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From Silicon Valley to the Silicon Delta

San Francisco on the West Coast of the USA and Boston on the East are two well-known destinations for the top tech entrepreneurs, but China’s Pearl River Delta is also a popular location outside the USA.

An American Tale of Two Cities

Two US cities could be competing for the world’s best expat entrepreneurial talent, with 68% of expats in San Francisco and 67% in Boston feeling that the USA is a good country to start a business. This is compared to 56% across all of the USA and 38% globally. Technology is the most common sector attracting expats to both cities (37% in San Francisco and 29% in Boston, compared with just 10% globally).

According to our survey, San Francisco seems to attract more entrepreneurs. One in ten (10%) of expats in the city moved there specifically to set up a new business – twice as many as the global average of 5%. In total, 17% of expats in the city own a business compared to the global average of 11%.

I enjoy financial freedom as a result of starting and running a successful business.- British expat in the USA

East rising

Results from our survey show that the Pearl River Delta in China’s Guangdong Province has the country’s highest proportion of entrepreneurs, with 21% of expats there owning their own business compared to 9% in Shanghai and 6% in Beijing. Confidence in China’s fast growing technology hub is stronger than in China as a whole: 63% of expats in the region feel confident about the local economy, compared with 55% across China.

The proportion of expats who believe China is a good place to start a business is comparable to the global average (39% compared with 38% worldwide). However, the Pearl River Delta, with Guangdong’s second biggest city Shenzen at its heart, is particularly attractive to entrepreneurs. Here, more than half (53%) of expats believe the region is a good place to start a business.

5 3 %

53% of expats in the Pearl River Delta believe it is a good place to start a business

The 2016 Expat Explorer survey is a global survey completed by 26,871 expats across the world. The research was conducted online by YouGov in March and April 2016. League tables are calculated using responses to 27 of the questions asked in the research. A minimum sample of 100 expat respondents including at least 30 expat parents is required for a country to be included in the league tables.

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Expat Explorer collects key findings from countries around the world.

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