Major Chinese cities losing their allure for new graduates

Major Chinese cities losing their allure for new graduates

By He Dan
China Daily/Asia News Network
Tuesday, Jan 21, 2014

CHINA – After much consideration, Ying Hanlu decided against finding work in Beijing and Shanghai and instead returned home after graduating in the summer. “My boyfriend and I were having a hard time with a long-distance relationship, so after he found a job in our hometown I followed,” she said.Rising property prices and tightened restrictions on hukou – permanent residence permits – made life “too uncertain”, said the 27-year-old, who finished graduate school at Shanghai International Studies University. She plans to marry her boyfriend next year.

A study released last week by online recruitment company Zhaopin and Peking University’s Institute of Social Sciences found college students are showing less interest in working in China’s mega-cities – Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou – after graduation.

Only 38.7 per cent of the 10,800 students from 200 universities interviewed said they would choose to work in the three cities after graduating, a downward trend for three consecutive years, from 53.8 per cent in 2011 and 42.1 per cent in 2012.

Soaring property prices, air pollution and traffic congestion were major reasons, according to the report, Best Employer Award 2013.

Similar findings can be seen in the RMG China Talents-Flow Survey 2013. Although 35 per cent of the 4,000 employees polled choose to stay in one of the major cities, 53 per cent said they had considered relocating to second or third-tier cities, up 16 per cent year-on-year.

Some expressed a willingness to move further to even smaller cities.

“As the central government is tightening the household registration policies in major cities, I suppose the inflow of talents will be affected in cities such as Beijing and Shanghai,” said Max Ma, chief operating officer of FESCO Adecco in Shanghai, a multinational human resources company.

Zhu Hongyan at Zhaopin said her company’s data show in recent years small and medium-sized cities in central and western regions of China have provided more job opportunities than eastern counterparts.

“The local economies in developed cities in East China are slowing down while the inland cities are quickly catching up and many big companies are expanding their business to second or third-tier cities, which have created more jobs for educated young people,” she said.

Mobility among different cities is helpful for China to realise a more balanced development among different regions, said Robert Parkinson, founder and managing director of the international recruitment group RMG Selection.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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