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Why Wuxi is the new magnet for young Chinese talent

Updated : 2021-11-15
(The Wall Street Journal)

Young talents in China are no longer focused on flocking to first-tier cities. Today, enjoying a well-balanced life has become increasingly important for young Chinese, taking into account factors like the cost of living and the environment as well as development opportunities. Wuxi, located in the center of the Yangtze River Delta, is becoming a top destination for young Chinese talent day by day.

Speaking of Wuxi, people associate it with rich Wu culture, beautiful landscapes, well-developed industry and commerce. Wuxi local cuisine stands out with its sweet flavor, and the city is a delight for foodies. In the first three quarters of 2021, Wuxi's regional GDP exceeded US$156.3 billion (¥1 trillion), putting it in the forefront of mainland China in terms of per capita GDP.

After earning a master's degree in computer science from Northeastern University in Boston, Huang Ziwei accepted an offer from Wuxi IoT (Internet of Things) Innovation Promotion Center in 2019. "My classmates are more willing to join domestic internet giants," she says, "but Wuxi's Youth Talent Selection Program attracted me with a broader development space and helped me transfer from the Internet sector to the IoT field," adding that Wuxi has great potential to tap into the future development of IoT.

In her spare time, she enjoys theater, and Wuxi Grand Theater is one of her favorite places. In her view, Wuxi is a city where one can live leisurely and slowly as well as follow trends. "The repertoire on show here is very new," she says, "and there are sometimes special offers for these performances, which are much cheaper than those in big cities. With its convenient transportation system, I can also get to big neighboring cities like Shanghai, Hangzhou and Nanjing within an hour."

Han Qian, a 2019 graduate of Heidelberg University, also joined the Wuxi International Cultural Exchange Center through the Wuxi's Youth Talent Selection Program. This year, she bought an apartment in Wuxi. She says that, despite substantial price increases in the past few years, Wuxi's housing prices are still relatively affordable for young people.

In 2020, the news of Warm Wuxi went viral on China's social networking platform. It reported the special measures taken by Wuxi during the epidemic prevention and control period to facilitate the departure of older travelers who don't use smartphones at Wuxi Railway Station, where Wuxi had arranged a special passage for them, a reflection of the warmth and kindness associated with the city.

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