Chinese abandon Silicon Valley for bright future back home

Chinese professionals are abandoning Silicon Valley as the latter is gradually losing its charm to foreign staff, Chinese news site yicai.com reported on Monday.

“Obviously China has larger market and more opportunities,” said Chen Yuemeng, founder of a Shanghai-based start-up company who worked in Silicon Valley for 10 years before returning to China in 2013.

Silicon Valley was once the dreamland for Chinese tech professionals. However, in recent years, the rapid development of science and technology in China has brought tremendous changes to the domestic business environment, consumer market, and demand for technical personnel. China is quickening its pace to catch up with the United States, and even take the lead in the development of artificial intelligence, e-commerce, and mobile payment.

For instance, China’s technology giants Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent have all made remarkable achievements, together with emerging companies such as car-hailing service provider Didi Chuxing and AI-based news platform Toutiao.

According to venture capital database CBI Sights, China is home to nearly 30 unicorns, or startup companies valued at over $1 billion, the second-largest producer of such enterprises, second only to the United States.

In addition, China is vigorously introducing overseas talents. Since 2008, the Chinese government has implemented a major recruitment program for foreign talent called the Thousand Talents Plan in a bid to attract more overseas returnees with favorable policies.

The rare chance of a Chinese employee getting a promotion in the United States is another reason for the influx of overseas returnees from Silicon Valley. “During my visits to American companies, people who received us were often Chinese, while those who had face-to-face negotiations with us were foreigners,” said Shi Yigong, vice president of Tsinghua University.