Chinese overseas returnees face stiff competition in China

Chinese nationals studying abroad still have to seek ways of coping with the growing competition posed by graduates from top universities in China upon their return to the country. The overseas returnees also have to grapple with the salary scale offered by employers.


With the fast-growing economy and improved domestic education, homegrown graduates gradually catch up with returnees in the competition for jobs. Many universities and research institutes educate large numbers of excellent students who have become great challenges to returnees.

Job seekers attend recruitment interviews

“Some job hunters who attended the first special job fair for Chinese overseas students in Beijing were disappointed to learn salaries offered were much less than they expected,” reported

A recruiting official from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications said the institution is inclined to recruit degree holders who have returned from overseas because they “usually possess an international view”,  but he however added that “they do not have many advantages now.”

“We will not favor a candidate just because he or she returns from abroad. We attach more importance to their capacities and work experience,” reported CRI.

In a typical case a Chinese for instance, who returned to China after four years with an MBA from a good American university and fluency in English hopes to land a $40,000 information technology position but can only secure a $16,000 a year entry-level job with an insurance company.

Returnees are known in Chinese as “hai gui”, which literally means “sea turtles.” The pronunciation also suggests the Chinese phrase for sea turtles returning to the shore again after leaving to grow up in the sea.

 However, people go to study abroad for three purposes: to improve their competitive capacity, leadership ability in industries, and general leadership capacity.

The hot subjects for overseas Chinese students include information technology, engineering, accounting, international communications, logistics and hotel management. Many more Chinese students are studying in Britain and the US. \more Non-English speaking countries like Italy are also becoming popular destinations

“Sea turtles,” sometimes find it hard to land a job or adapting when they return to China because they are perceived as being out of touch with what’s going on in the country.

Some middle class Chinese who lived in the United States return to China because they find life in the United States boring and unpredictable.

In the meantime, the gap between the returnees and the home grown students is really getting contracted and returnees should understand the situation, be humble and modest in whatever they do.

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply