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Chinese overseas

China likely to attract a lot more overseas talent over next five years

The skills most in demand include internet, e-commerce and digital, research and development in hi-tech industries, mergers and acquisitions, and professional services providers such as compliance officers and lawyers

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 October, 2017, 7:30am
UPDATED : Monday, 23 October, 2017, 7:30am

China is expected to attract a lot more overseas talent over the next five years, according to a latest Forbes report, as well as retain its status as the world’s largest source of outgoing students.

The study, jointly released by Forbes China and immigration consultancy Wailian Group in Shanghai over the weekend, said the country represents a rare case in the history of “global talent mobility”, where both inflow and outflow of talent is keeping pace with each other.

Any country that can attract well-educated global talent and has strong research capabilities, is likely to encourage its own students to study at home. While a typical source of outgoing students is often less attractive to global talent.

“It’s an unprecedented tipping point,” the report concluded.

The population of outgoing Chinese students tripled to 544,500 in 2016 from 2008. While Chinese returnees jumped to 432,500 in 2016, or six times the scale in 2008, according to data from Ministry of Education.

China has been ramping up its recruitment of top-notch research, academic and management staff, since the start of a national programme initiated in late 2008.

Global recruitment firms operating out of China have already been active in helping corporates hire the best.

A separate report from global recruiting firm Hays recently showed that China is seeing a fall in unfilled vacancies as a proportion of total employment, indicating employers are finding it easier to find workers with the right skills.

“China is uniquely positioned at the moment in that it’s able to take advantage of the regional and global opportunities available to it,” said Simon Lance, Hays Greater China’s managing director.

The skills most in demand include internet, e-commerce and digital, research and development in hi-tech industries, mergers and acquisitions, and professional services providers such as compliance officers and lawyers.

In the third quarter of this year, the monthly salaries of white-collar workers in China rose 3 per cent from a quarter ago, or 1 per cent on year, to 7,599 yuan, said mainland hiring platform Zhaopin.com.

Beijing continued to be the city with the highest pay during the period, with an average monthly salary of 9,900 yuan (US$1,496), trailed by Shanghai’s 9,365 yuan and Shenzhen’s 8,666 yuan.

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