Guangzhou city in Guangdong province has announced that it will provide new funding to support overseas talents involved in 30 entrepreneurship programs annually from 2018 to 2022.
The new policy was announced in reaction to suggestions the municipal government received regarding its "Kapok Plan", a new initiative designed to encourage overseas talents to start businesses in Guangzhou.
Overseas talents are defined as both Chinese citizens who have spent time studying or working abroad, and highly-skilled foreign workers and students. The Chinese government has been making increasing efforts to attract these highly valuable individuals to relocate to China to support its drive to modernize industry and stimulate innovation in China.
Based on the suggestions, Guangzhou will select 30 innovative entrepreneurship projects each year to receive funding: 20 projects that display a high level of technological innovation (A class), and 10 projects that use innovative business models (B class).
A-class projects will be awarded 2 million yuan ($294,021) in start-up funding, while projects listed as B class will receive funding of 1 million yuan.
Half the money will be handed over after the projects pass through a government review in the first year, and the rest will be paid after a second-year assessment. Those that have received Series B Financing will be awarded maximum funding of 1 million yuan.
The A and B-class projects will also be provided with free 1,000-square-meter and 500-square-meter work spaces respectively in government-designated business parks, which can be used as production areas or office space.
Those projects that decide to rent space in other parks will be entitled to a subsidy of up to 35 yuan per square meter per month for three consecutive years.
Guangzhou will also speed up construction of entrepreneurship parks as part of the Kapok Plan. Entrepreneurship projects selected to join the National High-Level Overseas Talent Innovation and Entrepreneurship Base will be granted funding of 1 million yuan.
The A-class projects will be given further support in the form of a 50 percent subsidy on interest for loans of less than 10 million yuan for the first two years, in accordance with the benchmark interest rate. The B-class projects can receive a 50 percent subsidy on interest for loans less than 5 million yuan over the same time period.
Overseas talents taking part in the Kapok Plan can also apply for "talent green cards", which will ensure them the same rights and services as Chinese citizens, meaning they can buy property and cars and their children can gain places at public schools. Those with talent green cards are also able to register a business without needing to provide other supporting materials.
The returnees will enjoy a 100,000 yuan housing allowance, as well as a number of preferential tax exemptions.
About overseas talents:
Overseas talents refer to elite professionals who used to study, work or live in overseas countries and now have moved to China, as well as foreigners studying in China, overseas students with bachelor's degrees or above in foreign students with master's degree or above in Chinese universities, and overseas Chinese traveling universities, skilled professionals working in large companies and universities abroad, foreign or living abroad.