep decline in the percentage of Chinese-born students applying to American universities, according to an American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers survey of 250 higher learning institutions in the United States.

In the last year alone, Chinese applications to undergraduate programs dropped by 25 percent. It was an even bigger drop of 32 percent to graduate programs.

Dr. Wang Huiyao, the president of the Center for China and Globalization(CCG), suggested that recent shifts in immigration rhetoric in the United States may be one of the reasons why fewer Chinese students are staying in the United States for professional opportunities after they complete their studies:

"I think what Donald Trump does has a big psychological impact. A lot of students plan to go and then not go. A lot of students planning to stay will not stay to find a job. So that, I think, is damaging the core competence of the United States.

The United States for the last hundred years has really, that difference, is that they’ve gathered the talents of the world. ... That’s what makes America, really, number one. China’s really lacking the national talent."

And so it is that China is taking advantage of the shift by trying to sweeten the deal for Chinese citizens abroad to join its workforce.

For example, in Shanghai, the municipal government offers Chinese students abroad a fast track for highly sought-after “hukou,” essentially a household residential registration for social, medical, and educational services, in exchange for working in the city, according to Jie Zong, a policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute.

“Until recently, there hasn’t been a very deliberate strategy for immigration," Zong told IJR. "Quite recently, [the government has] loosened certain requirements in terms of immigration in China.”

Part of what seems to be triggering anxiety over immigrating to the United States is that since Donald Trump was elected, the ability to obtain work visas has been uncertain.

April’s “Buy American, Hire American” executive order specified that agencies will evaluate the current disbursement of H1-B visas, which are intended for highly skilled workers and academics trying to enter the United States. Before Trump signed the order, the number of H1-B applications dropped in contrast to the previous year, a decreasesome attributed to Trump’s campaign trail rhetoric to reform the program. Soon after the order, immigration services also suspended premium processing for H1-B visa applicants, meaning companies could no longer shell out extra bucks to put their applicants at the head of the line.

Last year, Trump called the H1-B visa “very, very bad” for American workers.

But with the president this week, during a listening session with technology CEOs, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer signaled Trump could change his mind:

“I think the president is going into this meeting to listen [...] But I think there’s also a worker component to this. We’ve talked a lot about visa reform in the past, and I think the president wants to make sure that he listens to the various people who have interest in this subject.”

It’s not just China that’s reacting and adapting to recent immigration uncertainties.

About 70 percent of H1-B visas issued each year go to Indian immigrants working in the tech sector, and following the executive order, Indian tech shares “took a steep fall.”(BY MAEGAN VAZQUEZ)

 

From Independent Journal Review ,2017-6-21

 

 

  • 【China Daily】China, US agree not to launch trade war

    The biggest achievement of the latest consultations between the world’s top two economies is that they agreed not to launch a trade war and to stop slapping tariffs on each other, Vice-Premier Liu He, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s special envoy, said Saturday.

  • China maps out its Trump strategy

    When Donald Trump becomes U.S. president next month, one issue above all others could force his new administration to work closely with China and underscore why he and Beijing need each other – North Korea. A nuclear armed North Korea, developing missiles that could hit the U.S. west coast, is clearly bad news for Washington but also Pyongyang’s sometimes-reluctant ally Beijing, which fears one day those missiles could be aimed at them.

  • CCG awarded for policy advisory achievement

    On Oct. 19, at the first China Think Tank Construction and Evaluation Forum held by the China Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, the Center for China and Globalization was awarded for its outstanding policy advisory role, as the only independent think tank that won this honor.

  • On Trump’s inauguration

    World Insight Studio make a discussion on the Trump’s inauguration, Dr. Wang Huiyao, the President of the Center for China and Globalization (CCG) , Tom McGergor, the Geopolitical Analyst, David Woodard, Political Professor from Glemson University and Parag Khanna, global strategist from Naitonal Univeristy of Singapore, to sharing their opinions.

  • Bigger migration role awaits nation

    Membership by China in the International Organization for Migration will not only bring considerable changes to Beijing’s migration management and services, but also will help the country to participate in global governance, experts said.