GT Voice: Will ‘dynamic zero-COVID’ affect China’s appeal to global talent?

A view of Shanghai Photo: VCG

Major Chinese metropolises including Beijing and Shanghai are returning to a normal pace of life, which once again proves the effectiveness of China’s dynamic zero-COVID strategy, but some foreign media have inertia and have continuously used the China’s dynamic zero-COVID strategy as a target of attack to promote baseless theories of China’s collapse.

The Financial Times reported on Sunday that China’s aggressive zero COVID strategy has had a major impact on the country’s economy, and in particular, “the impact on China’s global talent stock has been severe.” Cross-border flows of people have declined significantly, with the number of outbound trips by foreign nationals last year falling to an all-time high.

As the COVID-19 virus spreads across the world, the movement of people across borders has taken a heavy hit. The decline in the number of international visitors is a fact, which indeed makes it more difficult for China to attract global talent. How can China retain its brightest young talents? It’s worth thinking about. We believe that China will exhaust all means to utilize global talent, improve work permit and visa systems, which will make it more convenient for foreign talent to work and live in China.

It should be noted that a drop in the number of international visitors does not mean that China has lost its appeal for foreign talent. The most important fundamental factor behind China’s attractiveness for foreign talent is rapid economic growth in the country and great career opportunities offered by economic development.

China’s economy improved in June as the pandemic is brought under control. On the contrary, the risks of seeing the United States and Europe sink into recession have increased. A comparison of economic development between China and the West highlights China’s attractiveness as a destination for those looking to kick-start and boost their careers.

Several Western media outlets have published stories in recent weeks saying that a growing number of global talents are considering leaving China thanks to the country’s anti-pandemic measures. However, an overlooked factor is that after returning to their home country, if they can find satisfying employment, and if not, we believe most of them may choose to return. in China in the future.

China’s inward foreign investment will be a weathervane of its appeal to foreign talent. The latest data released by the Ministry of Commerce shows that China’s actual use of foreign capital jumped 17.3 percent year-on-year to 564.2 billion yuan ($83.8 billion) over the past few months. first five months of the year. Although some Western media have claimed that foreign investors are fleeing China, the figure shows the true intentions and choices of foreign companies. Increased foreign investment is expected to encourage more international talent to work and live in China.

As China’s share in the global economy continues to increase, industrial development not only cultivates a number of globally leading enterprises, but also provides internationally competitive salaries for excellent talent. . A survey by recruitment platform Zhilian Zhaopin showed that China received the largest ever influx of overseas returnees in 2021. International students are more willing to return home, and of those students, 62.2 % consider the epidemic prevention and control effect to be better in China, an increase of about 6 percentage points from 2020, according to media reports.

The flip side is that 2022 graduates face multiple employment pressures. Some 10.76 million Chinese students are leaving college campuses this summer, a year-on-year increase of 1.67 million, hitting a new high. Finding a job in today’s job market is very competitive. To get hired in the competitive job market, global talent must prove their ability. If they hesitate or leave China, their positions will soon be replaced by competitors.

Keith P. Plain