In 2016, more than 13,000 people applied for the subsidy. Eight Chinese and three expat of national-level academicians, as well as 23 of the nation’s “Thousand Talents Plan” experts applied for subsidies given to leading innovative startup teams. Some 87 percent of the applicants work in strategic new industries such as next-generation information technology, intelligent equipment and robotics, biomedicine, new energy, energy-saving and environmental protection.
One of the adopted measures is a “talent green card” policy, which allows cardholders to be treated equally as its local citizens in real estate and vehicle purchasing, children’s education, and other benefits. Li Wancheng, leader of a research team with Sun Yat-sen University’s Ophthalmic Center, was among the first batch who successfully applied for the “talent green card.” A lead scientist on several research programs that received U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants, Li also became the first Chinese to receive the outstanding cataract research award from the National Foundation for Eye Research.
“The green card allows me to enjoy the amenities of living in Guangzhou just like its citizens,” Li said. “This policy will definitely attract more overseas talents to work and settle down here.”
According to the 2016 blue book on employment of returned overseas talent published by the Ministry of Education, Guangzhou ranked as the second most preferred destination in China for returning overseas Chinese to start their careers. Statistics from the city’s bureau of foreign experts affairs revealed that 672,000 returned overseas students chose to come to Guangzhou through the end of July 2017.