It seemed like only yesterday when the United States snatched up the brightest minds from around the world; now it’s China that’s luring in the big brains. Maybe, some of that high growth potential from China will rub off on the tech sector and related exchange traded funds (ETFs).

Prominent companies like Applied Materials (NASDAQ: AMAT), along with their engineers, are being lured to China, reports Keith Bradsher for The New York Times. The Chinese market is thirsting for electricity, cars and assorted other symbols of economic prosperity, and companies are finding that their researchers need to be closer to both factories and consumers. [ETFs to Access the Tech Boom.]

For example, Applied Materials set up its newest solar research lab in Xi’an after estimating that China could produce two-thirds of global solar panels by the end of the year. General Motors (NYSE: GM) has a large and growing auto research center in Shanghai. Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) has opened semiconductor and server network research labs in Beijing. [Top 10 ETFs Investors Are Trading.]

Western companies are also drawn to China because of its reservoirs of cheap, highly skilled engineers and subsidies offered by many Chinese cities. Xi’an has 47 universities and other institutions for higher learning, which are churning out engineers with master’s degrees who can be hired at $730 a month. [Two ETFs for the Networking Renaissance.]