The industrial Chinese coastal city of Wuxi is offering massive housing subsidies of up to 10 million yuan (£1.2 million) to attract Nobel prize winners in physics or chemistry and other science superstars, according to reports from Reuters. The move follows efforts over the last few years by other large cities in China to draw scientific talent from abroad through enticements like tax cuts for university graduates. In April, the average home prices in Wuxi were 14,224 yuan per square metre, or 1.28 million yuan for a 90m2 apartment, Reuters notes.
In January 2018, the Chinese government announced special fast-track, long-stay visas to attract ‘high level’ talent, such as elite researchers. Under these visas, an expat is recognised as top-tier talent in five days and then the visa can be issued within two days. Holders of these visas are allowed to stay in China for up to 180 days at a time, with multiple entries on a visa valid from five to 10 years.
In April 2018, Swiss scientist and chemistry Nobel laureate Kurt Wüthrich, who is known for developing nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy for determining the three-dimensional structure of biological macromolecules in solution, became a permanent resident of Shanghai. The following month, Dutch synthetic organic chemist Ben Feringa, another chemistry Nobel prize winner, was also granted a Chinese green card that conferred permanent residence.