US Grads Turn to China

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 11, 2009 5:41 AM CDT
Shanghai's large community of expatriate Americans is thriving as US unemployment figures top 10%.   (©huygens)
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(Newser) – Large numbers of American graduates shut out of the job market at home are turning to the East for opportunities, the New York Times reports. A surge of young Americans have left to try their luck in Shanghai and Beijing in recent years, attracted by the strong economy and the chance to jump a few rungs on the career ladder or make it as an entrepreneur without needing vast amounts of start-up capital.

"It's China’s fault that I’m still here,” said one Harvard grad who set up a thriving consulting firm for just $12,000. “It’s just so cheap to start a business.” Chinese employers, meanwhile, say their American hires provide a vital link to the Western world and bring leadership skills that can be hard to find among the Chinese. "In Chinese schools students are encouraged to be quiet and less outspoken," one exec explained. "It fosters a culture of listening more than initiating.”