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Fei Qin

This chapter examines how social processes affect the return migration of Chinese engineers in the US. The study finds that a mixture of opportunities and constraints in China often leads engineers to return for technology entrepreneurship. In contrast to the conventional wisdom that the migration of skilled personnel is a highly individualized process, this study finds that return migration is often a group process instead. Returnees draw heavily upon co-ethnic ties that have been established during migration. In addition to interpersonal ties, various types of voluntary associations serve as important intermediaries between migrant communities and those in China. The results of this study shed new light on the enabling mechanisms of circular migration and returnee entrepreneurship.