Xiamen and Fuzhou are lesser known Chinese tech cities, compared with Beijing, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Chengdu or Shanghai. Both are part of Fujian, a province on China’s southeastern seaboard historically known for its entrepreneurial spirit.

Though Fuzhou is the provincial capital, Xiamen currently is more attractive to tech startups and talent, being more economically advanced as one of the five Special Economic Zones established in the 1980s. Tech founders in Fuzhou also enjoy the advantage of relatively low labor costs. But talent acquisition is a big problem for entrepreneurs in both cities.

Unlike most other Chinese tech hubs, Fujian has few highly ranked schools in computer science, or even in science and technology in general. Meitu, the fast-growing Xiamen-based mobile photo app developer, is trying to lure employees working at big tech companies in other cities but originally from Fujian province. It has successfully hired staff from companies such as Baidu.

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Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com