Small Chinese Cities Bet Big On Talent

By Ma Si
China Daily, Beijing / Asia News Network

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen are no longer the only destinations for young jobseekers seeking to make it big and strike it rich.

Asia News Network

Earlier this year, Chen Hongyu, 28, received his doctorate in transportation management from Northwestern University, Illinois, the United States; but little did he imagine he would pick Guiyang, a relatively low-profile city in South-western China, as his career launch pad, steering clear of the world’s bustling metropolises that most of his classmates gravitated to.

Guiyang is the capital of Guizhou province, one of the poorest regions in China-and definitely not what Chen might have aspired for, compared to career-minded Chinese professionals’ preferred destinations such as first-tier city and innovation hub Shenzhen.

Guizhou may be poor now, but, like many other backward provinces, it is rich in novel ideas and policies for attracting talent to its local enterprises, which, in turn, appear intent on transforming its economic fortunes.

Guiyang-based company Truck Alliance, a lorry-hailing firm in the mold of Didi and Uber, is one such company. A North-western PhD professor convinced Chen that Truck Alliance should be his natural first port of call.

“I researched the company and had extensive talks with its executives before deciding to work for Truck Alliance. I never expected Guiyang to be the home of such a promising company,” Chen said.

Last year, Truck Alliance merged with its arch rival to form Manbang Group, which is now China’s largest truck-hailing firm.

Chen started to work as an algorithm researcher in Guiyang in January, soon after receiving his PhD. Like him, thousands of talented Chinese professionals are enthused about the prospect of landing their first job outside of metros and big cities.

In other words, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen are no longer the only destinations for young jobseekers seeking to make it big and strike it rich. That marks a tectonic shift in Chinese professionals’ mind-set.

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