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At the San Francisco office of Smarking. CEO and founder Sang Wen is in the grey shirt on the right side. Photo by Smarking.

China’s Problem: Entrepreneurs Still Love Silicon Valley

Photo: At the San Francisco office of Smarking. CEO and founder Sang Wen is in the grey shirt on the right side. Photo by Smarking.

China may have a booming tech scene. But it also has a talent shortage.

Take Sang Wen, a brilliant MIT Ph.D. graduate who with his partner raised more than $3 million from top-tier Silicon Valley investors for their startup. Their firm, Smarking, uses big data to help parking providers keep their lots full while at the same time minimizing waits for empty spaces. It’s a problem that China, the world’s biggest passenger car market, certainly faces. But it won’t be rolled out there anytime soon.

Instead of returning to China where his American education and local connections would have practically guaranteed easy funding, Mr. Sang decided to stay in the U.S. where he was just another hungry face in the crowd. The reason: Despite all the hype about the new wave of Chinese science and technology innovation and the record billions of dollars of venture capital invested, China faces a talent shortage, at least according to some of its brightest students.

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