[photopress:seaturtle.jpg,full,alignright]According to a recent article in the ILO’s International Labour Review more and more Chinese who left the country to study abroad are heading back to China which is more and more seen as the land of opportunities. The trend is so strong that there is a Chinese phrase for such people — hai gui, or ‘sea turtles’ returning to the shores they left to grow up elsewhere. A neat analogy.
In an article in the ILO’s International Labour Review, close to a quarter of the more than 930,000 students who went abroad for studies between 1978 and 2005 returned. And the numbers of returnees are growing: from about 6,000 in 1995 to almost 35,000 in 2005, according to the China Statistical Yearbook 2006.
David Zweig, director of the Centre on China’s Transnational Relations at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and author of the article, said:
‘China is experiencing significant return migration brought on by political stability, improved housing, better business opportunities, more modern equipment and management procedures, higher salaries and other special incentives.’ China has created an environment conducive to foreign direct investment which has attracted many multinational companies, creating excellent jobs for expatriates who wish to return. Increasingly, multinationals based in China are seeking those who left China to study.’
Not everyone is totally happy about all of this. The ha guis expect better salaries than those who stayed at home and this creates some resentment. Even so, by coming back to China a ha gui is taking a fairly severe drop in money. An MBA holder with some relevant work experience can easily command an annual package of US$100,000 in the United States, while the same candidate may fetch only RMB300,000 or US$36,500 on returning to China.
Source: Bangkok Post