The total number of returnees has reached 2.65 million by the end of 2016, of whom 432,500 students returned home in 2016, according to the April meeting on services for returning students. The returnees between 2012 and 2016 account for 70 percent of the sum of all students who have come home. There is both push and pull: students have cited better prospects in China as well as increased terrorism threats as some of the factors they take into consideration.
Moreover, the proportion of returning students has risen from 72.38 percent in 2012 to 82.23 percent in 2016, and this is the largest “homeward-bound tide” since the founding of the People’s Republic.
Despite government schemes to lure foreign-trained students back, returnees still face various problems, mainly in preferential policies, household registration (hukou), financing and trading, intellectual property, as well as cultural notions.
The meeting stressed the need to tackle these problems by building more active, open and effective mechanisms for handling talents - both Chinese returnees and foreigners heading to China. Formalities and services in business start-up should be simplified and integrated, and the talent introduction program should follow global trends and use advantages to attract more high-level foreign talents to China. Employment guidance is necessary as well, in order to let returnees easily integrate into local culture.