Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The US, China, and India Forum + Internships in Asia and What They Mean

The 2012 US, China, and India forum was held in August of 2012 from the 23-24. It was hosted by the Artisan Business Group, which is a group that assists small and mid-sized businesses in capturing opportunities in China.

Steve Anapoell was one of the organizers of the conference, which focused on the EB-5 regional center program and inbound Chinese investments through its EB-5 regional center program and direct EB-5 investment opportunities. The other founder of the group, Brian Su, can be seen speaking in the video below.

For those who are unaware, EB-5 visas are visas issued by the US government that essentially allow Chinese citizens to immigrate to the US if they invest a certain amount of money, typically a half a million dollars USD.

This form of "investment immigration" is becoming increasingly popular in our globalized world. Many wealthy Chinese opt to move to the US, Canada, or Australia, as each of these countries offers favorable investment immigration opportunities and a high quality of life. In fact, a statistic often tossed around is that more than 50% of home buyers in Vancouver in the year 2011 we overseas Chinese.

In Mandarin Chinese, the dialect spoken by most residents of Mainland China, Overseas Chinese are referred to as 华侨 (hua qiao) or 华人 (hua ren). It is an important distinction that there is a difference between such Overseas Chinese, who were likely born in China but emigrated overseas, and ABCs, or "American Born Chinese", who were raised in the US. For Canada, the abbrevation used is "CBCs", or "Canadian Born Chinese".

American Born Chinese are ethnically Chinese (typically of the majority Han ethnicity), but their relationship to Chinese culture differs depending on the socio-economic conditions in which the ABC was raised in. For example, you will encounter many ABCs who speak fluent Mandarin and who have maintained strong ties with Mainland China and its culture, and you will meet ABCs who are essentially amputated from Mainland Chinese culture, as it were.

Of course, in a highly globalized context, immigration is not merely limited to Chinese moving overseas. In fact, there are a number of students, young professionals, and even retirees who are moving overseas to China. According to the most recent data available, which comes from the Chinese Government's 2011 census, in 2011 there were nearly 600,000 foreigners living in China.

China has recently revised its visa laws to allow for greater migration flexibility for foreigners. While the public still waits to see how these laws are interpreted and enforced in local jurisdictions, the prevailing consensus is that these visa reforms will in fact make it easier for foreigners to obtain green cards in China.

Students in China

As more and more students travel to China, there is increasing competition for limited spots in universities and companies. Since 2008, which coincides with the global economic recessions, there has been relentless growth of students entering China. Attracted to China's dynamic rates of economic growth, or perhaps repelled by the sluggish economic state of western countries, American and European students have begun to travel to China to begin their careers.

Traditionally, senior level executives occupied most spots in China, but increasingly large numbers of millenials are taking internships in China to accelerate their careers. While an immigration scheme similar to the EB-5 does not yet exist, China is ever hungry for foreign investment and it is not unreasonable to surmise that a similar investment vessel might one day come into begin. It will likely be more restrictive, however, than the EB-5, as Beijing is concerned with preserving the Han ethnicity from dilution by other races. A China Internship is not the only way to grow a rewarding career, but for many millenials, it is looking like a better and better option. Sites like (, started by a former colleague, are emblematic of this growth.

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