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Second-tier cities offer cheap housing to attract young talent

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“As the real estate bubble in top-tier cities started to deflate, second-tier cities saw the potential of a property boom by attracting these fresh graduates to come and buy houses.”

 

“They should think more about luring big enterprises to open offices there.”

 

These two comments (in Chinese) are examples of the critical attitudes of many internet users to the news (in Chinese) that second-tier cities in China are attempting to attract new college graduates across the country by offering preferential policies on household registration, property purchases, and entrepreneurship.

According to Sixth Tone, in order to compete with major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, which are popular job markets for Chinese graduates, smaller cities such as Wuhan and Nanjing have announced plans to lure not only high-tech talent, but the whole population of 8 million college students who are going to graduate next spring.

For example, Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province, promised no thresholds on household registrations for fresh graduates, with a goal to attract 1 million of them in the next five years. In Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province, about 3,600 “talent apartments” will be offered to graduates while a 20 percent housing discount is under consideration.

Though Chinese top-tier cities with their abundant job opportunities are traditionally attractive to fresh graduates, they are notorious for their sky-high housing prices and restrictive residence permit systems. A recent survey by two job-hunting platforms, Zhaopin 智联 and Liepin 猎聘, shows that more than 37.5 percent of graduates in 2017 expressed willingness to work in second-tier cities, compared with 29.9 percent for top-tier cities.


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Jiayun Feng

Jiayun was born in Shanghai, where she spent her first 20 years and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism at Fudan University. Interested in writing for a global audience, she attended the NYU Graduate School of Journalism for its Global & Joint Program Studies, which allowed her to pursue a journalism career along with her interest in international relations. She has previously interned for Sixth Tone and Shanghai Daily.