Molly Liu left Beijing to go to the United States to pursue a master's degree in the 1990s.
After graduating, she tried to win a position in a US-based consulting firm. Some time later, she was sent to China to help expand the company. Later, she worked in Hong Kong as an advisor to major companies in Shanghai, Beijing, Taipei and Singapore.
But the times have changed. Recently, her only son, Ben Zhang, turned down a job offer from a Boeing subsidiary in the United States after earning a master's degree in computer science from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. .
Zhang decided to return to Beijing last year, taking over product management at Xiaomi's smartphone maker. He believed that the company could give him the opportunity, just like the US technology consulting firm had once stepped up for his mother before.
Chinese students tend to not stay in the United States but return to their homeland to work.
This is not a propaganda story. Increasingly, the career choices of generations of Chinese students and students are gradually reflecting a new trend. In the past, large corporations in the US could choose China's top talents from American universities, giving them a promise of high salaries and growth opportunities. But today, China's advanced technology companies are the most sought after employers.
And in the context of an increasingly tense Central American trade war, multinational corporations have become more and more difficult to do business in China, while in addition to countless restrictions and hostilities, they have faced with human resource crisis.
"What I look for in work is not money. My parents do not believe that I can support them," said Zhang, 28. "What I am most interested in is developing myself and taking advantage of the best resources the company can provide." His team is working on a variety of Xiaomi devices, from TVs to lights and smart locks.
"In Boeing, I can work on a new product every two to three years. But at Xiaomi, we can launch a new product every three months," he added. "You can bring a lot of things into people's daily lives in China, like using voices to control TVs or air conditioners. These are things that are only imaginable in America."
Zhang is not alone. More and more young Chinese people realize the limits of jobs in the United States, where they are often seen as engineers rather than executives.
A CEO who oversees the technology unit of a finance and insurance company in China says he has led a team of 20 engineers at one of the world's most valuable technology companies in the Valley. Silicon.
"My job is to optimize the performance of a product," he said. "However, within three years in China, I was promoted to head of the science department of the entire company, leading a group of 1,000 people." This man asked for anonymity because some of his family members still live in America.
According to a April LinkedIn survey, more and more Chinese job seekers share Zhang's views. LinkedIn has compiled a list of 25 employers who are most eager to work in China, about 60% of which are local companies, including 13 Internet companies. The top names are Alibaba, Baidu, Bytedance. Tesla even ranks behind the Nio tram company. Amazon fortunately stayed in the top 10.
Li Qiang, executive vice president of recruitment company Zhaopin, said what multinational companies can provide candidates, local companies in China can do it, even good. than. It includes salaries, allowances, incentives for working environments as well as benefits for family members. Senior personnel often pursue good companies and in China, most of them are domestic technology companies, he said. This is considered a result of successful business process as well as a thriving startup scene in the past 10 years.
Besides, the stories of successful and wealthy start-ups of top entrepreneurs in China continue to draw the attention of media and inspire the younger generation. At the same time, more and more private companies in China are recognized globally.
Chinese companies can bring in the same working conditions as the top US corporations, even more.
According to Universum's top Chinese employers survey, Huawei Technologies, the Chinese telecommunications giant has been blacklisted in US trade, ranking first. Second is Xiaomi while Apple, one of the most valuable technology companies in the US, ranks seventh.
"Every engineer wants to see the technology they've worked on has the potential to change the world one day," said Li Yan, head of multimedia research at the short video platform Kuaishou. "Previously, Chinese companies are at the bottom of the global value chain. Now they are climbing up, providing more opportunities for talents to create products that change the world."
Kuaishou is based in Beijing and Li Yan's group has more than 100 people in charge of artificial intelligence research. Many of these have worked at Microsoft Asia Research, Microsoft's basic research division in the Asia Pacific region.
Of course, local companies in China are also greatly supported. The government's policy requires foreign companies to form joint ventures with local partners. Along with the restrictions on content control and access information, such as the Great Wall firewall. That is why Amazon earlier this year announced it would close the Chinese market, officially giving up the battle with online shopping giants like Alibaba. Oracle China fired 900 people in March when it closed its research and development center.
However, not everyone agrees with these views. Recently, in China, there was a wave of protests about working policy 996 (from 9am to 9pm, 6 days a week) at local technology companies.
However, a survey conducted by consulting firm BCG and The Network in 2018 shows that only one third of Chinese residents are willing to move abroad to work, down from 61% in 2014. Country It also became the 20th most popular destination worldwide to change jobs, compared with ranking 29th in 2014.
"One of my graduate classmates in the US has just given up his 6-digit paid job at Oracle to join the DJI drone maker in Shenzhen," said Ben Zhang. "I asked what motivated him to return to China. He asked me," Who wants a life that people can see the end when they start? ".