This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

September 3, 2014

Chinese Leaving Home

People migrate to countries and away from them for many reasons. Many Chinese who are in a position to do so are leaving their home country for "cleaner air, better schools and more opportunity". Though the Chinese government has launched a propaganda campaign and is watching this development closely, their current attitude seems to be accepting of this trend.

According to political scientist and author James To, there are three reasons. First, he believes "good [way] to showcase the growth of China [and] its rise around the world". Second, like immigrants from Mexico to the United States, the number of people working and investing abroad can contribute back to the Chinese economy. Finally, the Beijing government believes that after years of patriotic education, people leaving China to travel or work will "help to spread pro-Beijing ideas".

Apparently, the government has not limited the ability of its citizens to get a passport, nor has it made any attempt to close borders. Chinese nationals are responding by leaving in vast numbers. Last year alone, more than 100 million outbound travelers left for other places.

In fact, a recent survey conducted by the Shanghai research firm Hurun demonstrated that 64 percent of China's rich are either moving away or have plans to do so. (They define the rich as "those with assets of more than $1.6 million".)

Most of the tourists who do leave, return home to China. However, increasing numbers of college students and the wealthy are choosing to stay away forever.

While China's wealthy are fleeing "pollution, food safety, and a broken education system", some students from the United States and around the world are finding China a great place to learn through internships*. Unless and until China solves these serious challenges or the government decides to crack down on this exodus, we will continue to see increasing numbers of affluent Chinese leaving for greener pastures, cleaner air, and better schools. At the same time, we will see increasing numbers of students from all over the world, choosing to learn and grow in China.

* Sun Lucas Group is one of the companies soliciting US students to enjoy internships in China. For more information, visit

Special thanks to "The Wall Street Journal" for their valuable coverage of this growing issue.

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