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.
The nearly 40 years of reform have turned China from a small player in global trade and investment to the largest trading country in the world and the second largest source country for outward foreign direct investment. This chapter reviews the current state and changing patterns of Chinese outbound investment. Besides an overview of the landscape of China’s outbound capital flows, the chapter offers a nuanced qualitative account of the shifting investment patterns, looking into the driving forces behind these patterns. The chapter further discusses how the changing dynamics of investment are reflected in the key players, modes of entry, and destination countries.