Chinese Startup Hubs Attract Taiwanese Youth

Chinese Startup Hubs Attract Taiwanese Youth
Photo Credit: Corbis / 達志影像

What you need to know

The Chinese government is using large incentives to recruit Taiwanese students in China and encouraging them to launch startups.

China’s continued efforts to attract Taiwanese talent through increasing startup hubs and incentives has led to many Taiwanese students in China questioning how the Taiwanese government intends to bring talent home.

In a forum held in Taipei and organized by the Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) on Aug. 11, many of the participants felt the Taiwanese government did not provide enough startup opportunities and resources for returning talent.

One of the participants, Chang Hsin-fang (張馨方), once worked with a group of Peking University students to start an education startup.

She told the United Daily News that the Chinese government provided the group with RMB 5 million (US$753,000) in funding for the project and another RMB 500,000 for living expenses.

When Chang returned to Taiwan and tried to find resources to start her own project, she was disappointed to learn that many of those around her who set up their own startups received funding from angel investors in the U.S.

“Why isn’t the Taiwanese government funding Taiwanese youth?” she asked.

UDN reports that China’s Taiwan Affairs Office has arranged visits for Taiwanese students to startup hubs in China and provides grants and funding for them to start their businesses, but the SEF does not.

Mainland Affairs Council Secretary General Lee Li-jane (李麗珍) said the Taiwanese government did not target Taiwanese students in China with its own startup incentives because it wants to encourage students to pursue higher education in Taiwan.

Young Entrepreneurs of the Future chairman Chen Ping-hung (陳炳宏) also said that many Taiwanese youth did not set high enough goals, and that many of them only wanted to start small eateries selling bubble milk tea, but that was not enough to take on the Chinese market.

Chen urges Taiwanese youth who are interested in setting up businesses in China to learn the way the Chinese think and to find the right platform to set up their business so that they can be successful.

First Editor: Olivia Yang
Second Editor: J. Michael Cole