Taiwan bans recruitment for jobs in China to combat brain drain

The Nikkei Asia has reported that Taiwan has told staffing companies to remove all listings for jobs in China to prevent the outflow of vital tech talent to the mainland. More specifically, the Labor Ministry said that all Taiwanese and foreign staffing companies on the island may no longer post openings for jobs located in China – especially those involving critical industries such as integrated circuits and semiconductors.

Recruitment platforms and headhunters are also barred from helping or representing any company in efforts to hire individuals for work in mainland China. Violators face fines from the ministry and (according to a notice) “if the recruitment involves semiconductors and integrated circuits, the penalty will be even higher.”

The new rules also apply to Taiwanese businesses such as iPhone assemblers Foxconn and Pegatron that have massive manufacturing bases in China. According to one job board spokesperson, such companies will “have to remove all of their job listings on the platform first, and then put them back on under their Chinese subsidiaries, which are already approved by Taiwan’s Investment Commission for operating in China.”

The Nikkei Asia went on to note that:

  • More than 100 employees have been hired from top global chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. by Chinese state-backed chip projects Quanxin Integrated Circuit Manufacturing (Jinan), better known as QXIC, and Wuhan Hongxin Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (HSMC), though the latter has been terminated.
  • Leading Chinese smartphone makers Xiaomi and Oppo have recruited semiconductor veterans from Taiwan’s MediaTek, the world’s second-largest mobile chip developer, to boost their own chip ambition.
  • Luxshare-ICT, the top Chinese contract electronics maker that hopes one day to challenge Foxconn, has lured talent from Foxconn and metal casing supplier Catcher Technology.

Taiwanese prosecutors also allege that China’s Bitmain Technologies, the world’s leading cryptocurrency mining chip developer, illegally lured more than 100 engineers in Taiwan to boost its artificial intelligence prowess.

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