In the last decade, there were fears that China was suffering a severe brain drain as many Chinese headed to the west for more opportunities. That trend appears to be reversing, with more people returning to China thanks to the growing economy and preferential policies for overseas returnees.
In Changzhou, a city located two hours away from Shanghai, the local government spends up to 10 per cent of its budget to attract overseas returnees to set up high-tech companies.
One of the returnees is 32-year-old Xu Jie, who returned to China to set up his animation firm, Bingo Animation after studying in Italy for three years. He has just launched the company’s first original animated film, produced at a cost of more than US$1 million.
This was achieved with the help of the government.
The company gets free rent for the first year, and needs to pay only half the rental for subsequent years. It also enjoys tax rebates of 30-50 per cent and gets a US$150,000 bonus if they achieve more than US$15 million of sales a year.
Xu Jie said profits will come mainly from the sale of merchandise, high-tech toys derived from the animation.
Even though he is in China, he is not worried about piracy.
Apart from the creative industry, the local government also hopes to attract overseas returnees in industries like new energy, electronics and pharmaceuticals.
The Institute of Advanced Manufacturing Technology is a non-profit organisation, which helps small and medium enterprises with their R&D needs. The aim is to move away from being a conventional manufacturing base, to create an environment for innovation.
It is hoped that Chinese products will one day replace some foreign imports.
To help companies attract venture capital, the local government also promises to invest an equal amount for every dollar contributed by venture capitalists.
The United States need to implement something like this!