Reverse brain drain: China engineers incentives for “brain gain”
Chinese who found it hard to fit in at the water cooler abroad feel newly valued at home as China creates a reverse brain drain of financial incentives for native talent to return.
Beijing and Wuxi, China
That goal has been enshrined as a major national policy; the authorities see it as a key shortcut to putting China at the cutting edge of technology and boosting the country to the next level of economic development.
"The leadership is very, very aggressive on this – very proactive," says David Zweig, a professor at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology who is writing a book about Chinese returnees. "The Chinese government has been the most assertive government in the world in introducing policies targeted at triggering a reverse brain drain."
Beijing has a lot to work with. China is the world's largest source of overseas students – 14 percent of the global total, according to the Center for China and Globalization, a Beijing think tank that advises the government on talent recruitment. In the United States, 22 percent of foreign students come from China.
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