China's 'new' first-tier cities compete to attract talent

Hu Yijing China Plus/China Daily Published: 2017-10-16 21:17:22
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Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen remain a major attraction for Chinese talent. However, a number of "new" members have been added to China's elite "first-tier city club," and have rolled out a slate of favorable policies to attract university graduates, reports Chinanews.com.

"New" members of China's elite "first-tier city club" have rolled out a slate of favorable policies to attract university graduates.[File Photo: VCG]

"New" members of China's elite "first-tier city club" have rolled out a slate of favorable policies to attract university graduates.[File Photo: VCG]

15 cities are now being counted as "new first-tier cities" in China.

Tier systems are widely used to classify Chinese cities.

While there is no official ranking system, cities in China are generally divided into four or five tiers, based on factors such as gross domestic product (GDP), population and level of political administration.

The cities of Chengdu, Hangzhou, Wuhan, Tianjin, Nanjing, Chongqing, Xi'an, Changsha, Qingdao, Shenyang, Dalian, Xiamen, Suzhou, Ningbo, and Wuxi have joined the "first-tier" cities in China, being elevated to the ranks of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, according to research by The Rising Lab, the big data project of Yicai Media Group, owner of Yicai Global. [File Photo: yicaiglobal.com]

The cities of Chengdu, Hangzhou, Wuhan, Tianjin, Nanjing, Chongqing, Xi'an, Changsha, Qingdao, Shenyang, Dalian, Xiamen, Suzhou, Ningbo, and Wuxi have joined the "first-tier" cities in China, being elevated to the ranks of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, according to research by The Rising Lab, the big data project of Yicai Media Group, owner of Yicai Global. [File Photo: yicaiglobal.com]

According to a new study from The Rising Lab, a subsidiary of Yicai Media Group (formerly the China Business Network), 338 Chinese cities have been assessed based on five criteria: concentration of commercial resources; the city as a hub; urban residents' activity; diversity of social life; and predictability for the future.

The rankings are as follows:

(1)4 first-tier cities:

Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen

(2)15 'new' first-tier cities:

Chengdu, Hangzhou, Wuhan, Tianjin, Nanjing, Chongqing, Xi'an, Changsha, Qingdao, Shenyang, Dalian, Xiamen, Suzhou, Ningbo and Wuxi

(3)30 second-tier cities

(4)70 third-tier cities

(5)90 fourth-tier cities

(6)129 fifth-tier cities

China's latest talent grab wave

Despite the booming urban development in China, Chinese graduates still have their eyes focused on traditional first-tier cities.

A survey carried out by Zhaopin.com, one of China's leading recruitment websites, shows only 37.5 percent of China's new university graduates in 2017 would hope to work in cities outside Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

However, these new graduates are now being actively sought after by China's 'new' first-tier cities. In an effort to attract them, these cities have been developing new policies and providing increased benefits which might appeal to new university graduates.

Though the policies vary from city to city, they generally focus on major issues that graduates care about, including preferential treatment for permanent residence, the hukou, as well as housing and government subsidies.

A job seeker checks in at a special hostel in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, on Aug 8, 2017. The special hostel can provide one week's free accommodation for job seekers from other places. [Photo: VCG]

A job seeker checks in at a special hostel in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, on Aug 8, 2017. The special hostel can provide one week's free accommodation for job seekers from other places. [Photo: VCG]

Chengdu: Free accommodation for job seekers

Municipal authorities in Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province, announced in August that the city plans to construct public apartments for young talent and provide rental housing in industrial areas. Companies are also encouraged to build housing for employees working in shifts.

The city has set up 20 special hostels since July which provide one week of free accommodation for job seekers from other places.

As for permanent residence, a new policy issued in July allows young talent with bachelor's degrees or above, as well as skilled workers who are employed at the same company over two years, to apply for their Chengdu hukou.

Job seekers look through information at a job fair in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, on Feb 28, 2017. [Photo: VCG]

Job seekers look through information at a job fair in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, on Feb 28, 2017. [Photo: VCG]

Hangzhou: Lump-sum graduate subsidy

In May, Hangzhou, the capital of east China's Zhejiang Province and host city of the 2016 G20 summit, issued a new subsidy program to attract fresh graduates with master's and doctoral degrees.

Those with master's and doctoral degrees can each get a lump-sum subsidy of 20,000 yuan and 30,000 yuan respectively if they work or start up their own business in Hangzhou within a year after graduation.

Job seekers at a job fair in Wuhan, Hubei Province, on Feb 11, 2017 [Photo: VCG]

Job seekers at a job fair in Wuhan, Hubei Province, on Feb 11, 2017 [Photo: VCG]

Wuhan: 20 percent discount on house purchases

Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei province, recently issued a series of steps that allow more graduates to buy or rent houses at prices 20 percent lower than market rates.

Wuhan will also provide more affordable houses and low-rent homes to recent graduates.

The city has also implemented a new policy to provide easier access to permanent residence.

Graduates with master's and doctoral degrees will no longer be limited by age to get their Wuhan hukou. Age limits for university graduates and vocational college graduates will be extended to 40 years old from the current limit of 30 years old.

A job seeker looks through information at a job fair in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, on April 22, 2017. [Photo: VCG]

A job seeker looks through information at a job fair in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, on April 22, 2017. [Photo: VCG]

Nanjing: Public rental houses, rental subsidies

Nanjing, the capital of east China's Jiangsu Province announced in July that some people will be eligible to apply for public rental houses measuring 30 square meters, or for rental subsidies ranging from 600 yuan to 1,000 yuan.

The qualified applicants include graduates with bachelor's degrees or above, overseas returnees, graduates of vocational colleges and self-employed university graduates.

Job seekers at a job fair in Changsha, Hunan Province, on April 12, 2017 [Photo: VCG]

Job seekers at a job fair in Changsha, Hunan Province, on April 12, 2017 [Photo: VCG]

Changsha: Generous living and housing subsidies

Significant subsidies are being offered in Changsha, capital of central China's Hunan Province. The city announced a provision in June to offer housing and living subsidies from 6,000 yuan (about $920) to 15,000 yuan per year for graduates with different types of degrees.

Those graduates with master's and doctoral degrees who work in Changsha can get 30,000 yuan and 60,000 yuan respectively when they purchase their first residence in the city.

Job seekers at a job fair in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, on May 13, 2017 [Photo: VCG]

Job seekers at a job fair in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, on May 13, 2017 [Photo: VCG]

Shenyang: Property deed tax-free, subsidies for first house purchases

Shenyang, the capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province, is providing subsidies ranging from 10,000 yuan (about $1,518) to 60,000 yuan (about $9,100) for graduates with bachelor's degrees or above who are buying their first home.

The city has also announced an exemption from the property deed tax for commercial residential house purchases. Qualified applicants include students and graduates from Shengyang's secondary vocational schools, colleges and universities.

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