Important things you need to know about the academic market in China


As I’m helping many clients whose utmost market focus is the research and academia market, the business is always closely related and heavily impacted by the government funding, as the funding from the European countries stay flat and U.S is continuous reducing their budget on academic research, China seems to be the only place where the government funding is still growing rapidly.


Although we know the fact that the funding opportunities are existing in China, for a foreign company, it’s very difficult to have an insight about where the money goes, I’m writing this article to introduce you the “Recruitment Program of Global Experts” (known as “the Thousand Talents Plan”) which might be a help to increase your business opportunities in China.


Why the understanding of “the Thousand Talents Plan”is so important? The answer is very simple, because this is where a big portion of the funding goes!


China initiated “the Recruitment Program of Global Experts” (known as “the Thousand Talents Plan”) since the end of 2008, under which it would bring in overseas top talents to China over the next five to ten years. Relying upon National Key Innovation Projects, National Key Disciplines and National Key Laboratories, central SOEs and state-owned commercial and financial institutions, and various industrial parks( mainly the high-tech development zones), this plan called for strategic scientists or leading talents who can make breakthroughs in key technologies or can enhance China’s high-tech industries and emerging disciplines.


“The Recruitment Program of Global Experts” is currently being carried out through six subprojects  of which “the thousand Yong Talent” is the most successful one because it’s targeting the young scientists who have a stronger will to move back to China, the young scientist are willing to come back  as they’re really convinced by the strong determination of the Chinese government to strengthen up the country in academic research, on the other hand, China is also offering them very favourable conditions of which no other country in the world can provide.


In summary, the young talents need to be under 40 years old, has a PhD degree and 3 years’ research experience overseas.


So, what are the favourable conditions which are offered to the young talents candidate. As the funding of the program comes from the central government, local government and the employer and there will be of course differences. I put together some gross numbers as a reference.


First, all the candidate for “the thousand Yong Talent” will receive a one sum relocation fee between RMB500,000 to RMB 3,000,000, RMB500,000 is coming from the central government which is fixed and the rest will come from the local government, for example, the government of Shenzhen will grant RMB 2,000,000 in additional. The candidate will have a fully furnished apartment (100m2) to live which is free of charge.


The candidate will be granted on average RMB 5,000,000 (EURO600K) to RMB 10,000,000 (Euro 1.2M) as the kick off fund to establish the team and research platform, the project funding can be applied separately.


On top of the above-mentioned conditions, the candidate will also get very competitive compensation plan such as salary, insurance etc.


Now you may have a feeling about why I say that a big portion of the government funding will go to “the thousand Yong Talent” program, please find also find a summary of the top 10 cities and Institutions where most of the young talents are recruited from 2008 to 2016. When you’re aware that your clients are moving back to China through the program, it’s definitely necessary to keep in contact with them, because it’s very likely that they will purchase the same equipment to continue their research in China!


City Name

No. of Young Talent recruited






















Institution Name

No. of Young Talent recruited

Tsinghua University


University of Science and Technology of China


Peking University


Zhejiang University


Shanghai Jiaotong University


Fudan University


Nanjing University


Huazhong University of Science and Technology


Sun Yat-Sen University





When you need to know more about “the thousand Yong Talent”, for example, who are the people already moved back to China, where they worked overseas, who are going to move back in 2018, etc. please feel free to contact us at Tianyi Consulting.

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