Bloomberg Businessweek wrote about this talent bleeding and the reasons. How dramatic the situation is you can see in the chart below. The Chinese “invaded” Silicon Valley after the dot.com bubble burst in 2001. Using the cheap housing situation they changed the Silicon Valley fundamentally coming in the hundreds of thousands. Before that the dominating foreign group were Indians. But today there are more Chinese in Silicon Valley. Only Mexicans are a larger ethnic group.
“More and more talent is moving over because China is really getting momentum in the innovation area,” said Ken Qi, a headhunter for Spencer Stuart and leader of its technology practice. “This is only the beginning.”
In Q2 2016 there was for the first time ever more venture capital money invested in Asia than in all of North America. So when they return they will find opportunities to start their own venture or join one. Also the success stories Alibaba, Tencent, Baidu and many others can offer interesting jobs and also pay well with their stock grants.
I think this could fundamentally change the influence in high-tech innovations away from Silicon Valley and towards China.
The Chinese coming home are called sea turtles hence the above pic. 🙂