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October 31, 2015

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Hukou policy eased for investors

NON-LOCAL entrepreneurs and venture capitalists will be granted “hukous,” or permanent residence permit, much earlier then before under a special privilege program starting next month, Shanghai Human Resources and Social Security Bureau said yesterday.

The entrepreneurs have to meet certain standards and should have lived in the city for two to five years, according to the new program.

In usual cases, they would have to wait seven years to apply for the hukous.

“We hope a fast track to Shanghai residency will attract more talent to the city,” said Zhou Haiyang, head of the bureau.

Getting the much-coveted Shanghai residency means having access to top education opportunities in the city and a host of other cherished benefits.

Under the new policy, a startup entrepreneur who owns over 10 percent of shares in his or her company, which is registered in Shanghai, can apply for permanent residency immediately.

But the company must either have over 10 million yuan (US$1.6 million) after first-round financing or a total financing over 20 million yuan.

Those who own 5 percent shares in the company, which has investments between 5 million yuan to 10 million yuan can apply for hukous after three years, according to the new policy.

The term goes up to five years if the first-round financing is only 2 million yuan and the total financing stands at 5 million yuan.

Peter Peng, a former business watchdog official who is planning to start a tech incubator, said the new policy could be beneficial to the city but there may be very few applicants as the standard has been set “too high.”

“Even 2 million yuan is a huge investment for many startups as many investors are wary of taking too many risks. So the policy is really targeted at the elites,” he told Shanghai Daily.

Venture capitalists are also not left out in the new policy.

High-rank executives who worked for venture capital institutions registered in Shanghai can apply for citizenship after they have invested over 30 million yuan in the city’s companies .


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