Market Watch: The Employment Situation for Returnees in China

December 28, 2021

More and more overseas talent are choosing to return home to China for both personal and professional development. Other reasons include China’s rapid economic and technological development, more abundant and superior work opportunities, and a better sense of belonging.

So what is the current employment status of returnees in China? Learn more below.

Analysis of the employment situation

According to statistics, 95% of returnees choose employment after returning home to China and only about 5% choose to start their own business.

  1. Popular Areas of Employment

Technology, internet, and finance are amongst popular industries of employment for returnees. This is closely related to the development of these industries in China during recent years, the size of enterprises in the field, the degree of internationalization, as well as the scientific and technological level among the top ranks in the world. Overall, these industries tend to attract a large number of high-end returnees talent.

Among the international student population, returnees from “popular” majors such as finance, computer science, IT, biology, mechanics, and international trade are in high demand. Both the employment rate and the level of pay in these fields are among the best for a few reasons:

  • Chinese enterprises in IT, finance, bioengineering, manufacturing are in great demand for international students.


  • Enterprises need “new blood” when it comes to technology and innovation, so international students who meet these requirements are favored by employers.


  1. Remuneration

From a salary perspective, more than 60% of the enterprises are in “special favor” of recruiting returnees. Moreover, over 80% of enterprises gave returnees better treatment. 

According to statistics, outstanding returnees with outstanding work experience tend to be treated significantly better than before. In fact, more than 15% of overseas talent experience a salary increase of more than 50%. In addition, about 33% experience salary increases between 20% and 50%. 

Within this group of international students, the initial salary is usually around 100,000 to 150,000 yuan, which is closely related to their major. For example: according to statistics, the salary level of computer and electronic information engineering students is obviously higher than that of other majors. Over 30% are paid more than 200,000 yuan.

  • Employment Needs

With the development of the economy and the intensification of global competition, every major enterprise is facing problems such as rising costs, increasing competition, lack of key talents, and so on. There is a demand for quality talent to improve performance and drive growth, making talented returnees just what companies need. 

So, what types of returnees are most needed by enterprises? They fall into the following categories:

  • Technical Personnel: Particularly talented people in software development, machine learning, and IT.


  • Senior Management: Senior management that can reach “international standards” are more desirable. For instance, those with international awareness, team management experience, as well as knowledge and a vision that can take initiative in global competition.


  • Top Experts: Those who are top experts in their field.


  • Other Outstanding Talent: Those with an international vision, strong cross-cultural communication skills, an understanding of overseas markets/channels, and a high level of talent in technology and business. 


Notably, for international students, aside from their “major”, employers care deeply about knowledge, skills, internship experience, project experience, career planning, and so on.


About Comrise’s Returnee Program:

As a local and global staffing company with 35+ years of experience, our Cross-Border Recruitment team works closely with bicultural candidates, helping them secure their next great opportunity.

For job candidates in the United States looking to return home to China for employment, we provide customized overseas returnee recruitment services, which helps companies recruit high-end returnees quickly, efficiently, and accurately while providing returnees with excellent job matching opportunities.

To learn more about our Returnee Program, reach out to our Cross-Border HR Specialist, Yunfan Li, today at the contact information listed below. 


WeChat ID: YunfanMC

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