This year, as China marks the 40th anniversary of its National Reform and Opening-up, Zhejiang province in east China, which was a monumental region during the historical reform, held a conference championing further opening-up and vowing to accelerate the attraction of high-end resources including capital, technology and world class talent.
The province wants to have a leading edge in the next round of reform and socio-economic transformation in China, in which the key will be luring more of the brightest talent.
In recent years, some major Chinese cities including Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province, have competed for human resources. As these cities jostle for the best talent, they look not only to introduce favorable HR policies but also to improve their city’s ecological environment, making it a more inviting place to live. The latest statistics show that Hangzhou is leading at the forefront of the competition for now.
According to a report by the State Administration of Foreign Expert Affairs of China, Hangzhou has been listed in the “Top Ten Most Attractive Cities for Foreign Talent” for eight consecutive years. In 2017, its net influx of skilled workers and net inflow of overseas talent ranked first among Chinese cities.
Hangzhou recently welcomed the establishment of West Lake University in its Xihu District. As the first university of its type in China, with a key focus on cutting-edge research, the university is recruiting top researchers from across the globe. It has attracted renowned scientists including Nobel Prize winners and has helped attract high-level scholars to gather in Hangzhou.
The 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which was held last year, endorsed a strategy of “gathering the talent of the world” to rapidly build a globally competitive talent ecosystem. With its excellent industrial development environment, abundant financing options and efficient government service; Hangzhou has built an excellent ecological environment for gathering talent. It strives to become the innovation capital of China and an international hotspot for top performers.
Hangzhou is not only home to China’s Internet giants such as Alibaba but it is also the gathering place for China’s most successful business community association, the Zhejiang Merchants. Innovative enterprises and potential business unicorns emerge in the city every day. Hangzhou is undoubtedly one of the most dynamic places in China.
At the same time, Hangzhou is in a “window period” of urban internationalization. Hangzhou municipal government has successively introduced a series of highly preferential policies for overseas talent which address global allocation of human resources and create favorable conditions for the influx of more international expertise.
In February, Hangzhou issued a new policy which contains “Ten Clauses for Attracting Global Talent.” The focus is on foreign talent recruitment and investment, offering support to foreign-led business startups. Foreign business elites can receive as much as 100 million yuan if they launch a business in Hangzhou.
Indian-American, Mr. Srivastava, set up a robotic surgery, R&D project in Hangzhou last year and established the company’s global headquarters in the city. As a result, his company has received a number of subsidies from the local government including a rent reduction of 1.5 million yuan and the company has secured 13.5 million U.S. dollar financing from Chinese investors.
Key facts on foreign talent in Hangzhou
According to statistics, there are currently more than 15,000 foreigners launching businesses in Hangzhou. Meanwhile there are nearly 5,000 companies in the city with foreign workers registered and acting as the legal representative.
In comparison with other Chinese cities, Hangzhou’s talent policy reigns supreme as it not only covers the introduction and cultivation of talent, support for business start-ups and living support, but also includes a service system to promote effective policy implementation.
Lin Haosheng, a Singaporean who came to Hangzhou in 2016, believes that issues such as housing, health care and school enrollment are all critical in determining top talent’s decision to stay. Hangzhou’s support policies have led to solid talent retention.
The talent policy promulgated by Hangzhou is producing real results through the implementation of an action plan called “New Paradise of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.” Fan Yuan, a graduate of California State University, resigned as an executive at Silicon Valley’s top information security company and established his own business, DBAPP Security, in Hangzhou. He led his team to help upgrade China’s cyber security research capabilities to a world leading level.
In order to attract such innovative talents in the high-tech and start-up industries, Hangzhou has in recent years established a number of high-tech business parks. These parks help business professionals solve a series of practical commercial problems such as financing and growth in the early stage of a new venture.
Xu Liyi, Mayor of Hangzhou, said “Hangzhou will continue to create an exceptional and open ecological environment to attract more people to live and work here in the future”.