Economic review

Overseas returnees likely start-up success stories: survey

2017-09-12 12:07:00 (Beijing Time)


(ECNS) -- Most surveyed say start-up launches had more chance of success when their creators had studied overseas, according to a survey of 2,005 respondents by China Youth Daily.

With 26.2 percent of surveyed being overseas returnees, the survey found that 83.1 percent of respondents believed students who returned to China after finishing school overseas enjoyed advantages in launching a start-up that their domestic counterparts did not.

About 58 percent said the main strength was the international perspective and vision gained through studying and living abroad. Other advantages identified were supportive policies (49.2 percent), language and communication skills (46.2 percent), and a better understanding of global industry trends (45.4 percent).

Nearly 70 percent of the overseas returnees had pursued bachelor's degrees and 27.4 percent master's programs.

Three major areas that attracted young entrepreneurs were the Internet (60 percent), electronic communications (51.5 percent) and technology innovation (48.8 percent). Nearly 80 percent of returned Chinese students had plans to establish their own businesses.

Xu Bo, who finished studying in the United Kingdom five years ago, said the booming growth of all kinds of apps since 2012 drew him to the Internet sector and eventually he launched a dating app targeting university students.

Yan Hanhan, who is undertaking his master's degree in New York City, also said he felt inspired by the rich career opportunities offered by IT and the Internet in China.

Lang Jing, the general secretary of the China Overseas Scholars Pioneer Park Alliance, said more than 50,000 graduates who studied overseas were working in business incubator zones across China, and that 100 start-ups from those zones had already been listed on the Chinese stock market.

Lang said the strategy of reinvigorating China through human resource development and an emphasis on innovation-driven economic growth meant a huge demand for overseas talents as well as those who completed overseas study.

Supportive policies at the central and regional levels and a favorable financing environment could help jumpstart entrepreneurship among returned students, said Lang.

In the survey, 71 percent said returned students benefited from supportive policies aimed specifically at them. However, in comparison with the domestic-educated, the returned group faced some disadvantages―a lack of understanding of the domestic market (56.1 percent), a shortage of operational experience (45.9 percent) and financial difficulties (40.2 percent).

According to the survey, more than 55 percent called for start-up application procedures to be streamlined, 47.9 percent expected assistance in understanding the market, and 43.2 percent looked forward to special financing channels.

More than 2.65 million overseas students had returned to China at the end of 2016, Xinhua reported.