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Shanghai launches 20 policies to attract world-class talent

(sh-italent.com)Updated : 2016-11-04

Shanghai has issued a series of policies aimed at promoting science and technology innovation, and attracting overseas and domestic talents. 

The policies are aimed at being more innovative, competitive, flexible and scientific, and will play an important role in science innovation and industrial transformation. They will also lure talent to aid the construction of a globally-influential science and technology innovation center. 

Among the policies includes the mutual coordination project of Shanghai Free Trade Zone and Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone and a market evaluation and incentive mechanism.


The transition from the distribution of temporary residence permits to permanent residence permits has been a big talking point. The policy dictates that eligible overseas high-level talents can apply for the 5-year working residence permit (as noted “talent”) with no age limit. Applicants must have worked in Shanghai for three years and must receive a recommendation from his or her company. 


Foreign talents that have stayed in Shanghai for four successive years, live in China for no less than six months every year, have a stable job and living conditions and a salary and individual income tax in the standard bracket can apply for a permanent residence permit in China. The tentative salary and individual income tax standard bracket are 600,000 ($91,680) yuan and 120,000 respectively. 

The policies include preferential policies for overseas students in China. According to the policy, overseas students with master’s degree or higher can apply for the employment register and working residence permit, with the certificate issued by the Shanghai Free Trade Zone or Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone – pilot zones of the policy. 


Undergraduate overseas students or above who plan undertake a degree in Shanghai can apply for a two-year private affair residence permit (noted “startup”). If they are employed by a company during the startup, they can apply for a working residence permit according to the rules.

According to the policy, Shanghai could issue private affairs residence permit for foreign domestic workers who serve for overseas high-level talents or entrepreneurs that have permanent residence permits or working residence permits. The policy is seen as a great breakthrough compared with previous ones.

The policies also improve the Shanghai overseas talents residence permit system (residence card B). Foreign talents can apply to extend the residence validity based on different conditions, with a maximum extension of 10 years.

To attract domestic talents, Shanghai will promote score policies of residence permits, transition from temporary residence permits to Hukou (permanent residence permit) and direct Hukou registration. It further mentioned that talents in innovative, scientific and intermediary service industries can apply for Hukou registration within three years, and innovative investment management talents can shorten the time limit into two years.


Additionally, new policies allow people with a Shanghai residence permit to apply for all kinds of exit and entry certificates, at the convenience of people living in Shanghai without a local Hukou.

Aside from the mutual coordination project of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone and Zhangjiang National Innovation Demonstration Zone, a new offshore innovation and startup center for overseas talents will be constructed in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

Stock rights incentives are also an important policy for researchers. The policy aims to explore and improve stock right incentives and the employee’s shareholding system in state-owned enterprises. It seeks to motivate important science researchers and management staff through stockholdings and stock options in state-owned scientific and technological innovational enterprises.

The policies will improve stock option incentives and revenue distribution policies to enable entrepreneurs decide where to allocate research funding and how to transfer scientific research findings into business. No less than 70 percent of research finding revenue can belong to any one research team.


To support innovative and talented personnel, the policies encourage talents within the system (people who work in national institutions or state-owned enterprises) to research while remaining in employment. Researchers can leave their post to undertake research projects while receiving a base salary and enjoying the right of job title evaluation, post advancement and social insurance.

For talent training, Shanghai will set up a batch of leading subjects, recommend part of general universities to change into technical application universities and suggest some universities to change into entrepreneurial universities. It also explores joint admission enrollment and training system between universities and enterprises, to provide more supportive training to industrial talents.

A series of preferential policies were issued to encourage university students to engage in innovative undertakings. The policies include startup loan guarantees, a college students’ entrepreneurship fund, startup training and internships, tax reduction or exemptions and initial stat-up subsidies.


The policies also mentioned that the implementation of commercial system reform, including trial implementation of centralized registration and “one address, several business licenses” registration, largely lowered the startup costs and admittance threshold. The adoption of a one-station window, online application system and the combination of business licenses, organization code certificates and tax registration certificates has instilled convenience among entrepreneurs.

Shanghai will continue to promote public rental housing and encourage districts, industrial parks and enterprises to provide rent allowances for innovative talents.

In aspects of medicine and education, Shanghai will not only run schools for overseas people’s children, but also encourage and support them to study in normal schools in Shanghai.

Apart from all these, Shanghai will protect legal rights and interests, and provide intellectual property protection for science and technology researchers.