Overseas returnees key to sustainable innovation

By Zhu Bochen
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, August 20, 2019
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Mao Daqing, founder of Ucommune, speaking at the 14th Beijing Forum of the Western Returned Scholars Association (WRSA) on August 17, 2019. [Photo courtesy of CCG]

Generations of Chinese students and scholars returning from overseas studies have contributed to the country's modernization, and are the key to promoting innovation and encouraging entrepreneurship in today's China. This was once again highlighted at this year's Beijing Forum of the Western Returned Scholars Association (WRSA). 

Hosted by the Center for China and Globalization (CCG), the forum features business leaders, entrepreneurs and experts with overseas educational background and work experiences, as well as policy makers from relevant government bodies such as the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security. 

In regard to the sustainable development of innovation, Mao Daqing, founder of Ucommune, a Beijing-based co-working space provider, stressed the great importance of science and technology. 

"In retrospect, every major technological advancement that shapes our world today is fundamentally related to the inventions that appeared during the period from 1870 to 1910 in major Western countries." Mao said. 

He warned that "a country would have no hope if it couldn't foster a business environment where innovation was respected, protected and encouraged." 

"Our talent development system should pay extra attention to those who work hard to come up with groundbreaking ideas," he added. 

Regarding the entrepreneurship of student returnees keen to start their own business, Huang Jin, CEO of Ambow Education, shared with the audience her experiences of switching from a chip designer in Silicon Valley to a distance education pioneer. "It is the passion that matters," she said. 

Huang also noted, "Just as important as a business environment that encourages entrepreneurship, fulfilling the spirit of a contract should be the prerequisite of all business activities." 

When asked about the significance of studying abroad, Huang replied, "Studying abroad is an opportunity for you to get familiar with all kinds of rules if you wish to participate in their games." 

"Do not lightly start your own business," she added; "but if you do, then never give it up easily." 

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