'Being closer to family' has become an important reason for returning talent to move back home, in addition to better income and career opportunities, a recent industry report has found.
Surveying 2,075 respondents from China’s mainland, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia and Singapore, the 2019 Hays Asia Overseas Returnees Report found that 71 percent of overseas Chinese professional cited 'being closer to family' as a major motivator, way above the 41 percent in a similar survey in 2013.
The report noted the trend is “in line with the deep sense of filial piety inculcated in Chinese individuals since infancy.'
Staying away for a prolonged period may be perceived as not fulfilling filial duties, and 'it is not uncommon for Chinese parents to expect their children to make sacrifices by way of a pay cut or leaving their partners abroad to be closer to them,' according to the research report. Asian children are usually expected to take care of their aging parents rather than putting them in old-age homes.
Asia is expected to be home to over 60 percent of the total population aged 65 years or older worldwide by the 2030s, according to Business Insider Singapore.
China’s number of overseas returnees totalled 3.1 million as of the end of 2017, according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security. In 2017 alone, 480,000 returned , while 608,000 left study abroad.
Reform and opening up boosted Chinese businesses’ need for talent, said Simon Lance, managing director of Hays China.
And 53 percent of Chinese respondents said they moved back for better career opportunities, especially in those key sectors where China sees a severe talent shortage, like the bio-pharmaceutical industry.