Shenzhen at centre of new scheme . . .
China has just unveiled a new plan to attract and retain highly skilled talent from overseas to work in Shenzhen, aiming to make the region into a global technology and innovation hub. In the past year, Shenzhen has spent C$210 million in attracting highly-skilled talent, providing subsidized housing, tax incentives, and family welfare packages. Through the new program, foreigners with Chinese permanent residence status will also be allowed to set up companies in the Greater Bay Area, of which Shenzhen is a part.
Building 'Silicon Valley East' . . .
The talent policy is part of the ‘Greater Bay Area Blueprint,’ a comprehensive plan aiming to transform nine cities and two special administrative regions in Southern China into a combined economic powerhouse. Shenzhen, a city located just north of Hong Kong, has been a key piece of China’s economic reforms and it is now home to major Chinese tech giants like Tencent, DJI, Huawei, and ZTE. In addition to the ongoing trade spat with the U.S., recent uncertainties in Hong Kong also seem to have contributed to Beijing’s decision to further prop up Shenzhen as a high-tech commercial hub.
Brain drain an imminent policy issue . . .
According to the Chinese Ministry of Education, in 2000 only one in 10 Chinese students returned to China after studying abroad; in 2017, eight out of 10 did. These numbers raise a red flag for Canadian policy-makers. Chinese students constitute a large proportion of the international student body in Canadian universities, especially in STEM departments at graduate levels, and often remain in Canada to work in specialized fields. While the political environment in the U.S. and its immigration policies have given an advantage to Canada in talent attraction, the growth in the Asia Pacific and more aggressive talent attraction policies in the region suggest that Canada may have more difficulties retaining talent moving forward.
- South China Morning Post: South China Morning Post: Shenzhen needs to attract overseas talent to fuel Greater Bay Area’s hi-tech ambitions
- South China Morning Post: Home is now seen as the land of opportunity for Chinese tech graduates in US
- BNN Bloomberg: U.S. immigration policy hands Canada an opening in tech