Trade war sees US losing Chinese students to UK, Canada and Australia - Collins Uchendu's Blog

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Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Trade war sees US losing Chinese students to UK, Canada and Australia

  • Survey found that 20.14 per cent of respondents chose the UK as their first choice, ahead of the US at 17.05 per cent

Chinese students are shunning the US amid the trade war with China, with many opting instead for Britain, Canada and Australia, according to money-transfer firm Easy Transfer.

After the Trump administration imposed tariffs on Chinese imports last year amid accusations of IP theft and forced technology transfer, the number of Chinese students wanting to study in the US declined over concerns they may not be able to get a visa, according to Easy Transfer, a fintech start-up facilitating tuition payments for Chinese students abroad.

The Beijing-based firm saw its total transaction volume reach US$776 million in 2018 and expects that to top US$1 billion this year. However, its China-to-US payment transition volume, which accounted for 95 per cent in 2015, dropped to 50 per cent in the first quarter of 2019.

“There is a trend of Chinese students choosing non-US universities. The countries taking the most share of new transaction volumes and student interest are the UK, Canada, and Australia,” said Tony Gao, chief executive officer of Easy Transfer. “More and more Chinese companies are thinking about a broad set of markets when they develop outside China.”

The Beijing-based company was established in 2013 by two Chinese students when they were studying in the US and found there was no convenient way to transfer funds out of China to pay tuition, housing costs and other expenses.
“It was always time consuming and expensive to transfer money to overseas countries. Parents have to visit their bank in-person, often several times over multiple days,” said Gao. “Our business expanded quickly as we bring this process down to as little as three minutes and halve the service charge."

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