Chinese city offers US$1.5 million for housing to Nobel Prize winners

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Chinese city offers US.5 million for housing to Nobel Prize winners

The industrialized Chinese coastal city of Wuxi is offering Nobel Prize winners up to 10 million yuan in housing subsidies to attract top talent in a national economy that is shifting towards innovation-driven development.

In recent years, China’s major cities, including burgeoning tech hubs in the country’s countryside, have rolled out incentives such as tax breaks for college graduates in a fierce competition for talent to boost their respective economies.

Among the incentives, the main ones are subsidies for renting or buying houses in cities where property prices have soared and housing expenses consume a large part of individual income.

Home purchase subsidies ranging from 3 million yuan to 10 million yuan ($7.6 million) offered by two Wuxi districts for “Category A” talent, including Nobel laureates in physics and chemistry, are among the highest in the country, according to a statement by the local government on Wednesday (11).

Subsidies are generous compared to the average home value in the city. On average, home prices in Wuxi were 14,224 yuan ($10,810) per square meter in April, or 1.28 million yuan ($970,000) for a 90-square-meter apartment.

“Some other cities have also given subsidies for home purchases, but the maximum amount is usually 2 million to 5 million yuan,” said Yan Yuejin, research director at Shanghai-based E-house China and Development Institute.

A district in the southwestern city of Chongqing took action last week to reward high-profile talents who have made extraordinary contributions of up to 10 million yuan in subsidies for home purchases.

Talent acquisition programs took off in 2017, as inland cities including Xian and Chengdu presented themselves to highly skilled workers as exciting alternatives to premier coastal cities.

Xian, which is trying to transform itself into a Silicon Valley in northwest China, has offered subsidies for home purchases of up to 1 million yuan, while the industrial hub of Wuhan, in the center of the country, has attracted graduates with double-digit discounts for rent. or buy houses.

Translated by Luiz Roberto M. Gonçalves

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