China’s Greater Bay Area Hopes to Attract More “Tech Immigrants,” Allow Foreign Citizens to Found Tech Enterprises


The Guangdong province capital of Guangzhou has flagged the launch of trials to attract more foreign talent to its tech sector.

The Guangzhou municipal government recently approved the “Guangzhou Tech Innovation Regulations” (广州市科技创新条例), which call for the “establishment of special zones for international talent, and the undertaking of tech immigrant trials.”

The move comes following the release of the “Greater Bay Area Development Plan Outline” (粤港澳大湾区发展规划纲要) in 2019 by the Guangdong province government, which called for attracting more “tech immigrants” to the Pearl River Delta.

The Outline also called for “undertaking trials to allow innovative talent with foreign citizenship to enjoy equal treatment with Chinese citizens when founding tech enterprises.”

Analysts say the release of the new rules by the Guangzhou municipal government marks an acceleration of efforts to draw more foreign tech talent to the Greater Bay Area of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau.

“Guangzhou is the capital of Guangdong province and the core metropolis of the Greater Bay Area, and the inclusion of ‘tech immigrants’ in the rules is significant of real need when implementing talent development policies,” said You Aiqiong (游蔼琼), chair of the Guangdong Academy of Social Sciences Talent Development Research Centre (广东省社科院人才发展研究中心).

“At present the Greater Bay Area still lags significantly in terms of internationalised talent compared to Beijing and Shanghai.”