Pudong's innovative youth station empowers talent integration in Shanghai

english.shanghai.gov.cn| May 10, 2024

Finding a place to live before starting a new job can be tough for new graduates, especially those who aspire to find their feet in Shanghai but worry about the high living costs. However, this is not a problem anymore in Pudong New Area as Pudong has launched the “Dream Hut - Youth Station” program to woo global high-end talents.

As part of the program, the "Pudong International Talent Station", located on Lane 99, Kenong Road in Pudong New Area, serves as a platform for attracting international talents to work and start businesses in Pudong.


 The public leisure area for entrepreneurs at the Pudong International Talent Station.[Photo provided to english.shanghai.gov.cn]

It offers seven to 14 days of free accommodation to high-end talents from reputable universities, as well as three to 12-month free office space to startups, along with services such as policy consultations, career guidance, community activities and experiential tours.


The shared office space for entrepreneurs at the Pudong International Talent Station.[Photo provided to english.shanghai.gov.cn]

The first phase of the Pudong International Talent Station is situated in the NES Community in Zhangjiang Science City, providing about 30 suites and 60 studio apartments.

The station offers two types of apartments: 75-square-meter 1-bedroom studios and 100-square-meter 2-bedroom suites, catering to the needs of both individuals and families. 


The accommodation space of the Pudong International Talent Station.[Photo provided to english.shanghai.gov.cn]

Young talents who meet the station's criteria can stay for a rent-free period of seven to 15 days. Beyond this period, they can also enjoy an additional period of seven days at a discounted daily rental rate. If they are satisfied with the accommodation and consider renewal or long-term lease, the housing price is actually lower than the market price, being roughly 80 percent of the renting rates in the surrounding areas.

Residents have access to fully equipped apartments with amenities such as washing machines, refrigerators and toiletries. The open kitchen is equipped with a range hood and gas stove, allowing residents to cook and settle in comfortably. The station's advantages in terms of activity space, living facilities, and resident experience provide a cost-effective and cozy "home" environment compared to hotels.


The public lounge in the accommodation area at the Pudong International Talent Station.[Photo provided to english.shanghai.gov.cn]

Chen Dongyu, a postdoctoral graduate in environmental science from Sorbonne University, came to Shanghai for a job interview and stayed at the Pudong International Talent Station from March 8 to 15. He holds positive expectations for Shanghai's development prospects. 

"I studied environmental science, and working in Shanghai provides me with a wider range of opportunities in this field. Staying and developing in Pudong, what I value most is the platform that allows me to see the prospects of my industry. Shanghai is quite inclusive, offering me a lot of room for imagination about the future," Chen said.

Having enjoyed a seven-day rent-free period, he was highly satisfied with his stay at the talent station, especially in terms of facilities, as it matched his ideal image of a talent apartment. At the time, he stayed in a two-bedroom apartment without a roommate, essentially enjoying a seven-day rent-free experience in a two-bedroom apartment alone. 

What impressed him most was that the apartment was fully equipped with all the necessary appliances, offering ample space with separate bedrooms and a living room for work and leisure. The apartment's dining options, coffee shop, and living facilities were quite sufficient. The talent station provides shuttle buses to and from designated subway stations, and there were social activities tailored for young people interspersed throughout the stay, he said.

The first phase of the Pudong International Talent Station incubator is located at Naxian 800, situated in the core area of Zhangjiang. It primarily focuses on the industrial cluster formed by Zhangjiang in the three major pillars of electronic information, artificial intelligence and biopharmaceuticals, providing corresponding incubation support to startup enterprises.

Half a year ago, Li Na, CEO of WIJ Healthcare (Shanghai) Co Ltd, was introduced through the Pudong International Talent Station and settled in the Naxian 800 incubator. 

"At Naxian 800, we have received a lot of resource support. Each with their own expertise, we may not be particularly familiar with the talent policies in Pudong. Through the seminars and resource support organized by the incubator, we promptly learned about the latest talent policies, subsidy applications, tax policy, legal affairs, intellectual property rights, and so on. The platform even helped us connect with the laboratory facilities in Zhangjiang Pharma Valley and facilitated connections with venture capital funds," Li said.

As of April 26, the Pudong International Talent Station has served over 800 talents and more than 20 entrepreneurial teams. Among them, over 90 percent hold a master's degree or above, nearly 30 percent have a Ph.D, and international students make up almost 70 percent of the total. 

The serviced entrepreneurial teams cover such fields as artificial intelligence, biopharmaceuticals, and integrated circuits, with 6 teams having already registered companies in Pudong.

In addition to the strict matching of "high-end" talents at the Pudong International Talent Station, the application standards for newly-launched youth station projects are almost identical to the affordable rental housing in Pudong. In terms of housing sources, some are managed by State-owned enterprises, and there is also a continuous introduction of market housing sources.

Li Tingting, a manager of the Pudong International Talent Station, said that there are still some challenges in promoting the talent station program. 

“Currently, in most talent apartments in the region, there is a mandatory requirement that residents must have paid social security for a certain period of time. Sometimes, there is a gap between available housing units and the talents, leading to some individuals with actual housing needs not being included in the coverage,” Li said. The corresponding entry standards for the talent station have been updated several times to adapt to evolving practical needs, Li added.

In the medium-term term, the Pudong International Talent Station also aims to seek suitable housing resources in the market and suitable innovative incubators outside the Zhangjiang area to meet the need for attracting international talents. By taking a holistic view of the entire region, it aims to deeply match innovative talents with housing resources.

The innovative development of the youth station is part of the efforts of the Shanghai authorities in Pudong New Area to attract and retain talents, emphasizing the increased flexibility of talent policies to adapt to the needs of young talents.