China has made a “mistake” of ignoring science and technology experts from India, Chinese official media said on Friday, underlining that the Communist giant should attract high-tech Indian talent for maintaining its innovation ability. “China has made the mistake of ignoring Indian talent, and instead has attached a greater importance to talent coming from the US and Europe,” an article in state-run Global Times said.
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“China has perhaps not been working hard enough to attract science and technology talent from India to work in the country,” the tabloid daily from the group of ruling Communist Party of China which has been carrying articles critical of India almost on daily basis in recent months said in a rare positive write-up. “Over the past few years, China witnessed an unprecedented boom in tech jobs as the country became an attractive destination for foreign research and development centres.”
“However, now some high-tech firms are turning their attention from China to India due to the latter’s relatively low labour costs. Attracting high-tech talent from India could be one of China’s options for maintaining its innovation ability,” it said. Referring to reports that US-based software firm CA Technologies has disbanded its almost 300-person research and development team in China while setting up a team in India with some 2,000 scientific and technical professionals over the past few years, it said, “with a sufficient young talent pool, India is becoming increasingly attractive.”
“China cannot afford to risk a decline in its attractiveness for high-tech investors. The nation is among the third echelon in cutting-edge technology fields and is working to catch up with the US and the result of its efforts will decide whether China will maintain its status as an emerging global economic power,” it said. China in recent year boosted the budget for technological innovation by allocating billions of dollars of incentives for start-ups and research firms as it witnessed decline of its labour force due to rapid increase in old age population.
China has carried out a lot of measures, including increasing research spending and creating a favourable investment environment for high-tech firms, to enhance its innovation capability. “However, one issue has become increasingly prominent: The talent pool in China is not large and flexible enough to meet demand for the rapid expansion of innovation capability,” the article said.
“In Silicon Valley, a considerable number of software developers working there are born outside the US. China should also strive to attract more foreign talent into the country as it aims to build itself into a world-class research hub,” it said. “A total of 1,576 foreigners were granted Chinese permanent residence in 2016, registering an increase of 163 per cent from the previous year. It seems that China is aware of the importance of tapping into international talent,” it said.
“Some reports claim that the cost of employing an Indian engineer is just half the cost of hiring a Chinese worker, which means Indians could see their revenue more than double if they came to work in China,” it said. “Some enterprises in Southwest China’s Guizhou Province provide convenience for Indian talent in terms of housing, insurance and transportation and could enjoy a much better standard of living in Guizhou cities than in Bangalore,” it said.