Is China About to See a Brain Drain?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 2:44

Over the last 18 months, some of the most common discussions I have been having is (1) long term expats leaving China and (2) the number of Chinese who are looking to leave China.

There have been a number of articles covering the former.  Expats who have grown tired of China, realized they will not be Chinese, or are finding opportunities outside of the mainland otherwise.  which are no doubt catalyzed by issues of food quality, air pollution, and the general fears that come along with living in China.

It’s a well covered topic.

But what is more interesting for me is the fact that so many Chinese are also looking for the exits.  A topic I will be speaking about tomorrow night in a Google Hangout entitled Why are the Chinese Leaving China with Fons TuinstraJanet Carmosky, Li Meixian and Helen Wang.

For my part, one of the issues that I am going to cover is the fact that regardless of reason, if a true exodus of China’s young professionals (my friends) does happen, it will lead to a gap in managerial capacity on the ground and will likely set Chinese firms back.  A point I will make by recalling two recent conversations with friends who are now planning their next steps from China.

One a young professional.  One a senior exec.   Both with very different reasons for leaving.

With that, I invite you to join the conversation.


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