Mon, Mar 25, 2002 - Page 17 News List

High-tech talent flows to China

By Annabel Lue  /  STAFF REPORTER

Human resource companies are concerned about the flight of high-technology professionals to China, a recent survey has shown.

"As an increasing number of professionals are choosing to work for Chinese ventures, high-tech recruiters say this may significantly impact the local high-tech sector's development," said Wayne Shiah (夏瑋), a spokesman at 1111 Manpower Bank, an online employment-search company.

The survey, conducted by 1111 Manpower Bank in early March, interviewed 176 human resource managers at 278 high-tech ventures.

Starting from early last year, major players in China have began sourcing high-tech talent from Taiwan with attractive salaries, he said.

"A mid-level manager's annual salary may increase by as much as NT$1 million when they jump from a local venture to a Chinese company," Shiah said.

Additional perks often include housing and a car, he said.

There are about 4,000 Taiwanese working for Chinese companies in Shanghai, Beijing and Tienjing. Most are mid-level managerial staff specializing in research and development, engineering and project planning.

"Their know-how and management experience makes them valuable," he said.

Chinese chipmakers are keen to attract Taiwan's experienced semiconductor professionals.

"During the second half of last year, a pair of major chipmakers in China attracted nearly 3,000 Taiwanese to their ventures," Shiah said.

The two firms -- Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (中芯國際集成電路) and Grace Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (宏力半導體) -- have management links to Taiwan businessmen.

Taiwan-based chipmakers are also recruiting large numbers of new employees.

United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電) recently held a series of job fairs in the Hsinchu and Tainan science parks, planning to hire more than 1,000 professionals.

Over the next few months, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電) plans to recruit about 2,500 employees, while chip-designer MediaTek Inc (聯發科技) may hire up to 150 new workers.

Another way to remedy the problem is to attract Chinese professionals to come to Taiwan, Shiah said.

"More than half of those in the survey said the government should ease regulations and allow more Chinese talent to come to Taiwan," he said.

Only Chinese that are married to Taiwanese can currently work in Taiwan, and most of them are hired by the service sector rather than the high-tech industry.

"The government should face reality and welcome high-tech professionals from China," Shiah said.

Local media also reported that in another survey, more than 80 percent of Taiwanese said they would like to get a job in China.

The survey of 14,664 Taiwanese by the 104 Job Bank, the largest online job recruiting service in Taiwan, showed that apart from the 17.2 percent who rejected the idea of getting a job in China outright, most other Taiwanese do not appear to mind the idea of working on the other side of the Taiwan Strait, the report said.

Slightly over 18 percent of respondents were actively seeking jobs in China, and in late January, some 1,000 Taiwanese, mostly masters-degree holders, went to Hong Kong for jobs at 75 Chinese companies, the report said.

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