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October 18, 2019

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Changning aiming to bring the talent back home

Hundreds of local entrepreneurs returning from abroad will take part in a startup competition, training sessions and an exhibition in Changning District this weekend.

The 7th Shanghai Overseas Returnees Innovation and Entrepreneurship Conference is meant to encourage professionals who went abroad for study or work to return home and open businesses in the district.

Changning has a large number of foreign residents and preferential policies to attract returnees. Those who want to base their startups in Changning can expect discounts on rents, subsidies on housing and loans, and fast administrative approval, the district said yesterday.

The final contest of this year’s Shanghai overseas returnees startup competition is scheduled in Changning tomorrow. A total of 34 startup projects covering industrial robots, microelectronics, health and equipment manufacturing have been selected by a judge panel. Ten projects will be selected for the final.

These projects as well as past winners will be showcased on the sidelines of the conference at ShanghaiMart to help attract investment.

“Many returnee startups are focusing on innovative technologies this year,” said Xiong Quan of the Shanghai Western Returned Scholars Association, organizers of the event.

Returnees can also expect to learn about the business environment of the city, and find partners and investors through the conference, Xiong said.

Return of the ‘sea turtles’

Highly skilled returning Chinese are called haigui, a homophone of “sea turtles.”

Sixty-three startups established by haigui were based in Changning in 2018, accounting for 13.5 percent of the total number of new startups in the district. In some innovation parks, returnees account for a third of entrepreneurs, said Xiang Keyang, deputy director of Changning’s human resources bureau.

Some successful entrepreneurs came out of last year’s returnee startup competition. Four of the seven winning startups have been developing in Changning.

They focus on AI and robotics, AI and education, Internet cultural innovation products and medical diagnosis, according to the bureau.

The robotic company Daye, founded by the top winner last year, a postgraduate from Technical University of Munich, is expected to realize an annual profit of 10 million yuan (US$1.4 million), said Ma Jun, an official with the bureau.

Some previous winners will share their experiences with this year’s participants during a weeklong training session ahead of the competition. The class also helps returnees familiarize themselves with domestic policies and the local market.

Changning aims to become the top choice for returnees through preferential policies.

Twenty-eight innovation parks and 14 incubators promise to offer preferential services to those returning from abroad.


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