Episode 33: Chinese Overseas Returnees (Hai Guis): Opportunities and Challenges

GGV Capital’s Hans Tung and Zara Zhang discuss the opportunities and challenges faced by Chinese overseas returnees (“sea turtles”, or 海归) who are interested in working in China’s tech industry. These are people who were born and raised in China, completed their high education outside of China or have worked overseas, and then have returned to China for opportunities. There has been a growing number of sea turtles in recent year as China’s tech economy boomed and the US immigration policies became less friendly to foreign talent.

We addressed questions including: What are the common pitfalls that sea turtle entrepreneurs run into? In an age where the premium of an overseas education is arguably declining in China, how can sea turtles make the most of their global experience? For aspiring sea turtle entrepreneurs, which verticals should they spend time on?

If you’re an aspiring or current Chinese overseas returnee, we have a special resource for you: we recently compiled a list of 10 Chinese books on tech & entrepreneurship in China that we recommend all sea turtles read before going back to China. These include books on China’s tech giants Tencent, Alibaba, JD, and Meituan, books on practical aspects of running a startup in China such as growth and marketing, as well as books on general Chinese business history. To read the book list, please follow GGV’s WeChat official account by searching “GGVCapital” in WeChat (or scan the QR code below) and then message the word “sea turtle” to that account. We also have a lucky draw for you: If you comment on that article with your story of coming back to China as a sea turtle before April 10th, you can enter a lottery to win a bundle of these 10 books, which will be mailed to you. We look forward to hearing your story.

GGV Capital’s official WeChat account

And, here’s a list of news outlets and resources that can help you stay in touch with what’s going on in tech in China.


ZARA ZHANG: Hi, everyone. On today’s show we wanted to talk about the topic of sea turtles, or Haigui 海归 which means overseas Chinese returnees. These are people who were born and raised in China, completed their higher education outside of China or have worked overseas, and then have returned to China for opportunities. There has been an increasing number of sea turtles in recent years as China’s tech economy boomed and the U.S. immigration policies became less friendly to foreign talent.

HANS TUNG: Actually, some of the most valuable Chinese tech companies were founded by Haigui 海归, and virtually every Chinese tech company has Haigui 海归 in their leadership. Examples include Robin Li 李彦宏of Baidu, Jean Liu 柳青 of Didi, Colin Huang 黄峥 of Pinduoduo, James Liang 梁建章of Ctrip, Lin Bin 林斌 of Xiaomi, Wang Xing 王兴 of Meituan, Zhang Tao 张涛of Dianping, Liu Zhen 柳甄at ByteDance 字节跳动, Charlwin Mao 毛文超 of Xiaohongshu 小红书, Wang Yi 王翌of Liulishuo 流利说, and the list goes on. And we’ve actually interviewed many of these people on our previous episodes, and I recommend everyone check this out if you haven’t.

ZARA ZHANG: So sea turtles face both opportunities and challenges when they come back to China. And indeed they’re more internationally minded than Chinese people who have never lived abroad. They speak better English and they can bring back practices from other parts of the world such as Silicon Valley. But they also face many challenges. Chief among those is a problem called Bu Jiediqi 不接地气 or not connected to the energy of the land. So Hans, what is your definition of Jiediqi 接地气?

HANS TUNG: Practically speaking China operates quite differently from the rest of world. So if you have been away from China for five to ten years, to go back and understand how grassroots people are, how things get done, that’s beyond what’s in the official guidebook. It requires someone who understands what’s going on in the land and what’s the energy of land. So Jiediqi 接地气 is a very common complaint that we hear levied against Haigui 海归 folks.

ZARA ZHANG: I actually encounter this question a lot from my other Haigui 海归 friends like how do I become more Jiediqi 接地气. Because once you have spent so many years abroad, when you come back you naturally just have English words pop up when you’re speaking Chinese, and that might create the impression that you’re just trying to act like you’re more Yangqi 洋气, or more westernized than the rest, when it’s just naturally the way you’re thinking or speaking. So how do you think practically Haigui 海归s can become more integrated into the local Chinese culture and crowd?

HANS TUNG: I think you and I both went through that period. I moved back to China in 2005, 2006. First of all I was born in Taiwan. I grew up in LA, went to school at Stanford, was an American citizen when I moved to China. China is not a place I’m most familiar with. And it’s very easy to use English words in my Chinese lingo every other sentence. It’s very easy to see that in order to become more Chinese I need to do more, which means including take trains to tier 3, 4 cities. You eat all kinds of funny food and be able to remember idioms and old Chinese sayings, read Chinese history books, to be able to recall lessons from the past, to show that you understand how this land works, and you know that China is a vast country with many differences across regions. The more you appreciate China as a collection of many different cities and regions, and know the differences, the more people respect you for understanding how to operate in this environment.

ZARA ZHANG: Yeah, I think that’s a really good piece of advice, because a lot of Haigui 海归s don’t realize how much they have missed out on by not being in China for a number of years. Because China develops so fast and has such a vast amount of history, so the people who stay here actually absorb a lot just by being here that you’re missing out on by virtue of not being here.

HANS TUNG: And it’s very easy to go to China with the attitude that you’re superior, you’ve seen how the West works, you know what’s the best practices from Silicon Valley or New York and you think that you’re better. But in China, since the growth is growing so fast, so much has changed, that your ability to adjust to that and then understand all the lingo is very difficult for someone who has been away, even as a mainlander, to be able to keep up. And the differences are so obvious to people who’ve been around in China, that it’s very hard to win the respect of people when you’re not fitting, or you’re not understanding or don’t appreciate how amazing this growth has been.

ZARA ZHANG: So what are some common pitfalls that you have seen Haigui 海归 entrepreneurs run into besides this hubris?

HANS TUNG: I think if I look at our portfolio companies, either as founders or as managers, people usually think that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. But in order to get buy in on different departments or different business partners to get something done, you’ve got to figure out what everyone’s own agenda is and find a common ground to make that work. Sometimes that could be conflicting goals and you have to figure out a way to figure out how to move everyone along. The ability to treat people nice, build that relationship, build that trust before you talk about business. It is not just a transaction, but people need to do you a favor so you do them a favor so they could do a favor back later. All that takes work and it doesn’t happen in the business center or in the office.

So in that respect China is no different than any other place you’re trying to make that work. At the same time, China is moving much faster than Silicon Valley and New York. Most people outside don’t realize that. Chinese companies 10 years ago were small and maybe one-twentieth of the size of U.S. companies. These days Chinese companies are similar in size to their U.S. counterparts, and China is the largest internet economy in the world with more consumers than anywhere else. So the speed of change, how these companies grow, look at ByteDance 字节跳动 , for example, the work schedule is five days a week plus one day a week and two weekends a month. And it’s normal. And the work schedule is 9 to 9, sometimes 9 to 12. So the pace of change, the pace of growth, how fast people iterate is much quicker.

In Silicon Valley and in New York we talk about processes. People agree before something gets done and that’s called planning. In China, just getting it done, just do it first, and then if you have a problem you fix it, you iterate, and move on. So you get more stuff done in a shorter period of time, even though the path is rougher, not as smooth, not as organized. But as a result you actually get more stuff, you’re actually more efficient in terms of productivity because you’re willing to spend more time and not talk about as much and iterate fast. The difference in style becomes very evident within a first week of anybody who comes back to take on a job.

ZARA ZHANG: In terms of the decision making process a lot of my friends in the Valley or in the U.S. ask me, should I stay at Google, or Facebook, or Uber, or should I go back to China?  And if I go back, when is the right time? In terms of this decision making what do you think should be the top considerations when these potential sea turtles are considering coming back?

HANS TUNG: I think it gets harder and harder to come back before you are ready. A lot of mainland Chinese students want to go to the U.S., work for a few years and gain some experience. But it is not that easy in the U.S. to gain a lot of experience in a short period of time. Because now Chinese companies like Alibaba and Tencent, each is worth somewhere around $300 to $400 billion market cap comparable to their counterparts in the U.S., it is going to be harder and harder to have a superior position in a Chinese company if you haven’t learned the chops in the U.S. And you’re actually going to rise faster in a Chinese company before. So I would actually argue that it’s important for Chinese students to come back to China as quickly as possible after just working in the U.S. for two, three years, and not worry about what they’re missing out. Just come back and acclimate themselves into the scene, and work hard and climb.

Trying to become someone who was more senior in the U.S. and then come back later is not that easy. You can make it work, but the odds of success actually get smaller the more time you spend in the U.S. in my opinion. Because with so much data available, Chinese innovations, Chinese capability has caught up. Now in the most cutting edge, the most interesting aspects of semiconductor technology, or AI, or machine learning, there are going to be exceptions. If you are really smart in the U.S., you have achieved a level of success in a short period of time in some very cutting edge stuff, you’re an exception to the rule. You can go back to China, accomplish something and expect a higher pay and bigger positions. But if you don’t stay on top within two, three years your utility will go down. What do you think, Zara?

ZARA ZHANG: I think there’s also the danger of just settling in. A lot of people in the Valley or in the U.S., after they stay there for three to four years, they start to think about things like green cards, buying a house, having a family in the U.S. It just becomes harder and harder to move around and consider moving to China. I guess in the 20s people are the most mobile in general. Beijing and China is just such a dynamic place that requires a lot of energy so I often recommend friends around me to go to China when they’re young.

HANS TUNG: You recently move back to China having spent four years at Harvard, prior to that three years in Singapore, and then with GGV the first year in Silicon Valley. What’s it like for you comparing the difference between Silicon Valley and Beijing?

ZARA ZHANG: The biggest difference is just everything multiplies. The amount of people you need to meet, the information you need to absorb, the deals you’re processing, just the sheer amount of stuff that you need to deal with just increases by a lot when you’re in Beijing. Because China is the world’s largest consumer internet market and Beijing is one of the most populous cities ever. So it is very energetic and dynamic and exciting. And I also really like this get things done attitude in China, and this focus on execution above everything else. Because if you don’t execute faster your competitors will. And for every new vertical that pops up it’s like several hundred companies competing for market share. The competition is just so brutal. And I feel one underappreciated aspect is that there are a lot of opportunities for Haigui 海归s interested in emerging markets outside of U.S. and China. So in the past it was more bridging U.S. and China, but more and more it will be bridging China and emerging markets. Because all of these markets are looking to China for business models and lessons.

HANS TUNG: I see the difference between Silicon Valley and the U.S. Typically it is a difference of one to two. For every meeting you have in Menlo Park, in China you can easily have double the number of meetings, which is more people to meet and more people want to meet. Then you touched on the point that more and more founders are coming to China to learn. We actually noticed that as early as 2011, 2012 there were a lot of founders from India that came. These are amongst the very best VCs in India. Since then, in 2013 and 2014, we see a lot of founders, and to a lesser degree some VCs from Southeast Asia that came. And then fast forward to 2016, 2017, we start seeing founders and VCs from Latin America, specifically Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, come to China.

And it’s very interesting to see other emerging markets, sizable domestic markets with rising middle class, lots of urbanization, growing economy, or an economy in transition with volatility, come to China to learn more how Chinese companies have dealt with those issues, and took advantage of those issues and solved some societal problems over the last decade. And increasingly China is a place, especially Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, and to some Hangzhou, these are the four cities you have to go and visit in order to see how Baidu, Ali, Tencent, WeChat, Pinduoduo, Xiaomi, JD, Meituan, Didi, all these companies operate. And it’s just fascinating.

We start seeing more and more Chinese companies, many of them I mentioned earlier, to expand their business beyond China, whether through strategic investments, JVs, or direct operations. We are seeing more and more startups from China having their first market outside of China now, leveraging their experience in China to build a lot of apps, for example, for the Indian market. There is increasingly more need for a Haigui 海归 to play a role. So I think the sooner Haigui 海归 come back to China when they’re younger, when they don’t have the burden of family, the more they can do and make an impact.

ZARA ZHANG: I have also felt that the premium of being a Haigui 海归 in China has somewhat decreased over the past few years. One, because there are so many of us. The number of Chinese students who study abroad increases, and the number of Haigui 海归s also naturally increases. And because the immigration policies in the U.S. have become less friendly to foreign talent a lot more are coming back today. It used to be that, oh, at least you graduated from one of the top U.S. schools or you have worked at Google, Facebook, Airbnb, you’re considered automatically superior to your Chinese equivalent, but that’s no longer the case. Because you’re actually missing out on a lot of the local Dafa 打法, like how things get done in China. You don’t actually understand the Chinese consumer market. Do you agree that the premium of being a Haigui 海归 has decreased and how we can best leverage our international experience in that context?

HANS TUNG: Yeah, that’s a great question. If I look at the numbers, back in 2006, the number of Chinese undergrads in the U.S. was only 10,000. That’s not including the graduate students, just the undergrads. So it’s a lot smaller. Ten years later in 2016, that number went up by 14x to 142,000. If you factor in the size of the graduate students to the group, back in 2016 there were roughly 250,000 Chinese students in the U.S., roughly one-third of all foreign students. So you have that kind of pool of students to go into the workforce in the U.S., and eventually come back to China. That’s a big talent pool of Haigui 海归. But to your point, has the premium being Haigui 海归 gone down? Yes. Because like I mentioned earlier, the Chinese way of doing things is do it first, then you adjust later.

Planning is important, but not as important as getting stuff done, because you’re in a growing economy and you’re in market that’s expanding. It doesn’t matter how you plan, you will know more about the result of your action if you do it first and then adjust very quickly. You become more productive that way. In the U.S. because the market is more saturated and everything you do could be quite destructive to established vested interests, you have to plan and think harder about what you’re doing in order to get some things done, because the market is not growing as a whole.

But China is different. There’s so many things that’s broken, so many things offline that’s not working. You are better off trying things, trying hypothesis, throw it out and get feedback in order to move forward and adjust. And that way of doing is what people in China are used to, from schools, from working in the workforce for the first few years after college. If you don’t have that kind of pace, clock speed, and approach ingrained in you, you’re going to stick out as a sore thumb very quickly as a Haigui 海归. And so how do you navigate and get stuff done so you can leverage your friends, your contacts, your professional network, your alumni base to quickly get these things done? You can’t hide that. It becomes very obvious in the first week, two weeks of the job that the Haigui 海归 will operate at much slower speed, much less efficiently than their counterparts who have been in China the whole time and didn’t leave.

If you go out for a professional degree, whether it’s at Stanford, Berkeley or the East Coast, the sooner you come back the better. And when you come back, how can you leverage what you’ve seen outside to make a difference? Well, helping Chinese companies to expand overseas, dealing with foreign business partners. These are easily areas that when you can speak better English and understand the culture outside of China better, you can add value. For most of the schools the Chinese mainland students go to the U.S. or elsewhere outside of China, there are many students from other countries, other emerging markets who will want to learn more about China. So while you’re outside as a Haigui 海归 you should build more relationships beyond people who are just Americans or other Chinese. Get to know people from Southeast Asia, from Latin America, from India, from Africa, from Middle East.

The more you’re willing to engage people of other races the more it helps you to work with them once you go back to China. So that’s the first thing that people should do. The second thing is, and I will probably be more frank on this. It is not easy, it is not as natural to figure it out for people to work in teams in general. So how do you, in a new work environment, figure out a way to build a team and work well with a team, so that as a team you actually can get more stuff done than in the collection of individuals. It is something that you get to learn when you are a student at Stanford, or Berkeley, or Harvard or other elite institutions. Many of the projects these days are done in teams. And there’s many extracurricular activities in sports and other things that you can do that work in teams. The more you learn how to work in teams, the more you learn how to become a leader in teams, the more you can effective you can be when you come back to China as a Haigui 海归. Those are the two things that are more general.

And specifically, before you go out, figure out what China needs help on, whether it is machine learning, or AI, or semiconductor, or whatever the specific areas. If you happen to have an interest in that when you’re outside of China, learn more about the best practices so that when you come back you can apply some professional knowledge that people in China just haven’t had exposure to. Those are the three ways I can think of for Haigui 海归 to add value while they’re out and be able to do more when they come back.

ZARA ZHANG: Yes, definitely. So when it comes to younger Haigui 海归 founders that have become successful such as Charlwin Mao of Xiaohongshu, and Wang Yi of Liulishuo and others, what do you think they did right?

HANS TUNG: I think first of all, all these are just very smart individuals and they learn extremely quickly. So if they learn from multiple disciplinary fields, education, technology, product, sociology, just more they see it, helps them to come up with ideas and approaches that other people don’t have. If I take Charlwin as an example, when he first went to Jiaoda 交大in Shanghai for college, that’s the first time he ever took an airplane, got on an airplane ride. And that’s when he was 18. Fast forward 10 years later, he has been to 100 different countries already. His transformation as someone who is a Tubie 土鳖 , who came from the ground when he was 18, to someone who becomes a Haigui 海归 10 years later, that transformation is remarkable. His own personal transformation epitomizes the kind of transformation and globalization many Chinese consumers in the tier 1 and selected tier 2 markets. So he acutely is aware what his consumers are going through, and be able to relate, and give them things that inspire them to want more.

With Liulishuo, with Wang Yi, his Google training helped him to figure out how to, using algorithm and technology, solve a traditional education problem. And that’s multidisciplinary in nature. And when he started Liulishuo it wasn’t obvious that leveraging algorithm alone can solve the common problem of developing better English accent, and know what to say in interviews and in a lot of life settings. ByteDance 字节跳动wasn’t as successful as today so it wasn’t obvious that based on algorithm alone you can make a lot of improvements and changes in consumers. But as early as Zhang Yiming 张一鸣 at ByteDance 字节跳动 to take that approach and apply that to a real problem. How to take tens and hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers and turn them to better English speakers. So it is just very interesting how both of them coming from different backgrounds leveraged their life experiences in a way that fits the next wave of where China’s going.

ZARA ZHANG: So in terms of founding startups, what are some areas where you think Haigui 海归s have an advantage over non-Haigui when it comes to either starting companies or working at companies? Which tracks or verticals should they consider?

HANS TUNG: I think the most obvious one these days is Chuhai 出海, or Chinese companies go global. As the population dividend or the mobile internet user dividend from China has decreased, there’s already 800 million smartphone users in China on a population of 1.4 billion. Sure, another 120 million more people could go online but the bulk of the growth has slowed down. And a lot more apps are competing for user time as well. So you can still build interesting consumer companies or apps in China, but a chance of that has gone down. Yet China has gone through over the last 18 years, and throughout the history of GGV, it has gone through a four or five different generation of startups already.

That knowledge accumulated over four or five generations are incredibly useful in other places such as India, that are only starting to experience 4G in the last two years. This is why when you look at the leaderboard of top apps in India, more than 50% come from China, at least as of now. That may not be sustainable. That percentage will definitely go down as the Indian founders get better, and smarter, and more experienced, and they’re extremely quickly which they all do. So for the time being Haigui 海归 can definitely add more value in companies from China that’s expanding overseas. Many Chinese founders have not lived in India, have not lived in Southeast Asia before. So if you have a Haigui 海归 who’s more familiar with these regions, already made friends where there were studying, friends from these two regions, he can definitely help out immediately.

ZARA ZHANG: And I would actually encourage all Chinese students or professionals in the U.S. to actively stay in touch with what’s going on in China. There are a lot of resources these days, and we actually have the benefit of being able to access not just the English resources, but also the Chinese resources. I spend a lot of time just reading tech news in Chinese, reading Chinese business books, history books, understanding contemporary China and also the past. Because I think being from China is really an advantage today. It’s quite lucky to be able to speak one of the world’s hardest languages and have the cultural affinity to the world’s most populous nation, and also the largest internet economy. I think there are a lot of opportunities that come with having this background and we should really make the most out of it by doing something that’s at least related to China. You don’t have to be in China. But I think even if we stay in the U.S. there are just a lot of opportunities to work on China related things.

HANS TUNG: I can see Haigui 海归 in their 20s move to Singapore or Jakarta, spend time in Southeast Asia, or move to Bangalore, Mumbai, or even go to Latin America like Sao Paulo, Mexico City and work. Because the knowledge that one gets from all those different WeChat official accounts, from all the different Chinese apps out there about what’s happening in China are incredibly useful to founders in these emerging markets. So the more Haigui 海归 can play the role of bridge between China and the rest of world, the more value they can generate as they get more experienced.

ZARA ZHANG: So make friends from Southeast Asia, or make friends from Brazil, or India. I think one of the best assets of going to a U.S. college with a lot of diversity is you got to make friends with people that you wouldn’t have met otherwise. And that’s really a huge asset 10 years down the road. Maybe not immediately, but in the far future maybe you’ll do business with someone you met in school. Who knows?

HANS TUNG: I was young once. I’m much older today, but I was young once. And it’s very easy to have this desire to compare with your college buddies to see how successful, or who got what promotion, who got a salary increase, and so forth. It’s very easy to keep a scorecard, because that’s what people are used to doing. And everybody who is a high achieving student did well in entrance exams, did well in school applications. But one has to think of playing a long game. If I look at my own career, the first 10 years was a lot of different things that had lateral movements, but not a lot of vertical jumps. But the next 10 years I did so much more because I had a preparation for the first 10 years. And it’s very difficult for anybody to take a 10 or 20 year view of their career.

I know that China’s growth was one of amongst the most biggest stories in the last 20 years. When you have farming people that went from countryside into cities, there’s not that kind of growth trend that happened anywhere else. Yet, we all think, at GGV we definitely know that China’s model is very exportable to other places. It will be localized, it will be changed, it’ll be innovated upon, but the base, the foundation of what happened in the last 20 years, are incredibly valuable to founders who want to make a difference in their own emerging market over the next 10 to 20 years. If the Haigui 海归s are patient and willing to engage, reach out, learn, share, and get everyone to play better as a winning team, there’s just so much that can be done between China and the emerging markets around the world. So I highly encourage everyone to take a more long term view to their career and their life.

ZARA ZHANG: So in terms of where Haigui 海归s can add value I generally see two paths. One is to help Chinese companies go global, and the other is to help global companies enter China. I think recently, I increasingly get the sense that helping Chinese companies go global is a lot more practical path or has a higher chance of being successful. What do you think?

HANS TUNG: I think it’s difficult for someone in Silicon Valley, in San Francisco, or London, Berlin, New York to understand what’s happening in China. So helping international companies expand in China is not an easy thing. It’s very hard to understand China when you’re not here in China. So if I look at our experience working with Airbnb we have been impressed with how much support the leadership of Airbnb in San Francisco were willing to provide, and what a great job the Airbnb China team led by Tao has done over the last just under one year, with some foundation laid by the earlier team. But it has not been an easy path. Yet in the last three years you see that a material portion of top apps in India come from China. So the ability of Chinese companies and apps to make a difference in oversea markets in the short term is much greater. So if I were a young Haigui 海归 in their 20s, I would spend time helping Chinese companies go abroad first.

ZARA ZHANG: And we at GGV actually have a lot of resources and programming for Haigui 海归s or Chinese students and professionals who are living overseas. So recently we organized a program called GGV fellows which is designed for sea turtles to get reacclimated to Chinese startup ecosystem and business environment. So during a program we had 34 global minded young leaders who came to Beijing and completed a one-week intensive training on tech and entrepreneurship in China. So our 34 fellows were carefully selected from over 400 qualified applicants, and they come from top institutions from around the world. The most well represented schools were Harvard, Stanford, MIT, and Berkeley. And many of them are working at Silicon Valley tech companies such as Google, Facebook, Uber and Apple. And all of them are native speakers of Chinese or equivalent, and are fascinated by the rise of Chinese internet sector over the past decade. So during the program we brought the fellows to visit the headquarters of eight Chinese unicorn Internet companies, and also heard from 21 founders or executives who shared lessons on what it’s like to start and run companies in China. Our speakers came from some of the most valuable internet companies in China, including ByteDance 字节跳动 , Didi, Xiaomi, Xiaohongshu 小红书, Kuaishou 快手 , Face++, Zuoyebang 作业帮 , Liulishuo 流利说, Keep. Hello Chuxing 哈罗出行, and others.

HANS TUNG: Many of them are GGV portfolios.

ZARA ZHANG: During these closed door sessions the speakers shared not just tips for success but also candid stories of failures and pitfalls that they ran into on their startup journey. So the program is like a lightweight MBA on all things related to China’s tech ecosystem. So Hans, you have interacted with some of the fellows. What was your impression of both the fellows and what they took away from the program?

HANS TUNG: I think when you and I first talked about this idea we have seen fellowship work. At Stanford the oldest VC fellowship to get qualified at Stanford for students to work in startups was the Mayfield Fellowship that happened in the 90s. And since then many of the U.S. VC have started fellowship of their kinds. And in China I think ZhenFund was the pioneer for China in this area as well. When you and I talked about this we increasingly realized that there are just so many Haigui 海归s who could do more in the China setting if they have a better way to bridge them back. And since we have the portfolio companies that are doing well, and many of them employ Haigui 海归, we thought it would be a good way to connect the two resources.

And I gave you and Erica Cai a lot of credit for making this work and putting this together. So kudos to all of you. For GGV, I think having a chance to give a talk to those fellows and meet them in person and have a couple of them at our podcast just confirmed that there’s a lot of talent out there who are multicultural, multidisciplinary. If we can help them to do more, connect with more people who are similar minded, we think that magic will happen, and it will be good for society when more productivity and creativity could happen as a result. So love it.

ZARA ZHANG: And we are going to continue this program in the future. It will likely be an annual program. So in January each year during the winter break of major universities. And if you’re interested in our future events you can join our 996 community by visiting 996.GGVC.com and all of our events and initiatives will be announced there.

HANS TUNG: For the first year it has more of a U.S.-China bent. I think over time we highly encourage qualified applicants apply from Southeast Asia, from India, from different parts of Europe, or even Africa or Middle East, because we want this to be more global and help to connect qualified Haigui 海归s to connect with others from different regions. And over time we probably will expand it. We encourage other ethnic groups to take the time to learn Chinese so that they can participate in a program like this and get an accelerated path to connect with this community. We think that the world should be more about connection, connecting in order to foster more creativity and productivity.

ZARA ZHANG: And in terms of resources we recently compiled a list of 10 Chinese business books on tech and entrepreneurship in China that we recommend all sea turtles read before going back to China. These include books on China’s tech giants, Tencent, Alibaba, JD, and Meituan. Books on practical aspects of running a startup in China such as growth in marketing, as well as books on general Chinese business history. To read the book list please follow GGV’s WeChat official account by searching GGV Capital on WeChat, and the message the word sea turtle to that account. We also have a lucky draw for you. If you comment on that article with your story of coming back to China as a Haigui 海归 before April 10th, you can enter a lottery to win a bundle of these 10 books which will be mailed to you. We look forward to hearing your story. And I also have an article on a list of news outlets and resources that can help you stay in touch with what’s going on in tech in China, which I’ll include in the show notes.

HANS TUNG: Excellent, thank you.

ZARA ZHANG: On the next episode you’re going to hear from two of our fellows themselves, on why they came to the program and what they took away from it. Stay tuned, and thanks for listening.HANS TUNG: Thank you all. Thanks for listening to this episode of 996.