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Hainan looking for 1 million new residents
Published on: 2018-05-16
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031Hainan is offering subsidised housing and fast track work visas as part of an ambitious campaign to attract 1 million new residents by 2025, as it seeks to become the new poster child for the country’s opening up and economic development.
 

With a current population of about 9.3 million, the southern province, which was recently chosen by President Xi Jinping to become China’s largest free-trade zone, is hoping to woo its first 200,000 newcomers by 2020, according to a plan released on Sunday by the provincial government.

Of the 1 million people it wants to attract by 2025, a “large number” will be foreigners, it said.

Hainan is looking for 1 million new residents by 2025 and is happy to pay to get them

Hainan is looking for 1 million new residents by 2025, and is happy to pay to get them

The island welcomes “qualified” technicians and other skilled people from around the world and across China – including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan – all of whom are invited to apply for permanent residency in Hainan for themselves, spouses and children, it said.
 

Hainan last saw a major influx of people – primarily from other parts of China – in the late 1980s when Beijing named it as a “special economic zone” and thousands of new jobs were created.

Many of the people who relocated to Hainan in the late 1980s packed up and went home in 1993 when the local property bubble burst

Many of the people who relocated to Hainan in the late 1980s packed up and went home in 1993 when the local property bubble burst.

But when a local property bubble burst in 1993, many of them packed up and returned home.
 

Under its new plan to attract talented workers, the Hainan government said any new arrivals would be exempted from the recent restrictions applied to property purchases.
 

For foreigners interested in making a temporary move to the island, the local authorities said that applications for work visas – valid for up to five years – would generally be completed within two days.

Authorities said applications for work visas for foreigners interested in making a temporary move to Hainan would generally be completed within two days

Authorities said applications for work visas for foreigners interested in making a temporary move to Hainan would generally be completed within two days

For Chinese citizens, the Hainan government will make it easier for desirable candidates – those with a university degree – to formally shift their permanent household registration documents to the island.
 

Among the financial incentives on offer is a 2,000 yuan monthly rent subsidy for anyone aged under 40 in possession of a master’s degree. The value drops to 1,500 yuan a month for newcomers with only bachelor’s degrees.
 

While authorities across China have long been keen to attract new people to their cities and regions, few have been as open as Hainan in laying out such specific targets and incentives.

Tourists line the waterfront at the Yudai Beach sceinic area in Boao Hainan Province

Tourists line the waterfront at the Yudai Beach sceinic area in Boao, Hainan Province

Apart from being a tourism destination, in recent years Hainan has mostly attracted retirees from northern China and property speculators. Its population rose by just 86,000 last year, a figure that included both new births and immigrants.

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