China Quietly Recruits Overseas Chip Talent as US Tightens Curbs
An anonymous reader shares a report: For a decade until 2018, China sought to recruit elite foreign-trained scientists under a lavishly funded program that Washington viewed as a threat to U.S. interests and technological supremacy. Two years after it stopped promoting the Thousand Talents Plan (TTP) amid U.S. investigations of scientists, China quietly revived the initiative under a new name and format as part of a broader mission to accelerate its tech proficiency, according to three sources with knowledge of the matter and a Reuters review of over 500 government documents spanning 2019 to 2023. The revamped recruitment drive, reported in detail by Reuters for the first time, offers perks including home-purchase subsidies and typical signing bonuses of 3 to 5 million yuan, or $420,000 to $700,000, the three people told Reuters.
China operates talent programs at various levels of government, targeting a mix of overseas Chinese and foreign experts. The primary replacement for TTP is a program called Qiming overseen by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, according to national and local policy documents, online recruitment advertisements and a person with direct knowledge of the matter who, as with others, spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the issue’s sensitivity. The race to attract tech talent comes as President Xi Jinping emphasises China’s need to achieve self-reliance in semiconductors in the face of U.S. export curbs. Regulations adopted by the U.S. Commerce Department in October restrict U.S. citizens and permanent residents from supporting the development and production of advanced chips in China, among other measures.