Opinion

Meet China's "Sea Turtles"

1 min read

02 November 2011

An increasing number of successful Chinese business people have been educated or worked in the West before returning home. These are China's "Sea Turtles".

I recently retired as UK senior partner of BDO after 23 years as a partner with the firm. Last year, I took up a position as visiting professor at Xiamen University, China. My wife is Chinese and I decided to spend three months exploring business opportunities in the region and trying to learn some Mandarin.

I’m blogging about my experiences in China for Real Business – catch up on my journey so far. 

Peter is a Sea Turtle. So are Charles and Dorothy. Chinese-born, they received at least some of their higher education in the West, gained work experience there and have returned to their motherland. 

Dorothy qualified as a lawyer with a London Magic Circle firm and is now heading a practice group in a firm in Shanghai. 

Charles worked in Denmark and then for several US and European MNCs in China; he ran four chemical plants before becoming CFO of a listed business. 

Peter worked in USA and Thailand and then for an MNC in China; he is now an entrepreneur whose firm is building a personal care brand. 

Sea Turtles’ broader language and business experience give them an advantage in the competitive Chinese business environment.