For a decade until 2018, China sought to recruit elite foreign-trained scientists under a lavishly funded program that Washington viewed as a threat to U.S. interests and technological supremacy.
Two years after it stopped promoting the Thousand Talents Plan (TTP) amid U.S. investigations of scientists, China quietly revived the initiative under a new name and format as part of a broader mission to accelerate its tech proficiency, according to three sources with knowledge of the matter and a Reuters review of over 500 government documents spanning 2019 to 2023.
The revamped recruitment drive, reported in detail by Reuters for the first time, offers perks including home-purchase subsidies and typical signing bonuses of 3 to 5 million yuan, or $420,000 to $700,000, the three people told Reuters.
China operates talent programs at various levels of government, targeting a mix of overseas Chinese and foreign experts. The primary replacement for TTP is a program called Qiming overseen by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, according to national and local policy documents, online recruitment advertisements and a person with direct knowledge of the matter who, as with others, spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the issue’s sensitivity.