Haigui is the Chinese term to describe people who return to China having studied abroad. It sounds like the Chinese word for sea turtle, but is also used to represent the fact that these returnees often travel great distances to come home, just like migratory sea turtles. Illustration: Kaliz Lee

China’s crowded labour market is making life tough for foreign workers and new graduate ‘sea turtles’

  • Overseas-trained talent known as ‘haigui’ are no longer seen as having an advantage over locally educated employees
  • In the 40 years since opening up began, a total of 3.13 million sea turtles or 83.73 per cent of the Chinese students who graduated abroad have returned home
Topic |   China economy

TOP PICKS

Haigui is the Chinese term to describe people who return to China having studied abroad. It sounds like the Chinese word for sea turtle, but is also used to represent the fact that these returnees often travel great distances to come home, just like migratory sea turtles. Illustration: Kaliz Lee
READ FULL ARTICLE
Finbarr Bermingham

Finbarr Bermingham

Finbarr Bermingham has been reporting on Asian trade since 2014. Prior to this, he covered global trade and economics in London. He joined the Post in 2018, before which he was Asia Editor at Global Trade Review and Trade Correspondent for the International Business Times.

Orange Wang

Orange Wang

Orange Wang covers the Chinese macroeconomy, and has many years of experience with China's monetary and fiscal policy moves. He also covered global market and financial news for a long time, with a particular focus on new technologies and their influences on economic growth and society. Before joining the South China Morning Post, Orange worked as a Shanghai Correspondent for ET Net, a Hong Kong financial news agency.