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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

China Foreign Teachers Union Posts Updated 2017 ESL & TEFL Black List - Part I

LAST  UPDATED:   January 1,   2018

(For the 2017 White List visit
We apologize for the prehistoric look of our web-site but this is the only hacker-proof way we can get information to you.  Previously when we had used a traditional website in 2010-2012, those blacklisted on our site hired hackers to remove and/or corrupt files so teachers could not learn about them. But by using this Blogger format, this web site is now hosted on the most secure servers in the world. Although we may get blocked by Big Red from time to time, no names nor details of those on our blacklist have been removed by hackers since we switched in November of 2012. HOWEVER, if you do not use a VPN you may not be able to see all the photos, graphs, and charts if you are viewing this site from within China.We cannot do anything about this except advise you to use a VPN.
If you want to warn others about a scam agent or a cheating/unlicensed school, we certainly want to hear from you.  But, if you do not state how long you actually worked at the school you are nominating for either list, and the specific reason why you complain/praise it, your post will be deleted. Ditto if your language is too foul.

We do not accept third-party rumor, hearsay, nor gossip. Any school accused will also have the right to post a rebuttal below as well.   We are grateful to Dave’s ESLcafe, ESLWatch, ESL Teachers Forum,, and ExPat Forum for their cooperation and contributions. It is our sincere hope that consolidating and sharing our experiences can reduce the stress, grief, and monetary loss of fellow colleagues in China. PLEASE HELP US HELP YOU BY WARNING OTHERS HERE ON OUR WEB SITE.   Also take a quick visit to

Honorable Wu Aiying
Minister of Justice
Ministry of Justice
10 Nandajie, Chaoyangmen
Chaoyang District, Beijing
100020, China

Honorable Yuan Guiren
Minister of Education
No.37 Damucang Hutong,
Xidan, Beijing, P.R.C

Wang QiShan
 Corruption Prevention of China
NO.2 Guang'An Men Nan Jie,
Xuanwu Disrict, 
Beijing 100053                              
You may also want to check the blacklist at but we update the below list every month and always glean  and consolidate complaints from their site as well as nine other ESL/TEFL forums as well.

This Reddit blacklist is updated daily:
Be advised that large chain operations like English First, Wall Street English, New Oriental, etc. should not be judged by the problems or misdeeds of one or two locations.
Beijing’s 12 Worst Schools (“The Dirty Dozen”) 

Woodpecker English (Beijing - Zhongguancun)  Manager Liu Lei
This school has a notorious reputation for not paying last paychecks and withholding release letters. We have received complaints from three teachers who report being threatened and/or bribed by Manager Liu Lei not to make problems. Steer clear of this school.  The actual complaints were not authorized for publication, and we respect the requests of the three teachers who actually fear retaliation from Mr. Liu.

ABC English (Beijing) Selina & Emma

Web International English

Aston English (Many locations in China)
China ESL
Foreign HR
New Life ESL
New World ESL
Golden Bridge Visa
Golden Bridge ESL
Golden Bridge English
Golden Bridge Education
Rebecca Tang
Eric Winder
David Valley
Derick Yazwa (Internet Alias for & (Internet)

US Arts & Design (Beijing)

Beijing Wiseway Consulting (Alias for Wiseway Global Education (Internet)

English in China (China- Wide) Owner is Liu Fang

First Leap (Beijing)

Canadian International School (Mianyang)

Stanford English (Beijing)

Mayflower Education & Owner Bao Li aka Amanda (Beijing)
See many complaints at,,,, Shanghai Expat, ESLCafa, China Scam Patrol, Reddit, etc.
(Not the same Mayflower Education as those in U.K. nor America)

China International Personal Training Center {CIPTC} (Shenzhen)

Oden English (Beijing)

Laowai Career Center & Owner Yuri Khlystov (Beijing)

Reddit r/ChinaJobs sub & Moderator Tan Guan (China-Wide)

Holy Global Education & Owner Bao Li (Beijing)

Sino Wiki aka Jelson English (Beijing)

Pingyang Quishi School (Wenzhou)
Chi Cheng International School  (Xian)  
Beijing New Youth School (Beijing)

Good Teachers Union aka GT Union & Owner Sophie Yue aka Sophie Yu (China-Wide)

Buckland Education Group (Guilin, Guanxi),,  (Beijing + Internet)
See many complaints at,,,, Shanghai Expat, ESLCafa, China Scam Patrol, Reddit, etc.

New World ESL (Internet & Beijing)
Currently under investigation by China Scam Patrol

TEFL Panda (Beijing)

Dalian Neusoft (Dalian)

Cambridge Global & Owner "Harvey" (Beijing)
See many complaints at,,,, Shanghai Expat, ESLCafa, China Scam Patrol, Reddit, etc.

Edu-Pal (Beijing)

Imagination Education (Beijing)

First Leap (Beijing) &  (aka Hangzhou Hellen)
See many complaints at,,,, Shanghai Expat, ESLCafa, China Scam Patrol, Reddit, etc.

Best Learning (Beijing)
Gao Si Education aka GaoSi Education  (Beijing)
See many complaints at,,,, Shanghai Expat, ESLCafa, China Scam Patrol, Reddit, etc.
Hampson English (Beijing)

Expertise Education (Beijing)  and also

WiseWay Global Education (Beijing)  and

CCESL  aka  Huatsi Vridge Culture Exchange Co. Ltd. (Fujian)

Tian Shuo School & "Maggie" (Chanchun)

Fei Fan English School  (Fushun) 

Yu Ming Education Center (Tianjin)
Dong Peng English (Online)

Chinese Montessori Society aka China Montessori Society (Beijing & Shanghai)

English First (CCTV News Broadcast)  and!/2012/10/checking-employers-credentials-before.html and!/2012/10/checking-employers-credentials-before.html   and!/2012/10/ef-hangzhou-student-grades-corruption.html   and!/2012/10/ef-hangzhou-tax-avoidance-and-utilities.html  and 
Lucky Kids Kindergarten (Jiangdu)
See comments section below for details
Key Logic  a.k.a. Key-Logic (Beijing) and  and   and
Peng You English (Online) aka Bilingo-China (Beijing)
Please note they apparently hired a hacker to delete complaints that were filed at and  See this link for more information:

Rego International School (Shanghai)

American Kids Language School (Hangzhou)  (see photos below)

Cheery English (Shanghai) 
Xuehui Science Kindergarten (Shanghai)
Shanghai Kid's MBA Young American English School (Shanghai)
See comments section below for details

Okiki School, (Shangahi)
Warren School of Language  (Yinchuan) 

Chunlai School (Henan)

ECA (Guangzhou) 
Bilingo China  a.k.a. China Bilingo  a.k.a.  UFEIC  a.k.a.  UFIEC  (Beijing) and and and and  and  and from TEFL Bad Apple and listings just recently deleted (money talks in China and 8 negative posts from 5 different FTs magically disappeared).
World International English School (Suzhou)
Davis Language Center (Tianjin)
Helen Group  (Hangzhou) 

Expertise Education (Beijing)

Dezhou University 

Shandong Provisional Modern School (Jinan)
Kid's MBA  (Jiangsu Province - All Locations)
This school is not licensed to hire foreigners and will never provide Z visas nor release letters.
Wenzhou University 

Always Education & Exchange Center (Jinan)

Beijing Homestay (Beijing)
This operation is not licensed nor approved by the Minitry of Education and will not answer questions posed by the CFTU about the "deposits" they request from tecahers, nor issues pertaining to invitation letters and visas.
Golden Bridge School  (Harbin)
Childrens Joy Language School  (Harbin)
San Jie Foreign Language School (Beijing)
Harbin Star Foreign Language School  (Harbin)
Highbird International School (Harbin)
Roy English Training Center a.k.a. Roy Language Center (Helionjiang)                                    and 

Jingbei Foreign Language College (Hebei)                                                     and
John Gao's school, Number 2 foreign language school (AKA number 18 middle/high school), Modern English, People's Number Two Hospital, Shanxi university (Taiyuan)
New Century English School (Dalian)
Shutong Pattison (Liaoning)

Language Link China (All China)
Delter International Business School

Canadian International Education (Guangzhou)
Seder English Training Center (Dalian)

AST (Nanning)
Jiangsu Huaian Modern English  (Jiangsu)
Nanjing Talent Academy  (Jiangsu)
Hangzhou Babel English (Zhejiang)
Jinagxi University of Finance and Economics (JUFE)  (Nanchang)
Web English (Suzhou - Pingjian) 

AceLeader English School a.k.a. Ace Leader (Beijing)

Vivid English School  (Beijing)  (Beijing, Nanjing)

Suzhou Foreign Language School  (Suzhou)  

EtonKids a.k.a. Eton Kids  (Beijing)

Golden Apple  (Beijing)

Yu Ming Education Center aka Yuming Education Center (Tianjin) 
New Dynamic Institute  (Beijing & Shanghai)

China ESL & Rebecca Tang  (Beijing) and and and and and

Kings English (Tianjin)

Jingdezhen Comprehensive College (Jiang Xi)

English For All (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, & more) 

Ameson Education  (America)   

Athena Learning Center (Beijing) Owned/Operated By American Fugitive Sam Arnold

American Kids Language Training School  (Hangzhou)

Richard's English (Shaoxing)

HK Sunbow Foreign Language Kindergarten (Guangdong)
(See Complaints in Comments Section Below)

Chi Cheng International Language School (Xian)

Cambridge International Center (Daqing)
Guangdong Ocean University (Zhanjiang)

Helen TEFL Institute aka Helen TEFL Group, aka Helen TEFL Network (Zhejiang);read=45235 

Greenhill English 

Beijing Rui Au Business Consulting (Beijing)
Chinese company that is not properly licensed and will not sponsor work visa (Z) for expat teachers

C Long Education (Jiangsu) 

Lake English School (Beijing)

Chinese Culture Center (U.S. Based)

Binzhou Huamei Foreign Language School (Shandong) 

Mongolia College (Inner Mongolia)

Peng's Foreign Language Training School (Shenzen)
Unlicensed and Horric Contracts - 17 complaints received in 2012

Jilin Province Education & Maggie Wang aka Maggie Wong (Jilin)\

Angelina's ESL Cafe (Beijing);read=10656 

Fei Fan English School (Fushun, Lioaning)
The above is just a small sampling of the 317 dishonorable schools on our teacher's blacklist due to space limitations. Schools listed here are welcome to tell their side of the story in the comments section below and will have their names removed from this list only if they settle their disputes or after 24 months of complaint-free operation. For the complete CFTU consolidated blacklist, please send an email to CBL(at)

Apparently they have gotten very creative in their recruitment methods lately as Rebecca is now using at least six different company names (that we know of) to advertise with over 800 ads a month on 16 different ESL/TEFL forums and message boards.  Please tell YOUR favorite forum admin not to accept advertising from any of these 6 companies. She also uses foreigners David Valley, Derek Yazwa, and Eric Winder to front for her. This is the most notorious cheater in China so beware friends.

(Please allow 72 hours for a reply because we are swamped and staffed by volunteers)
Stay Tuned For Our Next Post…

China's Top Ten Best Education Employers
In the interim we urge anyone thinking about teaching in China to read the attached articles so you know what to expect and avoid some unpleasant surprises...

WARNING! Do not download or send any personal information to the websites listed below.  If you download anything that even appears innocent (like "Visa Rules In China", or "Free Housing Directory") a trojan virus bot can be implanted in your computer that will collect your personal and banking/credit card info for identity thieves who pose as employment agents.

Stone Cai

QQ: 271138936 (not a scam - just very greedy agents)
QQ: 1799735348
Tel: 15201289287
Tel: 13810420874
Tel: 13811521044
Tel: 15810764650

Also take note that will publish your resume and image on-line without your knowledge nor consent. Getting it removed may take 30 days if you file a police complaint.  Also note that and is currently under investigation and a Yellow Flag Alert was recently sent to all members. They appear to be owned by the same people.  Also be aware of the latest FACEBOOK  SCAM:


David Wu aka David Chen aka David Wei 
(Beijing - Wudaokou & CBD area);postID=2870659859993322318

Johnson Zhang (Beijing) 

Danny Liu a.k.a. Dan Lu, a.k.a. Dan Lau (Beijing - Wudaokou)

Eric Winder (Beijing & Internet)
This AMerican is fronting for the Scam Queen of China - Rebecca Tang at China ESL

Ken Carroll (Shanghai)

Lucy Haagen

Derrick Yazwa aka (Phoenix)  and and and and

Maggie Liu (Internet - actual location unknown) and

Sylvia Wang (Internet - actual location unknown)

Ms. Zhang - Tel. Number: 18600576798

Carl Ge aka Carl He aka Karl Ge aka Karl He  (Beijing)

Lucy Z (Beijing & Guanzhou) 

Andrei Checkov aka Andrei Chekov

Rebecca Tang (Beijing) and and and and and 

Lilly & Lily (Beijing) & &
Tel: 152-5717-8901

Sophie Yue aka Sophy Yue aka Sophia Yue aka Sophie Yu (assistant is Karen) (Beijing)
Oden English  Now has her own company Good Teachers Union (started in 2015)

Xu FuYuan  (Jinan)  
Henry Zong
Cindy Zheng
Tom Pei
Thomas Long
Dale Sheng
Zhang Hua aka Marina

Sylvia Wang (China/Internet)

Eric Liu  (Beijing - All of Beijing)

Michael Cavill aka Michael Cavhill aka Michael Cahill

Michelle Wang aka Michelle Zhang aka Zhang Mei Li  (Beijing) 

John & Fan Li Pate (Beijing & Online)

New Life ESL (Phoenix)
Unlicensed - Instructs you to violate China law to work illegally.  Too many posts to list. Just Google "New Life ESL scam"

Start Consulting (China)

Anthony Martin (Online)

Edward Jacobsen (Shenzhen)

Teddy Tucker  (Online)

Brian Whitman  (online aliases used by scam agent)

Bryan Whitman

Hongtao Wu  (Front man for Hangzhou Helen Group)

Allan Woods (Online)

Ricky Gu
Biggest ad spammer since Lily - possible ID thief

Wei Fu Ying                                                                    
(Beijing - Haidian District)
Ying At Friendship Hotel Office Center

Fenny Perlandas, PELCC  

Steven Armstrong aka Network Education

ECA (Kevin)

Sijifengxing Education, (Lilly)

Sinogate Consulting (Beijing)

David Baine

Edward Jacobsen

Liu Wei Wang (China);postID=7451273965587718545

Jeff Gao a.k.a Jeff Sya (Chongqing)  and

Jieling Chen (of Colorado) 
Frank Zhang
James Zhang
Cecille Bautista

Derrick Yazwa (Phoenix)

Christine Lewis
Mary Zhang
Kelly Wang
Rita Liu
Stone Cai aka Stone Kai
Sang Xing
Anthony Martin
Paul Adler

David Valley (China ESL Alias)
David Smith
Michael Simpson
Malcolm MacDonald
Tim Chen 
Michael Zhirui  (Beijing & Online)
Chen Yu Xi aka Marina aka Zhang Hua

Jeff Chen (Online)

Brian McCloskey
(Unknown Now - Previously Shanghai)

Hellen  (China)

Bobby Zhu (Beijing - Wangjing)

Sally (Korean) (Online)

Bao Park (China)

Vivian Wang  (Beijing - Shunyi)

Johnson Zhang  (Beijing)

Doris, David, Bill, and Lorena  (Beijing)

Teach In China aka New Times International  (Online)

Daniel Brenar (Beijing)

Amy Zhang (age 45)  (Beijing)

Adwaa Rabia (Saudi Arabia)

Alex Wee (Shanghai)

Michael Simpson  (Online);read=2261 (Online Recruiters)  (China)

David Huang of Radisson Education (Guangzhou)

Sophia Yue aka Yue Li

Robert Li (Beijing - Wudaokou - See below)

This hilarious but revealing text exchange was received by Johnathan W. and it just has to be shared with you to show you what you are up against here in China...

How to best deal with agents & recruiters if you still want to use one?  

Keep in mind that most scam agents and fake recruiters do not have a real offices, websites,  nor a land line telephone number. They will use free emails like,,,,, etc.  When they contact you by telephone, ask them to text you their website address and real Chinese name.  You will probably never hear from them again. If they send you an email. we suggest your first response is to answer with the below form letter.  If they actually reply with all the requested information, send it to us and we will verify the registrations for you free of charge and if they check out, add the agents to our "Recruiter Whitelist" (now being compiled).  Remember, never give them ANY personal information, not even your last name, until you get this form back from them and it checks out.  If you think this letter is "going too far", please remember that 20% of all foreign teachers in China become victims of identity theft.  See this article for details:  China Identity Thieves Posing As Employment Agents & Recruiters

Legitimate recruiters and agents will not object to completing this form for you.

If any recruiter or school tries to tell you that you MUST sign a "standard SAFEA" contract without any changes, this is absolutely FALSE.  Please read this link for details:

The FT's Poem
By. Sandra  

In China, the sharks are quite many,
But the lifeguards are way too few
Insatiablly the sharks forever search,
For daily fresh meat - just like you.
Ask them no questions
And they'll tell you no lies.
But if and when their lips move,
The truth the agent always denies.

They give you "great news",
Of a job that pays the very most,
But once you sign and pay them,
They become an elusive ghost.

So charming and smooth
They recruit the old Chinese way
Keep calling and smiling they will,
Until you believe and pay.

Every ninety days or so,
They will change their number and name.
They are masters at playing
This deception game.

Five times more money than you,
They will surely always make.
Like everything else in China,
They are bogus and fake.

So if you should meet one,
Smile and say... "Bu Xie Xie".
But only after you snap their photo,
You take their card and then say...

"I already have a good job,
But, I will certainly introduce you,
To all my many teachers friends,
And the good folks at the CFTU."
The CFTU Wall of Shame
Michelle Wang aka
Michelle Zhang aka
Zhang Mei Li aka
Micky Wan
Edward Jacobsen
Cherry Li - Suzhou
David Valley - China ESL
Susan - American Kids Language School
Principal Kathy - American Kids Language School
Derrick Yazwa - New Life ESL
Believe it or not their are some honest, decent, and ethical recruiters and agents in China. We can count them on one hand and they will be the beginning of our Recruiter White list.  We will make this list available privately to members. If you know of a legitimate recruiter which is properly licensed and will give us their full Chinese name to run a check at SAIC, we will add them to our white list after visiting with them and we agree they are who they say they are and can be trusted.

Here are 3,500+ known ID thieves who covet your resume, photo, and passport scan. With this information they can open bank accounts, emails, and credit cards in your name, and even sell your identity to fugitives and other criminals. Eventually you will fin out about it after you get visits and threats from bill collectors and the police. Sure you can fix the mess but you might have to spend a few days in jail and your legal bills alone will be about $10,000!

So why let this happen to you when you can avoid it by simply not uploading your resume online nor giving/sending it to ANYONE WHO IS NOT A VERIFIABLE DIRECT EMPLOYER.  You verify direct employers by obtaining their SAIC business license scan, and their registered address, land-line telephone number and website.  They must all match.

To get all 49 pages of this list, send an email request to:

We thank China Scam Patrol for their help with this project.


3 VERY CLEVER SCAMS TO BE AWARE OF... (Submitted by V0179B)

Three basic scams to watch out for. Not that these will necessarily make or break your trip but it's probably a bad sign. The smart money says just don't take the risk when confronted by any of these things. 
1. "How quickly can you get here?" Not proof positive that bad things are about to happen but if they're trying to rush you, like any relationship someone too desperate who doesn't care who you are can be a red flag for two reasons.
One is that this tactic may be used to pressure you and get you to rush on over before you've had a chance to think things through.
Two, it's also a bad sign because it may mean the previous teacher left in a hurry without notice. This may not be the schools fault but few of the employers I go on interviews for back here in the states care enough to give me the benefit of the doubt. It is important enough for you to have at least a decent experience and there are enough schools in China that you can be a little picky. Make sure a school treats you right and doesn't ask you to hop on a plane after the first date.
2.   "Let me hold that for you." This should go without saying. Never let your boss 'hold on' to your passport. Without it you kinda can't leave or have difficulty doing so at the least. Obviously they will try to hold it so you don't run away from them when you realize how horrible the school is. You may need to hand your passport over to get visas and other documents. Make sure you get it back and in a reasonable amount of time. A slightly related scam is they'll tell you to come here with a tourist visa and we'll get you a residence permit which may or may not ever happen. If they can legally get you a residence permit they should be able to get you the Z visa before you go there.
3. "I hate you, I hate you, I hate you" Another scam I've heard is that they'll try to force you out around the nine month mark or even right up to 10- 11 months. This is because after 12 months they have to give you another 7k-10k RMB for your return flight, but if you choose to leave because they're treating you badly or they are now all of a sudden unhappy with you then they save some money and they were bringing someone new in shortly anyway. Sucks to get that far and have a bad time. One advice is mind your p's and q's, don't give anyone any excuse and be strong for a little longer. You could possibly even take the hint and go. You might lose some money (and feel like a failure) but you're not leaving yourself vulnerable to who knows what.
This could jeapordize your contract though too, idk how legal these contracts are and if yours has penalties if you leave before a year. I'll say that it seemed like then, and still seems now that you are worth enough and have enough prospects for work that you can go without a contract. Unless there's something really wrong with you and you have a bad attidtude from the start you'll likely be fine. You don't need a contract securing your right to work. Even if you did have a contract and you turned out to be that bad, I'm sure any sufficiently creative boss can and will get rid of you anyway, contract or not.
Skip the contract completely, don't mention it, if they bring it up tell them you'd rather not have one, or write your own contract if it is required by the state for a visa or RP. Keep it simple, "i work for you and you pay me this much each month." If they want to push you around later and renegotiate our verbal contract then you are free to walk without worrying too much about your lack of knowledge on Chinese law.
They will still want you to have a decent enough apartment that will keep you there, they will still have to pay you to keep you teaching. There's not much in your contract besides shelter and payment anyway, maybe work hours but again, we're adults we can reach a reasonable agreement and if you're unreasonable... well i guess with Chinese visa laws you can't just go somewhere else to work, even though there's plenty places, not without a release paper but you can go home. I don't know how legal these contracts are anyway nor if one is required for the residence permit. Going or staying both have some risks if someone is trying to push you out after 9 months it's because they don't want to pay you.

(January 25th, 2013) 

We just received a tape recording of an alleged Huijia Kindergarten principal giving instructions to an agent who had been paying her 3,000 rmb bribes. As soon as we verify the voices of both the principal and agent, we will send the details to members. In the interim, when dealing with Huijia, we suggest you directly visit the school and avoid agents until we get to the bottom of this.  Remember, most public schools, public universities, and international schools are legitimate and honest.  Despite all those schools you see listed above, remember there are over 19,000 schools operating in China today and over 7,000 employment recruiters and agents. Unfortunately there are only 362 licensed and registered agents and recruiters in all of China.  So unless you are prepared to search for that proverbial needle in the haystack, you may just want to avoid them altogether and find your own job in China which is not hard at all.

Looking For The 2014 CFTU Blacklist?  Click Below

Looking For the Free 2014 China Labor & Visa Laws In English?  Click Below

Looking For CFTU Free China Job Placement?  Click Below

Looking For The Latest Foreign Teacher Scams?  Click Below
China Contract Scams

Want to Report A School Or Agent?
Conidential Tip 

Looking For CFTU Member News?  
CFTU Member News 


Stop Agent Fraud & Employer Abuse!
If you see or experience it - Report it to the CFTU:
(All reports received are strictly confidential)

Looking For The 2018 CFTU Blacklist?  Click Below

Looking For the Free 2018 China Labor & Visa Laws In English?  Click Below

Want A Second Opinion? 


© Copyright 2010- 2018 by CFTU - Reproduction with Source Credits Authorized


  1. Ivy Education is not a licensed school and consequently uses illegal foreign teachers. There are two schools which they currently affiliate with: Qidong middle school and Taiyuan number 5 middle school, operating "AP" programs. They are a shadow company operating around the fringes of the law, and great caution should be used in any dealings with them.
    I should have known better, but I trusted a few people and let my guard down. They do pay well, but have no ability to get anyone a visa, despite what they say in their ads or to your face. Just hired another teacher in Taiyuan on a tourist visa. I had one semester remaining on a residence permit and was lured by the salary. Very polite, evasive and great con-artists. Note: There are several companies in China using the name "Ivy Education", and some of them may be legit.

    1. Is this the Ivy School located in Jiamusi, China? I was offered a job there and I want to make sure its ok. THank you

    2. hi i am planning to attend TEFL internship within the next few months.. Could you check this site

      thank you. It would be a great help since I have to pay US$998
      and this is their offer for the program i'm going to attend.

      #3: Internships in Language Schools in China
      3-4½ Month Internships – one-year Job Offer Included
      No Degree Required
      No experience required
      PAID Stipend of 7,000 RMB and UP
      Chinese teacher assistant in the classroom to help interns
      Continuous placement

      Many thanks..

    3. That looks like bullshit to me.

      Actually, you look like a shill, but if this is true, I would not take it.

      Good luck with that crap. It is a crap job and illegal.

  2. Key-Logic of Beijing are not to be trusted. I see they are already on the CFTU blacklist but they are very devious people who recruit foreign teachers with a trick that is easy to fall for. They offer lucrative long-term contrcts of 30,000 to 80,000 rmb and then give you a list of courses they want you to teach. They then tell you they will sign a copntract with you after they see and approve your lesson material (ppts). Once they get them in their grubby little hands they tell you the client postponed the class and they'll call you when they have the new dates. You will never hear from them again, and your lesson plans are now being used by Chinese teachers. The bitch who does this is about 36 years old and her name is Alina. She did rthis to me and two other FTs that I know of.

  3. Hello, I was working at Golden kids school in Weifang, Shandong province. The school is great and facilities are modern. Just be careful about the contract. The director come from Taiwan and she don't care about the school, kids and foreigners. She don't want to paid overtime and she try to put that into volunteer activities. She is mean even with Chinese teachers who are doing an amazing job. You don't have summer vacation, no sick leave and if you cannot come to school for some reason, she will retrieve 3 days of salary for one day. I don't know what's happening into other schools in Beigin, Shanghai and Shenzhen but they don't want us to communicate with them. She don,t respect the contract and refuse to paid the overtime because she get a bonus on every saving money from the school.

  4. This was received from K.T. Cox moments ago and is posted below in its entirety without editing... Since it is long it has to be posted in parts, but it is very much worth reading.


    I'm having trouble posting my story on your website. I don't know why. But please publish this for me, its very important.

    Teacher learns a lesson: The trafficking of foreign ESL teachers in China
    K.T. Cox

    It was not until Christmas that I fully realized I was one of many foreign teachers being scammed in Beijing, China. A dream of going to China with the pure intentions of teaching English while exploring another culture has turned into an expensive nightmare.

    Prior to coming to China I was promised 5000RMB [or US$800 (RMB is Chinese currency) each month at an ESL school, a visa, a free apartment, and airfare to get home through an agency called ChinaESL, organized by Rebecca Tang. If you Google search her agency, you will find there is nothing negative being said about this company. She has links to Dave’s ESL cafe (one of the most popular foreign teacher employment websites worldwide) and I talked to plenty of people who have done ESL teaching in China and loved it. With all the information I could find at that time, I made my decision to head to China, a dream of mine since I was young.

    Upon arrival in China I was forced to sign an additional contract by Rebecca Tang, who said she needed to remove 2000RMB [US$320] from the first three paychecks as a deposit. This left me to survive on 3000RMB [US$480] each month, then after I would receive my promised salary of 5000RMB. There were several other cited stipulations in the contract, such as "If Party B shows the contract to anyone, Party A has the right to cancel Party B’s visa, put her on the blacklist, and charge 20,000RMB [US$3,200]." There were many other clauses that included seemingly ridiculous fees, but she told me if I didn’t sign the contract I’d have to pay 20,000RMB as a penalty. Since I didn’t know anyone in China, had no place to live (as this meeting took place in Tang’s home), and could barely speak the language, I felt I had no choice but to sign it—though I knew something didn’t feel right.

    While much of my China adventure has been a wonderful experience—learning a new language, visiting the Great Wall and ancient temples, working with brilliant students, and falling in love with a brilliant British poet from Cardiff—I tried to hide the fact that I’ve been struggling financially. Every email and blog post featured only the highlights and positive aspects of my time here to comfort the worried concerns of friends and family back home in Olympia, Washington.

  5. PART TWO:

    I cannot share how I came about the truth as a means to respect privacy, but Tang has been doing the same thing to many other people. At Web International English where I worked, over 60% of the foreign teachers are employed through Rebecca through out all the Web Centers in Beijing. Rebecca also has connections to kindergartens and middle schools, and is screwing over everyone a little differently. In my case, the school I was working at was paying me 15,800RMB and Tang was leaving me with only 3000RMB, keeping the rest for herself. After talking to the police, the Public Services bureau, the US embassy, and Web Headquarters, I found there is absolutely nothing that can be done. I sat in an interrogation room on three separate occasions--one for 2 hours, one for 4 hours and one for almost 6 while my boss was helping me to translate what the police were saying. The school is being fined and I (was) going to be fined, even though I provided evidence that it was Rebecca’s fault for bringing me over here illegally, insisting that I needed an F visa.

    They also wrote the transcripts by hand rather than filming the conversation or voice recording it, and they forced me to sign the transcripts even though they did not accurately represent what was said in the interrogation. Rebecca Tang has connections to the head of police and she has a close relationship with the head of the Entry/Exit department of the Public Services Bureau; she knew specific details about the interrogation that nobody else could have known unless someone was acting as a spy for her. I know this sounds frightening, but its absolutely true. She even knew what day I was leaving the country, and her assistant and my landlord barged in to my apartment demanding that I paid bills for the entire time I was there. Also, the morning I was preparing to leave, she had someone pose as a police officer to harass me and insist that I give my flight information. I knew better of course, and told them to f*** off. Her assistant even showed up to take pictures of my now empty room so they can lease it to someone else—I hope that person is not you.

    The only chance I could stand at fighting her would be to take her to court, but I’d have to hire a lawyer, which I could not afford. No matter what, the system is set up so foreign teachers will lose even though several China Labor Laws are being broken.

    Rebecca Tang has been running this scam for 8 years and will continue to do it to unsuspecting foreigners. In addition to her connections to the police and the PSB, she also has connections to the government; nobody can stop her. The only way we can prevent this from happening is to tell stories like these, and I sincerely hope you will pass this around.


    I’ve spent the past 2 weeks saying good-bye to my friends, my students, my colleagues and my boyfriend who I’m still in love with. Additionally, Rebecca kept my last paycheck that was supposed to be paid on Jan. 25; every cent. I’m completely broke.

    This has been the most emotionally draining experience I’ve had in my short life. And I can suspect people will say as they read this; "you should have taken more precautions," "done more research on the company," "not have signed the contract," or "there are people that are poor and have nothing, you shouldn’t complain." I can name more things about the better choices I "should" have made, and maybe my problem is relatively small to what others have suffered, but that does not justify the fact that this agent conned me and countless others into signing a contract that resulted in her stealing thousands while breaking Chinese labor laws. We were brought here to work illegally and we are traded like cattle. Many teachers working here cannot find decent paying jobs elsewhere, came here for a chance to teach and offer a service to people who want to improve their English. If you are a newly graduated young female in her early twenties traveling alone and trying to pay off debts from student loans and assorted bills, maybe you’d understand the full effect of this. And hopefully learn from it. See: tips on agent scams. Nobody deserves to be victimized or mistreated or taken advantage of. Period.

    Now I won’t deny that the American justice system is far from perfect, and this story does not glorify any "fair" decisions the United States has made—as murderers and child molesters can get off on technicalities, and big corporate powers will pay fees that amount to a light slap on the wrist in the big scheme of their evil doings—but rather how easy it is for a foreigner to be victimized abroad. Additionally this story does not presume to characterize the general population of Chinese people. In fact, I received overwhelming support from my students, my friends, my boss and even had officials from three different schools offer to help me get the proper visa to be employed legally and offer a better wage. If I weren’t under the thumb of this wicked agent--who was controlling my bank account, my apartment, and had connections to powerful people who could potentially give me even more trouble--I would have been happy to accept. The fact is, I needed to be home with my friends and family to recover from what happened. I will return to China someday, but on my own terms and with much more awareness.

  7. PART FOUR: So, I approached my final days in Beijing simply knowing in my heart that I was right and that nothing could break my spirit...and then the impossible happened: I was invited to come to the police station once more to assess the fines for my offense of working here illegally under Tang’s supervision. The police apparently felt sorry for me and think this situation is unfair. They disapprove of Tang’s relationship with their boss, so they have devised a plan for me to escape: they submitted a request to reduce my fine in order to delay my paperwork process so I could leave the country without paying, as I’ve provided sufficient evidence that this offense was not my fault and due to Tang’s manipulation. They also said they would ensure my safety at the airport, and their boss would have to let my case go. I was in complete shock. Apparently this sort of thing never happens; to foreigners, to Chinese citizens, to people that are poor and powerless, to people that fought the system without proper legal defense. I have no idea why I was lucky, or why this ending turned out the way it did. It was a small victory compared to the grand scheme of ChinaESL’s evil doings, but any victory is worth celebrating.

    Now, this is a rare victory. The truth is no matter where you go in the world, a stupid piece of paper can rip apart people that love each other, can disenchant your dream of making the world a better place and (in cases far worse than mine) consume everything you have—everything but one—to quote my beloved: "If you know in your heart that you are right, nothing can touch you." Best wishes to anyone who aspires the same dream. May this story be helpful and eye-opening.

    Tips for avoiding overseas teaching scams and teacher trafficking: 1.) Do research at the countries embassy about decent living wages.2.) Have a lawyer review your contract to ensure it is in accordance with the country labor laws.3.) Make connections with citizens within the country before you go; ask if they’ve heard reviews on the business. You won’t always find bad reviews on companies just by internet research. Signs of bad agents:

    1. They ask for money up front.
    2. They use post office boxes, instead of office addresses.
    3. They make promises of employment and guarantees of refunds.
    4. They charge fees for giving you a job lead.
    5. They pressure you and encourage you to make a decision too quickly.
    6. They make you pay for your own visa and flight and don’t compensate you; a good business will offer that because you are doing them a service. Helpful cites to review if you want to teach in China:

    NOTE FROM MODERATOR: Rebecca Tang has been on our blacklist (and many others) since 2010 along with 187 other individuals, some of whom are even worse. Although the CFTU does not advise anyone to use an agent, we urge you to use the above "Agent Reply Letter" if you decide to try your luck with a recruiter/agent.

  8. Although the CFTU does not have any official affiliation with the old CTA group, we think their web site is worthy of your visit since we agree with much oh what they say at:

  9. I want to thank you guys for all the tedious work required to collect and sort all this information, especially the photos of the black hat agents. This is by far the best China school and agent blacklist I have seen in years. Keep up the good and stay out of harm's way. For sure this website is making a lot of people nervous and pissed off.

  10. This complaint was just received From D.L. of the U.K. now residing in Guangdong province concerning Shane English and its Principal who wants 25,000 rmb to provide a release letter. Here are the details...


    I would like to bring to your attention a matter of urgency in regards to the Shane English registered school: Pingyang Quishi School, No.357 Middle xing'ao Road Aojiang, Wenzhou City, Zhejiang Province, China.
    In this document I will outline the wrongdoings of this organisation and its key members.
    Principle John: Zhuang Guo Xiang / Foreign Manager: Neil Mackenzie (British Citizen)

    1. Reasons for exiting the company
    2. Threats for exiting
    3. Extortion: Letter of release
    4. Incorrect handling of employees

    1. Reasons for exiting the company
    During my first few months of working with the company I had several disagreements with my assistant. During this time period I had several meetings with the management staff in order to resolve any conflict within the workplace. The situation progressively worsened, up unto a point where the colleague was using abusive language directly at me during my classes. Due to no action being taken; the verbal abuse turmoiled into an assault on my person. The assault was witnessed by my fellow colleagues during school hours in the corridor of the school building.

    After making a formal complaint of the incident to Principle John (Zhuang Guo Xiang) I was told by my Principle that I must continue to work as normal until he reached a decision. However, this decision was never reached and I was expected to continue working in an abusive environment.
    This left me no choice but to tend my resignation with immediate effect. I resigned on Friday the 25th of October, 2012.
    (The full incident log of the verbal abuse, meetings and assault is available upon request)

    2. Threats for exiting
    Upon exiting the company I was issued with the following threats from the Foreign Manager of the Shane English Pingyang Quishi School: British Citizen, Neil Mackenzie:

    a) A refusal of payment for the last month of work.
    b) Cancellation of certificates and current visa.
    c) Place me upon a blacklist which will mean that I cannot work in China for the next 5 years.
    d) I could be arrested and escorted out of china.
    Payment was indeed withheld for my last month of pay with the company. In regards to the threat (2b) Principle John specifically requested that I give him my passport, because he needed it to cancel the visa. I denied this request. In relation to the threat (2d) I was told by Neil Mackenzie that, in the past Principle John has given false information to the police force in order to have teachers detained. This was just another tool in this schools arsenal in order to instil fear in a blind attempt to make me stay with the company.

  11. PART TWO:

    3. Extortion: Letter of release

    As many foreigners are aware, in order to legally work in China at any other school, one must obtain their letter of release.
    For the first few months I was told that I was being punished for leaving the company and that I must wait a few months before I receive my letter of release. Unknowingly I was being deceived, and I was not ever likely to receive my letter of release. So, I pursued the company in order to obtain the letter, but I was greeted with a shocking request.

    I was told via one of Johns subordinates that in order to obtain this letter, I must pay him directly, in excess of 25,000 RMB. This was when I sought out the advice of the CFTU (Chinese Foreign Teachers Union), who upon contact with John noted that John did not deny the attempted extortion of money for the release letter, but rather confirmed it by stating, “Talk to Neil”.

    I left the company on Friday the 25th of October, 2012. Yet I am still without my letter of release. The company have had plenty of opportunity to do the right thing by law and send me my letter, but still refuse to do so unless I pay them.

    4. Incorrect handling of employees
    Throughout my short time at the school (5 months) I witnessed a number of ill-dealings in regards to foreign teachers. I myself was told to enter China on an L visa and that the Z visa would then be obtained upon arrival.

    I researched this and asked for advice from my recruiter (Footprints Recruiting) whom told me that this is somewhat normal, and is named a, ‘Visa Run’.

    During the period before obtaining a legal working visa, the school demand that you work on an L visa or the working visa will not be applied for. The school tell their teachers that this is normal procedure and tell them not to worry about it, whilst the teachers are unknowingly breaking the law.

    Some teachers (like myself) after a few months obtain a legal working visa. Others however, do not. These teachers never receive one and therefore throughout their entire duration of stay, work illegally due to the false premise of the company, fronted by friendly foreign face Neil Mackenzie.

    The latter was the case for South African Teacher: Jenny (pseudo-name). This resulted in Jenny having to leave China; which was entirely due to the continuous mistreatment and the unremitting false promises from the company.

    It is of huge importance that this school be investigated immediately in order to stop other foreign workers from being exploited, being forced to unknowingly work illegally and then be threatened and extorted upon exit.

    Kind regards,


  12. MODERATORS NOTE: The CFTU confirms that Principal John was called by a CFTU volunteer pretending to be the "uncle" of the victim back in the U.K. The uncle agreed to send the 25,000 rmb and asked for wiring instructions. Principal John referred the "uncle" to "Talk with Neil" referring to Neil McKenzie.

    The above complaints are typical of the abuse foreign teachers are subjected to in China, and until this abuse subsides we will vigorously do our best to expose it.

    1. Hi,
      I've just been offered a job with this school and have been in correspondence with the aforementioned Foreign Manager, Neil. This post is obviously quite worrying for me as we had planned on going there quite soon. Basically, is this a fairly standard setup for teaching in China (in regards to attaining a work visa), or is this a vindictive scheme that we need to be genuinely worried about and try to avoid? Do you think that given this useful information, that I might be able to ensure the same does not happen to me, or would you suggest we avoid this school at all costs?

  13. hello
    My name is Troy. I am from the USA. I recieved an email from Denise to contact this agency to report a school doing illegal activity. I have been working at a school in shenzhen called MARON school. It is a preschool. ages 3 to 5. I have been teaching there since Feb 5th of 2012. I have finished my 1 year contract, but the school did not do their part of the contract. They promised in the contract that everything was legal and that they would help with a work visa. I asked several times about the work visa but they still didnt get me one. I never agreed to break any chinese law and the contract clearly states that everything is legal and honest. They also forced me to work overtime which in my contract states that i would be paid overtime. I then had to get another tourist visa with my own money and time which they said would be leagal to work with which I later found out was not true. They then cut my days to half days and only paid for half a day and even cheat on those wages. They even threatened to call the police on me and get me deported if i complain about my pay or complain to a government agency. They also stated that they have the chinese police paid off in all 11 districts where they have schools to help them with thir illegal activity including deporting teachers so they don't have to pay them. I want to report the main office in Shangmeilin district as well as their other 10 branches. There are many African teachers who are literally slaves in the schools. This problem is well beyond the local police districts that they have been paying off. Please contact me as soon as possible and let me know what to do to proceed.
    cell 13369911214

  14. You know, I do feel for abused teachers here - I'll say that straight out. I have been there myself many a time. But I have been clicking on the links to read some of the experiences, and I swear some of these 'teachers' are illiterate. Poor spelling, grammar, word choice, punctuation. I kind of wonder whether the schools are getting scammed as well...

    Some of these people have also said things to make me doubt their stories. Things that just don't add up. I'm sorry, Moderators, but if you want to make this site credible, you need to vet the stories before posting them. Example - one guy with terrible writing skills said he stayed at a school for 5 years despite terrible abuse because it was in proximity to the city where his wife worked. There are thousands and thousands of jobs for 'teachers' in China and this guy (who was at a university) couldn't find a job in the city where is wife lived? Something wrong with that story.

    1. I completely agree with you. I was reading some stories and found people couldn't differentiate between simple words like 'cite' and 'site'. What are they really teaching here? I feel this whole website blacklisting so many people could be one of the scammers themselves who are in competition with others. CAREFUL!

  15. Check out this website revealing the truth about Maple Leaf International School in TEDA, Tianjin. This company is a corrupt organization that takes advantage of its foreign and domestic employees.

  16. I worked for TOP International English in Sui Hua until the start of February this year. I had many problems with this school, however the one that stands out the most is them illegally fining me 6000 yuan, and threatening to put me on a Chinese government blacklist if I didn't pay it.

    The school has an illegal contract with a middle school here, a contract that I was not allowed to see or even told about until they fined me. In November I walked out of one of my classes there because the students regular teacher had left me alone with his 65 students and a student threw a pencil at me. I went back to the staffroom at that middle school.
    Two-and-half months later, the school I worked for fined me 6000 yuan for that. They told me that the reasons they could do that were in the contract I didn't know about and couldn't see and couldn't show a lawyer. I know I couldn't show it to a lawyer because I asked to and they refused.

    The principle's name is Shang Cui and her English name is Wendy. She and her husband, Bi Le, whose English name is Bill were the ones who threatened me and she is the one who fined me that 6000 yuan.

    They also ended my contract early and didn't give me one month's notice or one month's salary in lieu of one month's pay.
    I also rented my own apartment here, with my contract stating that if I did so the school would pay me a three thousand six hundred yuan traffic allowance upon completion of the contract. They did not pay me this allowance. They also didn't even bother to give a reason this time, just flat refused to pay it.
    I would suggest to teachers who are contacted by this school to give it a wide berth.

  17. Could someone inform me if gradutes2china are genuine please? Also, i know some people are against agencies but are there actually any reputable ones? If so, to apply for the Z visa do i need to send my passport details from this end to the company in China?



    1. We have never heard of this outfit. Please send us more info and we will check them out. Thanks

  18. Hi Nathan,

    If you are not a memeber you need to just visit our blacklist above and search for yourself. If you have any good or bad experiences with a school please share them here with all of us. Also everyone reading this should remember that we do not answer specific requests about a school inquiry - we are too busy dealing with complaints and investigations. This is why the above list is here. Use it if you have doubts. Our whitelist is now compiled and is available to members. Part I of the two-part list will be published for the public in the next 3-5 days.

  19. The below complaint was received from Canadian Martin Doherty who asked us to post it as a warning to others about American Kids Language School. We recently wrote to their Principal on behalf of Martin but are still awaiting a reply. We will keep you posted here. And now Martin's unedited complaint:

    Teachers – Parents – Stay Clear Hangzhou American Kids Language Training School

    Address: Room1019, Building B, Highlong Plaza, Shanyin Rd, Xiaoshan

    District, Hangzhou

    Postal Code: 311203

    Tel: 0571-82825211

    Fax: 0571-82825212

    English Name of owner: Kathleen Hong :

    cell: 1866-818-8699


    skype: kathleenhongmei

    DETAILS: I recorded this conversation on my phone for record with a meeting with the school and me - as usually they often spoke to each other in Chinese before they responded to my questions. The school was not properly managed and after pointing out many flaws in their school system that required improvement, they immediately presented a list of 100% totally false accusations of me, (such as asking the parents to buy me gifts, or treating the children in an improper manner, etc.)

    The tape recording is available to the public, and will be posted on various public media outlets across China and Internationally, in the expat community and Chinese parent community .. also in Chinese. As a result:

    1. The school refused to pay my last month’s salary

    2. They did not agree to 8 weeks payment in lieu of termination letter.

    3. They would not give me the copy of the signed contract.

    4. They showed me papers where they admitted they had forged my signature on them, which claims I owe them money. (I have a copy of this paper)

    In Addition: * They also used very unethical and manipulative sales techniques on both the parents and the children while doing demos.

    For example, when the children were separated from the parents for any period of time, they would promise the children gifts if they told their mother they wanted to learn English there.

    * They also used pirated copies of a very well know English Teaching software. In fact, they would put their school stamp over the top of the brand name logo of the software.

    * They used & advertised their Chinese School name under a franchise name they had formally lost their license to.

    * Much of their material had very bad and incorrect grammar, and there was no real set standards.

    * If there was ever a child with issues, such as learning challenges or was "hitting" in class, you were told to ignore them and not say anything to the parents as it was important the parents renewed their membership.

    * Most of their computers and software did not work properly and all had illegal copies (unlicensed) copies of software on them.

    * The school also employed another "American" western teacher who was mentally unstable and would suddenly, and without warning start yelling and cursing and accuse people of of speaking about him, and would then walk out of the school.

    He also would often comment that his phone was tapped, people were following him and that people would go into his apartment when he was not there.

  20. We just received this email from "AC" who returned to Australia after teaching in China. We get perhaps 200 emails like this every month...

    Subject: World International English Nantong

    From: Anthony C**** <******>
    Date: Sat, Mar 30, 2013 12:32 am


    Hello , I have recently returned to Sydney broke after being completely conned by this school.
    Not only did they ignore the contract they gave work that I should have had to unqualified , illegal teachers not having the Z visa.
    Why don't the police ever check these private training schools for illegal teachers who are NOT native speakers and are not legal? The students pay very large amounts for substandard teaching
    I commenced work early February 2013 after signing the contract late January 2012 incurring considerable travel and hotel expenses.
    I have read another complaint from a teacher who quit in August last year who stated that they have a racket whereby they withhold salary so they can invest the salary money.
    They said they wouldn't sign the contract until March 10th meaning that they would withhold my salary from February to April 10th leaving me with no income forcing me to return to Australia broke.
    I thought the new China was determined to wipe out corruption.When will they clean up the Teaching business and get rid of the cowboy owners of these Training centres?

  21. For Anthony C: We here at the CFTU are doing our best to expose all the "cowboys" you mention but there are hubdreds. When people like you help with your horror stories, it makes our job easier, so keep them coming and post them here as a warning. If we receive three or more complaints about the same school that are verifiable, we will add that school to our blacklist.

  22. BTW... we received this email below from Joseph who gave us permission to share it with you. As soon as he provides us more details and contact info on the people who cheated him, we will try to interced on his behalf. This is very typical of the 2 dozen complaints we receive every day.
    - DF


    To Whom It May Concern,

    > I am writing to inform you of my recent experience with Australian International Education Program Management Center (aka. Beijing Tianqi Bowen Education Consulting Co. Ltd.) located at room 6006, International Exchange Center, No. 1, Dingfuzhang Nanli, Chaoyang District, Beijing. In November 2012, I was contacted by a female recruiter who said she worked for a school in Beijing. She explained to me that the school she worked for had locations all over China. After a short interview, she said that she wanted to extend an offer to me, and that she would be preparing the contract. A few days later, she contacted me regarding a "better" position at one of their schools in Lianyungang, and that the school needed me immediately.
    > As it would be impossible to quickly get a Z visa, they had me obtain an F visa, instead. I was able to get an F visa within 48 hours, and within a week, I was headed to Beijing. When I arrived in Beijing, I was picked up at the airport by the female recruiter, a driver and another woman who worked for the company named Tracy Liu. The driver took me to the a hotel located on a school's campus. The recruiter represented the campus as belonging to the company she represented.the next day I was put on a plane to Lianyungang. When I arrived in Lianyungang, I was taken to company provided housing and left to settle in. The next morning, I was picked up and taken to HuaJie Bi-lingual School in GanYu. I was immediately told to teach classes without the opportunity to create a lesson plan or review the school's text.
    > Later, I was finally given a contract to sign between myself and Australian International Education Program Management Center. I immediately inquired as to why I would be signing a contract with an agency rather than an educational institution. I further inquired as to why the agency was misrepresented as a an actual educational institution having several school throughout China. The TA told me that the recruiter must have meant that they have contracts with schools throughout China.
    > I was later told that during the Winter Break, I would need to return to the US to obtain a Z visa and that the company would pay for my transportation costs. As I prepared to travel back to the US, I was given a second contract to sign with the school. The TA told me that the contract was just for visa purposes. It turns out that Australian International Education Consulting Co. Ltd. does not have a license to hire foreign experts.

    (Scroll down for Part II)

  23. Joseph's Complaint Part II...

    > While I was in the US the company failed to pay me wages earned from the period before I left. When I inquired as to why, Tracy Liu told me that "the boss will pay you your salary when you return". I let her know that this was a breach of the terms of the contract, as I am to be be paid on the tenth of every month, and that by the express terms of the contract, I now had the right to terminate the contract.
    > When I returned to Beijing, Tracy placed another contract in front of me which would extend the contract period for another year. I said that I was not pleased with the terms, and that I would be happy to negotiate extending the contract at a future date. Tracy then told me that "the boss said that he cannot pay you until you sign the contract". At that point, I became furious. I told her that she was resulting to extortion to induce me to sign the contract. I said that I would go directly to the embassy. She caught me at the elevator as I tried to leave and paid me a portion of what I was due. She said the rest would be paid when I arrived in Liamyungang.
    > When I arrived in Lianungang, I tried to settle back into my normal teaching routine, but the intimation tactics had finally gotten to me. I provided Tracy with written notice of my decision to terminate the contract for breach. My written notice read in relevant part: Paragraph 3 of the contract provides: (The company) shall pay (employee's) salary as scheduled. The Contract Term provides that: the salary will be paid on the 10th of each month. My salary was due on February 10th. However, it was not paid until the 20th of March. Under the section Revision, Cancellation and Termination of the Contract (page 5; paragraph 2) an employee has the right to terminate the contract for the company's failure to pay as scheduled. Given recent developments, I'm hereby exercising my right to terminate the contract effective April 1st.
    > On March 31, Tracy, her boss, Mr. Wang and four others came to the flat in which I lived and demanded that I pay them RMB 20,000. They claimed that I now owed them a breach penalty of RMB 5000, RMB 5000 for the electric and water bills, RMB 5000 for my visa fees and RMB 5000 for their cost of bringing in another teacher on short notice. They also ordered me put of the flat immediately.
    > Although they said on numerous occasions that I would be provided a letter of recommendation shortly via text or email messages, they verbally state that they will not "release" it until I pay them RMB 22,000. The amount has now seemingly increased.
    > Further, they never obtained my residence permit or foreign expert certificate. Thus, I will now have to leave China shortly unless I can obtain the documents for my new employer.
    > Any assistance in this urgent matter will be greatly appreciated.
    > Best regards,
    > Joseph

  24. Perhaps I'm going to fast here, but a quick warning about .

    I saw a posting I was interested in, and I figured I would ask additional information about the school. I sent them an e-mail through their on-line form. My e-mail was straight forward: I would like more information about the position advertised: How many hours per week, is housing provided or is it an additional allocation, a typical schedule and holidays.
    I never attached a copy of my resume.
    They reply a lengthy e-mail, including this magic sentence: ''After reviewing your CV, I am delighted to tell you that you have passed the first stage of our application process and we would now like to forward your application to our partner schools.'' Amazing! They reviewed my resume! They are now asking for copies of my passport, diplomas, reference letters and a picture!

    Is it too early for a loud siren and red lights?

    Any-how, seeing as they advertise the name of the school and general location, it was easy for me to contact their HR department directly requiring information about the employment opportunity, that being said, it's lucky I'm fluent in Chinese and have lived in China for several years. I will post any updates coming from the school and recruitment agency as they come in.

    Again, beware of Ray English, they claim to be foreign owned, but they're not exactly running it foreign style.

  25. Beware of a school in Jiangdu, Yangzhou called Lucky Kids Kindergarten. From the start the 'recruiter' starts to take advantage. Here are some of the issues I encountered.

    - School is not in Yangzhou, it's in Jiangdu which is a district at 45 minutes away from Yangzhou city. This is the countryside for the Chinese.
    - The 'gentleman' who hired me asked me to bring Baby Milk Powder over when I was moving over. I later found out that if I'd been caught, I was actually smuggling this stuff into China. This product is sold at a much higher price on the black market..
    - When I asked about getting help sourcing Madarin Chinese lessons, it was refused. When I asked about getting a language exchange set up, I was told that I was breaking my contract... This is despite the fact that nobody in the school speaks English.
    - You will be responsible for around 1000 students, who you'll see about once a week.
    - There is no language assistant in the kindergarten for your lessons. When I asked about getting one, I was politely dismissed. Later on in the year, the school complained because the children were not speaking enough English...
    - They kept changing the duration of our holidays. In their recent advertisment for this years teachers, they've offered 2 weeks holidays. We got 4 weeks. Please note that the Chinese have specific holidays and you are entitled to these too.
    - They introduced a financial penalty system for the following; arriving to work late, leaving work early, being sick, or not turning up. This is despite the fact that you have to commute at least an hour between schools and you are responsible for sourcing your own transport.
    - You will be based in schools not affiliated to the Kindergarten. Your employer retains a large proportion of the money earned from this.
    - The Kindergarten also recruits 'volunteers'. These volunteers have to 'make up' their hours in external schools.

    The situation got so bad in this school, I left unannounced. I raised a number of issues on several occasions which went ignored.

    Please be careful of this school.

  26. We just received this complaint from "Peter" who authorized us to share it online with you all concerning:

    HK Sunbow Foreign Language Kindergarten, Chikan District, Zhanjiang City, Guandong province. The principal's last name is Mrs. Long, she was dismissed last March.

    PART I

    "I arrived in China last August and was interviewed by a certain Linda (a crook) whose office is located at a kindergarten in Luohu District, Shenzhen (give me a couple of days, I will retreive the exact location) .

    In October she introduced me to her "friend" surnamed Liang, who is the owner of HK Sunbow Foreign Language Kindergarten located in Zhanjiang, Guandong ( I was offered 6000 RMB (miserable, I know) at first, plus accommodation and sponsored F visa (forget about Z visa). I was able to negotiate a little bit, and eventually we agreed upon 7000 yuan a month. I was given my schedule prior to my departure, and it looked OK on the paper. However, when I arrived I had to deal with a completely different situation! I was forced to teach every Wednesday an extra hour for which the parents were charged additionally. Plus, the owner informed me that she had "some friends" in a nearby primary school, and that I must teach some of its students an extra hour every Sunday! Sure, no extra payment had been offered. I revolted, and eventually the principal rescheduled that class. I was charged for "absenteeism" on the grounds that I didn't show up for that class twice. They wouldn't accept my explanation that our written agreement (I cannot call that Chinglish thing a contract) grants me two days off which fall on weekend.

    I was obliged to give a demo lesson on another occasion on Sunday for free as well. Again, there was nothing about it in our "contract". Speaking about the "contract", which itself is a joke. Interesting enough, the school principal, who turned out to be a crazy woman certainly suffering from hysteria, signed that piece of paper in Chinese with her (supposedly) real Chinese name - Long. I have no idea what Mei had told her when we arrived at the kindergarten; perhaps the principal was convinced that I would do anything and accept all the terms and conditions which were not specified, but I'm hundred percent sure she never understood what exactly did she signed - she speaks no English.

    That had made Ms. Long extremely angry. Once the principal realized she cannot manipulate me, she ordered the accountant to deduct my salary on each and every occasion - the days I was officially sick, for instance (I went to the Central people's hospital of Zhanjiang several times). Yes, sometimes you get sick, because you have 12 classes a day!

  27. PART II (Sunbow Complaint From Peter)

    "What pissed me off the most was how they treated their only foreign teacher days before the Chinese New Year. I was sitting there with the air-ticket to the Philippines in my hand, waiting when Ms. Liang would end giving those wonderful speeches at the teachers room. She knew I was about to leave and I needed to rush to the long-distance bus station. And it was the accountant who told me that I cannot leave unless I return my apartment keys to them. I mentioned that they have got at least 3 other keys from the apartment, and what for heavens sake the keys have to do with my paycheck?? I was leaving just for vacation, bringing with me just a small suitcase (I was not thinking of quitting my job back then).

    The terror happened when I came back to Shenzhen 21 days later. I was told that "I can come back to the kindergarten anytime" to pick up my keys. A day later - that I should notify the principal in advance. And finally that I should report to work on February 24th. Forget about my payday on 15th! They never mentioned they owed me my wages as if I worked last January for free. They just wanted me to resume working on the 24th of February, that's it. Nice? More was yet to be discovered.

    I arrived in Zhanjiang giving them a 12-hours notice, and got my keys back after waiting for 8 hours at the gate. No salary had been transferred to my account, though. And when only 100 yuan left in my pocket I came to the school when it was full of newcomers and in the middle of the crowd declared that if not given money I would call the police right away. It worked, but only 60%. After getting a miserable amount of money I left Zhanjiang for good. They knew the police would do nothing as I worked illegally, and I knew that 60% is better than nothing.

    The end.

    P.S. After a few days Linda sent me a text message quite cynically stating that the "contract" she crafted for the school means nothing as I am "illegal". As if I were a complete idiot not able to figure it out myself :-) What she didn't mentioned, is that her fake contract automatically makes HER activities illegal as well."

    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: Admin
    > Sent: 04/21/13 06:46 AM
    > To: Peter
    > Subject: RE: Blacklisted or Not?

  28. I have been blacklisted from a school I was at for 4 months in Dushanzi. I left on November 1 because she promised me so much stuff and money and never came through on it. Actually she borrowed the local college's paperwork to hire me and do my visa and residence permit through the college. I left for English First in Jinzhou. My boss told me I am on the blacklist and my residence permit ends Aug 1 but my contract here is until Nov 1. He said I can apply for a business visa. I want to continue to work in China after my contract here ends but I have no idea what route to take. Can someone please help me out on this? My current boss is telling me to lose my passport in the process of him applying for me a business visa and so the new passport would have a new number and it wouldn't match up on the computer. He said I could then get a new work visa. It sounds fishy to me and doesn't sound like it will work. Thanks for any help!

  29. This email was just received and we are posting it as a warning to all...

    Greetings Denise,

    My name is Jorge. This information is accurate, due to that I experienced it from this school. They treated me with disrespect and very inappropriately. I worked for them full time. They promised they were going to give me a work visa. I worked and every month there were delays. I found out they don't qualify to provide work visas to foreigners. I left and acquired a real school, and I am working with a work visa. Kid's MBA didn't provide a work permit, no medical exam, and the necessary documents to process a work visa. They kept sending me to Hong Kong to get different visas to stay in China so they can get the work visa for me. But this school doesn't qualify to employ foreigners, and I left because it's illegal and I didn't want to disobey or violate China laws. They have been paying me late every month and when I left, they were suppose to pay me my last month's salary of 12,600 rmb they didn't pay me. I posted this situation on Weibo, as well as the SAFEA in Beijing.

    The schools information as follows:

    Shanghai Kid's MBA Young American English School Address: Minhang District, Shanghai Qibao Qixin 2927, No. 158, Lane :4006530560-2

    Nanjing Longjiang Campus: pasture gate 101 Main Street, Wenhui Building, 11th Floor, C baby hotline 025 -83,215,55

    Ma'anshan branch address unknown. It's located in One City Mall, located beside Walmart. 3rd floor.
    Yushan East Road
    Yushan, Ma'anshan, Anhui, China

    I believe that the owners name is William ZiXu

    1. For future foreign teachers who maybe applying to this Scam school! Ask around, do your research and ask a foreign teacher to show you their Foreign Expert certificate and Z visa when you are in an interview with them.

  30. ANy word on the cambridge international institute in Shenzhen? I got offered a job there

  31. Another Expat Teacher Extortion Attempt - Reported here with the authorization of Teacher Reyes... PART I

    -------- Original Message --------
    Subject: Extortion complaint
    From: Joseph Reyes
    Date: Mon, April 01, 2013 5:49 pm
    To: ""

    To Whom It May Concern,
    > I am writing to inform you of my recent experience with Australian International Education Program Management Center (aka. Beijing Tianqi Bowen Education Consulting Co. Ltd.) located at room 6006, International Exchange Center, No. 1, Dingfuzhang Nanli, Chaoyang District, Beijing. In November 2012, I was contacted by a female recruiter who said she worked for a school in Beijing. She explained to me that the school she worked for had locations all over China. After a short interview, she said that she wanted to extend an offer to me, and that she would be preparing the contract. A few days later, she contacted me regarding a "better" position at one of their schools in Lianyungang, and that the school needed me immediately.
    > As it would be impossible to quickly get a Z visa, they had me obtain an F visa, instead. I was able to get an F visa within 48 hours, and within a week, I was headed to Beijing. When I arrived in Beijing, I was picked up at the airport by the female recruiter, a driver and another woman who worked for the company named Tracy Liu. The driver took me to the a hotel located on a school's campus. The recruiter represented the campus as belonging to the company she represented.the next day I was put on a plane to Lianyungang. When I arrived in Lianyungang, I was taken to company provided housing and left to settle in. The next morning, I was picked up and taken to HuaJie Bi-lingual School in GanYu. I was immediately told to teach classes without the opportunity to create a lesson plan or review the school's text.
    > Later, I was finally given a contract to sign between myself and Australian International Education Program Management Center. I immediately inquired as to why I would be signing a contract with an agency rather than an educational institution. I further inquired as to why the agency was misrepresented as a an actual educational institution having several school throughout China. The TA told me that the recruiter must have meant that they have contracts with schools throughout China.


    > I was later told that during the Winter Break, I would need to return to the US to obtain a Z visa and that the company would pay for my transportation costs. As I prepared to travel back to the US, I was given a second contract to sign with the school. The TA told me that the contract was just for visa purposes. It turns out that Australian International Education Consulting Co. Ltd. does not have a license to hire foreign experts.
    > While I was in the US the company failed to pay me wages earned from the period before I left. When I inquired as to why, Tracy Liu told me that "the boss will pay you your salary when you return". I let her know that this was a breach of the terms of the contract, as I am to be be paid on the tenth of every month, and that by the express terms of the contract, I now had the right to terminate the contract.
    > When I returned to Beijing, Tracy placed another contract in front of me which would extend the contract period for another year. I said that I was not pleased with the terms, and that I would be happy to negotiate extending the contract at a future date. Tracy then told me that "the boss said that he cannot pay you until you sign the contract". At that point, I became furious. I told her that she was resulting to extortion to induce me to sign the contract. I said that I would go directly to the embassy. She caught me at the elevator as I tried to leave and paid me a portion of what I was due. She said the rest would be paid when I arrived in Liamyungang.
    > When I arrived in Lianungang, I tried to settle back into my normal teaching routine, but the intimation tactics had finally gotten to me. I provided Tracy with written notice of my decision to terminate the contract for breach. My written notice read in relevant part: Paragraph 3 of the contract provides: (The company) shall pay (employee's) salary as scheduled. The Contract Term provides that: the salary will be paid on the 10th of each month. My salary was due on February 10th. However, it was not paid until the 20th of March. Under the section Revision, Cancellation and Termination of the Contract (page 5; paragraph 2) an employee has the right to terminate the contract for the company's failure to pay as scheduled. Given recent developments, I'm hereby exercising my right to terminate the contract effective April 1st.
    > On March 31, Tracy, her boss, Mr. Wang and four others came to the flat in which I lived and demanded that I pay them RMB 20,000. They claimed that I now owed them a breach penalty of RMB 5000, RMB 5000 for the electric and water bills, RMB 5000 for my visa fees and RMB 5000 for their cost of bringing in another teacher on short notice. They also ordered me put of the flat immediately.
    > Although they said on numerous occasions that I would be provided a letter of recommendation shortly via text or email messages, they verbally state that they will not "release" it until I pay them RMB 22,000. The amount has now seemingly increased.
    > Further, they never obtained my residence permit or foreign expert certificate. Thus, I will now have to leave China shortly unless I can obtain the documents for my new employer.
    > Any assistance in this urgent matter will be greatly appreciated.
    > Best regards,
    > Joseph



    Joseph Reyes
    Date: Wed, May 29, 2013 2:02 pm
    To: Admin

    Hello Denise,

    Since our last communication, my situation in China has gone from bad to worse. I took a job at Web International English in Suzhou-Taicang. Abbey, at Web, told me that she could help me with my visa situation. (Recall that I entered on a Z visa and left my previous employer.) she also advised me that Web had a RMB 2000 housing allowance, and that the company would advance me the entire housing cost. From the moment I arrived in Taicang, everything I was promised when I interviewed was immediately taken off the table. For example,the housing allowance of RMB 2000 was mysteriously lowered to RMB 1500, which isn't enough to cover a decent apartment in Taicang. Next, Abbey began asking me how much money I had in my account. I asked her why she needed to know. She advised me that Web would only loan me the amount IT would determine I'd need. I made the mistake of telling her how much I had. Abbey told me Web would only advance me RMB 2000 for housing, which was roughly one month's rent. I asked her "how am I going to eat during this time?" She then allowed me to keep RMB 1500 to get me through the next 32 days. Ultimately, the lack of personal funds had a snowball effect. The HR manager claimed that my visa didn't expire until June. I advised her that she was misreading the visa, and that a Z visa tolls from the date of entry. She insisted that I didn't know what I was talking about, and eventually botched my working Z visa. on 30 hours notice, I was sent to HK for a tourist visa. I thought about going to the US, but David, the center director, told me not to worry as Web would cover the cost of the tourist visa. So, they initially covered the airfare, and told me to bring back my receipts for reimbursement. No one booked me a room, so I ended up overpaying for one night. The hotel couldn't accommodate me for a second night. I had to spend every last cent I had to get a tourist visa, and when I returned to Taicang, not only did Abbey, Cherry and David refuse to reimburse me, but they charged me for the airfare. The following month, they tried to send me back to HK for his Z visa without any of the required paperwork. When I asked about the paperwork, they said they would mail it to me. I then advised them that I wouldn't get on the plane unless the company advanced me the costs of the trip, as per the contract they are supposed to cover all cost associated with getting a Z visa. The HR manager, Cherry, refused and told me that I been paid RMB 4300 so I should have at least RMB 3000 remaining to spend on this trip. She added that after I exhausted all of my personal funds she'd consider loaning me additional funds as she saw fit. To make a bad situation worse, I ended up sleeping in the HK airport and was later stranded in Shanghai as the trains stopped running. Neither Abbey nor Cherry would assist him in finding a hotel room in Shanghai despite my numerous messages. At approximately 4 am, I was robbed by several men in Shanghai. I tried to call Abbey, but she didn't answer. I sent her a text message advising her of the incident, and Abbey got upset with me for getting robbed. She wrote "even kid know how to care for self." Never did anyone in the office ask me if he was ok, or offer to go with me to the hospital. Abbey then tried to write me up for taking the day off when I returned to recover from my injuries. At a meeting, she tried to fine me for taking the day off, at which point, I quit. Thereafter, Abbey and Cherry insisted that I owed the company money and that they would keep the pay owed. Further, they added that I was to leave the apartment in a week because they were demanding the rent money from the landlady. In any other country, this would be criminal. However, it seems to be another day in China.

    Please help.

    Best regards,

    1. We sent you some advice Joseph. How about an update?

  34. UPDATE: The CFTU contacted the Webb Suzhou School by email on May 10th. We received no reply. We then contacted the home office of Web English by telephone and was told that their legal representative would get back to us. That was three weeks ago. Since we have had no response and and since Web ENglish in Suzhou has already received two other unresolved complaints, we have added them to our blacklist.

  35. Hang in there Jo,

    I have had a similar situation in Taiyuan,
    working for Golden Kids School.
    Now I am offered a job at Web in Suzhou, Time Square. Are they connected ?


  36. WOW! There are so many ESL teachers with an axe to grind. But, for every complaint, I hope there are at least 10, if not more, teachers completely satisfied with their schools. Usually, people will post a complaint, while those content with heir experience just go on their merry way. For the posters that claim that they got fired and other reasons, perhaps the teachers themselves are to blame. There are two sides to every story. Oh, I am not so naïve to think that every school or recruiter out there is as honest as they should be. But, I have met enough ESL teachers to know that some of them should never have left home to begin with. Their pissy attitudes and their inability to teach effectively are spoken behind their backs in expat forums and gatherings.

    I have learned a few things since being an ESL teacher:
    1. First and foremost, we are ambassadors for our home countries. Sure, it is not official through a government. But, we are typically under a microscope. Our actions dictate to the Chinese what an American, Australian, Canadian, European and others are like in our country. If you act like an idiot, then your country is viewed as a country of idiots.
    2. We are guests in China. This is their country. They have centuries of traditions and culture that they live by. Just as our home countries have their traditions and cultures. I may not like and agree with some of their ways of doing things, but I do respect their right to do as they see necessary.
    3. As I said, ESL teaching is not for everyone. If you are an introverted person, negative by nature, a drunkard or drug user, someone who can't fulfill their obligations, or just an unpleasant SOB to be around, you really should just go home. If you got to China in a positive mood, but have since been soured by things you see or have experienced, go home. No one is forcing you to stay. Many of us love our jobs, the students, and the country we are working in. You negative opinions taint the beauty and wonderment that the rest of us are here to enjoy.
    4. You have to be able to roll with the punches. There are many things I disagree with or experience that I do not like. But, I understand that I was hired to a job. As long as I can do the job I was hired to do, get paid the salary and benefits I was promised in my contract, and I am not physical or mentally harmed during my stay here, I will be one happy teacher.

    With all that said, I recognize that the world is an evil place. It is filled with people looking only to make money. All people are not nice. There are asses in every culture looking to take advantage of people. So, there is value to sites like this one that call them out for who they are. I have learned a long time ago that one or two negative comments or reviews of a school or recruiter does not mean you should steer clear of them. The ones to be weary of are the ones that have consistent complaints from a variety of people.

    Just remember two things....1) there are two sides to every story. 2) Research, research, research!!!!

  37. Tianjin University of Technology and Education, Tianjin, China.

    The agency contact for this university is called David or Dave or something along that line, he will lie and trick you into signing this contract, then leave you as soon as you arrive. If you got a problem your on your own.

    The university is crap, about 40 minutes from the downtown area, the organisation and management is garbage, you will agree in your contract to 14 hours which will become 18-20 with evening and weekend classes which are not paid. overtime payment is not heard of. other teachers before have not been given airfare back or laid off before the end of their contract for "Bad work" or "Negative comments" from teachers and students which can never be justified or detailed when asked.

    The school of foreign studies is managed by a granny who has no idea what planet she is on, let alone what she has signed in her contract. The leaders will influence your class, the other foreign teachers are useless and have no idea or balls to complain.

    The accommodation is sh*t with a room specifically designed for hobbits or small children. the space in not adequate, room is old and not decorated, electrics are dangerous, ceiling is falling down. leaking pipes under the floor and no heating turns your room into disneys ice castle during winter holiday. Air conditioner will be fixed after about 4-5 months of waiting.

    The building is locked at 11pm every night but actually gets locked about 9.30pm when the security man gets tired. The security night watchman Mr Shi is a DI*K, rude and likes to start fights with the teachers, real fights not just confrontations. University leaders will come into the room and ask you to clean, as well as no smoking, drinking, visitors or INTERNET. Accommodation is shared with international students.

    500rmb will be deducted from the 5000 salary each month for "Insurance" and you will be constantly told, you are not doing enough work.

    It should be known to all teachers that this school is cheating teachers who come here, if they do anything against the teachers we cannot use the contract and its said to be useless but if we do not adhere to the contract from their end, then is a breach and we are wrong.

    1. Hi, I'm a guy contacted by a certain Daniel and a certain Catherine for an internship in the Tianjin University of Tecnology, Art Center building. I want to know if the people you have contacted are a chinese and a estonian/european girl and if you have recieved your first salary after two months working it is very uirgent
      I have also an other question to ask you, if you decided to quit the job before the date indicated in the contract, is it possible? Waiting for your kind feedback

    2. Hello!!!
      I was contacted by them too a Chinese and a Estonian girl both of them absolutely rude people. I was working there for three months and they never paid my salary nor my deposit of the apartment. Please, don't accept the job, it is scam!

  38. This just in from a teacher/victim who wants to remain anonymous...

    One for a blacklisting:

    They are one shady company, after dealing with them once, and
    regretting it because they were so unprofessional (lies about salary,
    location...the usual) I asked them a dozen times to stop spamming me
    and got this reply:


    Translated: "You f-ing b-tch, you are f-ed up, I f-ck your mother"

    They have since threatened to send my profile to all of the schools on
    their mailing list telling them that I am a prostitute. I am not even
    joking. Watch out for these slimy people.

    It should be clear that since they are happy to steal the good name of
    "Wiki" they don't have much in the way of morals.

    They have a dozen ads on The Beijinger at any given time under the user names:


    All of those user names are just one company/person

    This recruiting company uses the following email addresses:

    They use the names:

    Ms Qu
    Mr Zhang
    Ms Li

    1. Thanks for sharing but we cannot blacklist them just yet. Yours is the second complaint (the other was quite similar) and when receive a third we will take action. But thanks for the heads up - they are now being monitored.

  39. Working for EF Hefei was probably the worst decision of my life. When i arrived at the airport there was nobody there to pick me up (i was promised before i left there would be someone). So i was lost in a new city with nowhere to go and not able to speak the language which im sure you can imagine is pretty damn scary, i called the number they gave me but it didnt work. I waited for hours and realised i would have to leave so i used my lonely planet guide to show a taxi driver the address of the hilton hotel. Luckily for me some people there did speak english and they contacted the school for me. I was picked up and brought to the smallest most disgusting apartment i have ever seen (it looked nothing like the picture of the apartment they sent me before). This was a worrying start for my first trip outside my own country but i told myself that things will surely get better. Sadly this wasnt the case, The school atmosphere was terrible and the teachers who had given me references about the school suspiciously were not there anymore. It was a cut throat business where parents were always first and you could get fined if some of the parents didnt like you and stopped paying for classes (something definitely not included in the contract). The senior staff were bullies who would constantly observe your classes then humiliate you by pointing out everything you did wrong in front of everyone else. It didnt take long for me to realise that this place wasnt for me so i gave in my notice and left. I have met many people who have had great experiences working in China and I have loved working as a teacher in south america for the last few years but i would advise anyone to avoid this place.

  40. DWW English Guangzhou Warning:

    They have adverts running online 24/7 looking for new teachers. You'd think they were a big school. They aren't - they employ no more than 4 foreign teachers. So why all the ads?

    The owner, David Klink a 10 year veteran, Canadian expat, is the reason. He is a deceptive, dishonest man who is a control freak with no regard for foreign teachers. He seems like a very normal Western boss - don't be deceived - he runs his centers stricter and less fair than Chinese owners. David Klink has been in China far too long.

    DWW English can't keep teachers, here's why - they lie...a lot. The most obvious: Scheduling.

    You will be working an early morning-late afternoon split schedule. 3 of 3 teachers were on this schedule when the author was there. They will say it is only a temporary situation - they are lying. You will be working a split schedule indefinitely, or whenever needed, and you will be fired if you can not.

    Off-location jobs are common, as is working in two different training centers in the same day. The training centers are 7 Metro stops apart and you need to transfer. You are not paid for travel costs or time.

    In addition to horrid scheduling, DWW English deducts pay from their foreign teachers for being late - even 1 minute late. It's in the contract.

    Charges are as follows:

    1-5 minutes late: 80 RMB
    6-20 minutes late: 150 RMB
    21-30 minutes late: 250RMB
    31 minutes or more 500 RMB

    Afternoon split schedule starts at the peak of rush hour. You will run a minute at times.

    Every time you do you will be charged $13. The office staff, though seemingly sweet, is absolutely merciless.

    Other negatives about DWW English Guangzhou: The training centers are only two rooms and empty (no more than 50 students total go there), David pays only 500 RMB per visa - teachers take care of the making the visa, [i]the contract has 18 deductions to your pay, but doesn't one bonus.[/i]

    Lastly, the bathrooms are actually in the tiny centers - toilet paper isn't allowed to flushed , resulting in the training centers often smelling like feces.

    At the time this was written, summer 2013, DWW English had no teachers who had been teaching there for over 3 months. This speaks volumes on the work environment DWW English Guangzhou offers.

    You will have to delude yourself into thinking how you're being treated by DWW English Guangzhou is acceptable - it's absolutely not.

    In short - Do not waste any time with DWW English Guangzhou.

    1. Actually since you posted, we have received two other complaints and tried to contact the Principal David Klink and he has not returned our calls. Therefore if we do not hear from by the 10th of August, they will be added to the China blacklist. Although we should caution you and others to STOP signing contracts that are ridiculously one-sided, and in many cases illegal. Please get an read a copy of China's Labor Laws in English which you can get for free by sending us an email at CLL[at]

    2. Did anyone finally get a hold of DWW English perchance?

  41. Hi, can anybody tell me if this agency is okay or not, cause they seem very suspicious and I found that company name in the black list. the point is they offer me a teacher job in China, still din;t give the list of schools and say that F type visa for me will cost 6000 CNY - which they can pay first for me and afterwards will take them back form my salary.

    The point is that I send them all my document except passport THANKS GOD (diplomas in Ukrainian language, hope they won't bother themselves translating them), and now am thinking in what kinda ***t I got? will be grateful for any kind of information.
    and as well, maybe somebody knows the service where you can find a normal job directly from employers not being scammed....

    1. If they are on the blacklist, there is a good reason. You did the right thing by not sending passport or visa copies. We urge everyone to read this article:

  42. Hi everyone,

    First of all thanks for all the efforts in creating such an informative website.

    I've been talking to an agent from
    Looking at their website it seemed like they were legit and have an office.

    After declining 3 other offers I was offered an English teaching job in Danzhou (Hainan) at a school called Haizhinan Foreign Language Schools (儋州海之南外国语学校).
    She told me to Google it, and so I did, but of course, everything was in Chinese.
    Supposedly this is a chain of 26 schools in Hainan.

    The offer is 8000RMB for a 20 hour workweek and free accomodation.
    I asked about her comission and she said the only commission she would receive (3500RMB) is half upon signing and half upon completion of a one year contract. No money would be taken from my monthly pay, I specifically asked twice.

    Her Skype is (personal) sunyanzi779 and (work) pinkoedu and calls herself Lisa Xue.,-china-Pinko-International-Culture-Exchange-Corporation

    Would like to know what you guys think?

    Any advice is highly appreciated.

    1. I think we will be investigating soon. Send us an email and we will communicate privately. Unfortunately most of our staff is on summer vacation so I apologize for the delayed response. Only six of us are holding down the fort until September. Thnaks for your patience. - D.F.

    2. Hi Marty have you recieved an answer to your question. I am a bit apprehensive now because I am now in contact with this same person Lisa Xue/sunyanzi779. but the school is different it is creative teaching program in soungyuan city (Jilin province). If you have any information from this site I would really appreciate some advice. Thank you .

    3. What was your outcome Steve?

  43. To whom this may concern I would like to point out the horrendous time I had at a Shane English School. Please excuse some spelling or grammar errors as I am still very jet-lagged and sleepy.

    When I think about a school, I think of a nurturing, fun, educational, organized environment to pleasantly work in! What I got when I arrived at Shane School was the complete opposite. I find it ludicrous that the company is even allowed to portray and name itself a school, the owner Mr Szhu reminds me of a pirate; obsessively motivated and driven by greed to hunt for more "treasure", done so gracefully despite the webs of deceit spun and causalities incurred to his own crew. Yes this man does not give a flying fig about the quality of teaching, the adequate abilities of his managers, the usefulness of his recruitment team or the reliability of his welfare officers because, lets face it none of these people "have" to have any people skills or do they "need" to speak or understand much English..... if they have a qualification in being dishonest, insensitive or able to suddenly want to screw you over at all costs (over nothing you've asked for within your rights) ... then B-I-N-G-O they're hired instantly. Like any private school in China, their whole objective is to make money. I was aware of that, I understood that this company and school was run like a business and I thought ok, I'll still give it a try. Never in my life have I used the word hate and actually meant it but after enduring 14 months at that school I now hate the manager "MAGGIE", I hate the company and everything that it stands for and most of all I hate all of the employees in "responsible" positions who not only treated myself badly but, harassed and drove other teachers away. I am not exaggerating any of these points or the following events that I witnessed regarding myself and other foreign teachers whilst working for Shane English School, East City, Dongying , Shandong Province. I feel that everyone should be warned about this pitiful excuse for a school!

  44. Part Two:

    Dongying is a very small city with a handful of places to socialize at in West City and only two to enjoy in East City. Despite the city being mundane and the locals reacting to you like an UFO, the foreign teachers that I worked with made the city seem more alive and the bulls#it at work more bearable. The first obstacle I had to face once I arrived in China were my living arrangements. Of course I was eager to get started and settled in, I had just left my friends and loved ones the other side of the world, I wanted to make the most of my time here.. which anyone would understand right?! No, I was there for a month before I moved into my apartment. The apartment that I had chosen was still being occupied by a teacher who was leaving and was in dispute with the school. Unbeknownst to me at the time the school were trying to screw him over in regards to his salary, visa, paperwork .... the usual things that are rightfully ours ... before he left. The welfare officer at the time Tony told me that the foreigner was trouble and not to listen to him and it was his fault why I couldn't move in. Therefore I was taken to a "temporary" apartment to stay in, bearing in mind I had already been staying in a hotel for a week in West City ( a 25 minute cab drive away) despite working in East City. I would not have allowed stray animals to shelter in that place. It was disgusting, the oven didn't work which was caked in layers of mold and grime, the sofa was green leather but it looked like a tiger had been unleashed on it and it was shredded to bits, when you opened the kitchen cupboard doors you were greeted with a herd of cockroaches running over moldy food and dirty crockery towards you. The beds were covered in unthinkable stains and the entire place had a unique but gut wrenching stench. I pleaded with Tony that they was no way I could stay here, but he reassured and promised me it would be for a few days. A few days turned into a week and then an expected further week to which I thought, " What have I come to?" It took an experienced teacher at the time to call Tony and demand that I was put into a hotel. So I was put into a different hotel in East City, this time for a few days, which surprisingly turned into 2 weeks.

  45. Part Three

    I felt and feel even more so now, that foreigners are brought to this school under false pretences. The contract lies, my contract stated I would be working 20 hours a week, this was not illustrated that infact I would be at school 40 hours every week and that 20 hours would be spent in the classroom, whilst the remaining 20 would be wasted confined to the teachers office as a reminder that the school "owns" us and if we disagreed with any office hours or holidays... we would be fined. One teacher was promised a free apartment, when he arrived here he was told, " No that was the contract that we had changed a few weeks ago but we have gone back to the original one now." So no free apartment, there's one lie. Being branded or accused of being a liar was always the most insulting thing you could suggest to MAGGIE the boss of East City, also nothing was ever her fault it was either WAYNE'S ( foreign teacher / department manager/ sits in the foreign office defending the school abusing fellow foreigners and sprints vigorously back to MAGGIE to relay anything that is said), CHEMIE's ( an officer of some sort, general dog's body of MAGGIE'S), CHRIS'S ( recruiter for the school, the communication between these two must be banned seeing as MAGGIE never knows what CHRIS has promised or informed newcomers), ADAMS'S ( welfare officer to the new foreigner teachers, e.g does well at being unorganized and informative) , all of these people are as much use as a chocolate teapot and should be ashamed of the way I witnessed them treating fellow teachers, aswell as myself.

  46. Part Four

    Just to shed an insight on how misleading the contract is for new teachers, since Christmas of 2013 excluding the West City School, we had had 13 teachers leave. Some stayed for a month, a week, a few days, one girl even stayed for an hour. Alas, the school will still continue to claim that these people were bad and that they had done nothing wrong, especially MAGGIE. The most common denominators within this school are the incapability’s and treacherous, calculated methods of MAGGIE. This is a manager who is a complete sociopath and takes pleasure in trying to threaten foreign teachers, especially when they want to leave. I had heard and witnessed various horror stories from fellow teachers regarding MAGGIE and the things she had done and said to them because they wanted to leave the school. This woman will not only lie to your parents and tell them bad things about you, she will also try to play you off against the other foreign teachers, discuss personal matters that she'd had with other teachers with yourself and then ask for your opinion, try to bribe the Chinese staff and TA's with extra money for spying on the foreign teachings in the office and outside of work, try to withhold you're Foreign Experts Certificate aswell as your reference and release letter, keep your retention bonus for herself, fine you at even given opportunity despite in the contract stating that verbal and written warnings will be given first before being issued with a fine, intrude and try to violate your personal life and try to break relationships up by cancelling visas and calling the Chinese parents of your spouse to poison them against you. Have I made myself clear by this point that this woman and this company should be avoided at all costs.... you still unsure and think, " HMMM maybe it will be ok for me?" ... read on my friend there's more to come.

  47. Part Five

    Being taken ill anywhere in the world is unpleasant, imagine being admitted to hospital because you were hit by a car and nearly murdered for defending friends and your boss is more concerned on when you will return to work. Unfortunately some fellow teachers were attacked one night by a mass of Chinese men, which was spectated and encouraged by by-standing locals. Luckily nobody was killed, however some people's injuries were more major than others. One teacher got stabbed in the leg, but recovered fairly well which sounds bad enough but in relation to the teacher who was nearly killed and how MAGGIE treated him seems minor. Not only had the Chinese men beat him constantly with a baseball bat to his skull and body, so much so that his cranium had a hole and was indented and had to be stitched, they also hit him with bottles and then allowed him to stagger and find his feet to be then ran over from behind by their friend revving and waiting in a car, the mental impact that this had on him was understandable but scary. All the teachers visited him and tried their best to support him, these efforts were squashed by MAGGIE's insensitive, barbaric nature. Following a CT scan the Chinese staff member who was with him at the time was SCWARN. SCWARN was told that a piece of the teacher's skull was fractured above his ear, she obviously informed him of this. MAGGIE later scolded her for this and banned her from dealing with us " foreigners" and that she should think that she is Chinese and that he would now want more time off work! She then decided to visit the teacher and showed no regard for his mental or physical state and proceeded to inform him of her criticism that had resulted from a lesson she had observed of his the previous week! The woman has no brain! I happened to be there when she made the following remark, " Why you so hurt, some of the others are not so bad, maybe because they can run faster than you." I couldn't believe what I was hearing I told her that she couldn't say things like that and she just responded with her usual fake laugh and shrugged it off. CHEMIE also informed us that MAGGIE had asked for the hospital bill to be paid for by the school and for it to be approved by MRS SAI ( like a regional manager), MAGGIE informed the teacher that the school could do nothing and that he would have to pay and would lose his salary for time spent recovering and not in class. However it was later bought to our attention that she kept the money and that when SCWARN had told her the seriousness of this matter following the CT scan results, that MAGGIE had spoken to the teacher's doctor and tried to " bargain" his recovery rate, e.g reduce the amount of days he had stated that the teacher must rest at home. Naturally when able to barely walk this teacher went back home but, again he was a bad person and I quote MAGGIE to myself, " Why he leave, he just want make me look bad, I tried to help him, why he doing this to me?"

  48. Part Six

    Unfortunately I myself ended up having to endure a hospital stay and MAGGIE'S humanity levels had neither increased nor faltered. After finishing two IV drips and still being in crippling pain the doctors decided that I needed to be admitted and stay in for tests and treatment. My TA at the time rang MAGGIE to inform her of this, MAGGIE was not aware that she was on speakerphone and when my TA relaid what the doctor had instructed and that I had to stay in hospital she erupted in Chinese, " What, why? Stupid doctor they don't know anything, has she drank hot water? When can she come to work?" Naturally the doctor sitting opposite from myself and my TA heard this comment made against them, so the doctor shouted that MAGGIE was an idiot and she didn't know anything. I then spent 4 nights in hospital and a week resting at home. MAGGIE'S visit was as always not in the least sincere she was there to quiz me about the whereabouts of the teacher who had been nearly killed, did I know anything and she protested that she knew I knew something. This relentless intrusion of questions continued for fifteen minutes until I told her I was in pain and this wasn't fair. The teachers who had got injured by the Chinese men were told that they couldn't receive any financial help from the school because the insurance for the school did not cover them. MAGGIE told them that because it wasn't an "accident or an illness" that they couldn't be helped. Well I suddenly became ill, surely I could be assisted in some way? NO! Due to me being responsible and taking insurance out before arriving in China ( which is what I was instructed to do by TONY because it was "mandatory") , I wasn't entitled to anything and in essence lost 7000 juan / rmb. MAGGIE coyly explained to me that I had taken my own insurance out therefore the school hadn't put me on theirs. SCWARN told me that the school doesn't fully explain somethings to foreigners to get out of having to lose expenses or assisting in payments....shortly after this SCWARN was no longer an employee at our school.

  49. Part Seven

    After experiencing all of this and seeing how childish and ridiculous the school had become, I had made my mind up that under no circumstances or offers was I either staying or resigning another contract at that school. My contract finished June 30th 2013, I made MAGGIE aware at the end of April that I would not be staying and I started to ask questions about my replacement. The response I got back from her body language and bitter expressions, was that she didn't care how hard I had worked or what the classes had achieved, she was just focused on getting "any" foreigner in to teach them. I could not let this happen to my students, therefore I offered to stay in Shane until July 28th and we both agreed that my replacement would be here for July1st and I would have 4 weeks to work with him or her. I was really pleased with this because then I thought I could leave and know in my heart I helped them even if the new teacher was sh#t ... which wouldn't be their fault but the schools for employing him/her. Unfortunately I had a family loss in my home country on JUNE 9th, I had spoken to my family who are very supportive and I spoke with MAGGIE and made the statement, " Despite whats happened I have spoken to my family and they understand and I gave you my word that I would help and stay an extra month." Today is the 1st August and my replacement still hasn't arrived !!! MAGGIE doesn't want the new teachers to hear bad stories about the school, incase they run away. Well I think its about time that this devil and the hell hole are exposed really for what they are.

  50. Part Seven

    An American, married couple were hired a few months ago at the school, they had TEFLS but no degree or experience and they were told, " Oh its ok, we will train you." They were also informed that they would not be separated. When they arrive they have a schedule awaiting them which doesn't involve training but includes teaching the 2nd year teacher's weekend classes who had gone back to his home country to see family. Naturally they both felt inadequate and intimidated by the situation. The school didn't really help or prepare them. Following this fiasco they had to have a meeting with MAGGIE whereby, she informed them that the husband would be sent to HEKOU ( 50 minutes away) and that the wife would stay here. They were confused and reminded MAGGIE that she had told them that this wouldn't happen, MAGGIE did her favourite response and denied this, " What you must misunderstanding me , I never said that." The following afternoon MAGGIE was in our office crying on the sofa talking in Chinese to WAYNE as to why they had ran away and that they had called her a liar and she isn't a liar. WAYNE was doing his best to convince her she had done nothing wrong, like Smithers comforts Mr Burns. The American couple were lovely and the ordeal that endured was disgusting. MAGGIE was suspicious when they both rang in sick so she went to their apartment to find them packing, she was asking them why are they doing this and they told her because she lied to them, everything they had previously been told was all a lie and they had received no guidance from the school for the classes they were covering, least of all to mention that they should have been " trained" first. MAGGIE instructed CHEMIE and ADAM to follow them and prevent them from leaving CHEMIE and ADAM harassed the couple at the bus station constantly. They told the ticket officer not to sell them a ticket. They tried standing infront of them so they couldn't walk, they told the ticket inspectors not to let them on the bus, then finally they protested that the husband had assaulted them and that they both needed to be stopped and the police should be called. Luckily they both managed to get home safe apart from being extremely shook up.

  51. Part Eight

    Following this event MAGGIE decided to hold a manager's meeting to which all teachers must attend. This was her opportunity to try to bad mouth the couple to us and state that they had called her a liar and the reason they left was because they had been told something from another teacher and it wasn't her fault ....again! Her and WAYNE then asked us to give our opinions on how the school could avoid this from happening as they were the 12th and 13th teacher to have just ran away. All of us gave constructive and relevant advice which at first was immediately defended by WAYNE which just illustrated that we were wasting our time because nothing was going to change. The school would still continue to hold the TAs school certificate as a blackmail that they could never leave because the school had their original copies, they would still employ TA's with little English, lie to new teachers, not do research or background checks on new teachers and not inform new teachers of everything in relation to the job, hour, salary, housing, vacation, bonuses... BEFORE they had even booked their flights to China. No none of this was going to happen, infact the meeting had the reverse effect which will make it even harder for a new teacher, MAGGIE has now decided that new teachers will not arrive until the previous teacher has left. Clearly observing the previous teacher's style with their classes, seeing how the children behave, meeting the parents and just getting a general feel for the class is not important, it is more beneficial for the new teacher to go into their classes completely blind without any helpful information to prepare them for the class because, this way nothing bad about the school can be said to them from the previous teacher. This just shows how ridiculous and petty MAGGIE really is she thinks this will stop teachers running away, not to mention the other 9 teachers that the new teacher would be sharing an office with, who are all able to speak and voice their own experiences. During my final meeting with Maggie I told her that to eradicate this she simply had to stop doing bad things to people, " If you don't want bad things to be said, then just stop doing them."

  52. Part Nine

    I knew during my last week at Shane that MAGGIE would try to pull some stunt on me, I had to receive my salary and paperwork because the following day I flew to England and she knew that. I questioned her a few times as the end of the week approached just for reassurance that everything would be ready for me on Sunday and her attitude with me had become very cold and bitter. There have been some teachers and there are some that are aware of MAGGIES nature but they "entertain" her when they are sat alone with her in the office, what they don't realise is that when they want to leave she will try to do something to them too! Throughout my 14 months at Shane School MAGGIE has inappropriately changed the topic of conversation from a school issue to a personal matter or asked personal questions about the other foreign teachers. I have always bluntly told her that I was there to discuss myself, nobody else. I also made her aware that I would have no patience for any games that she tried to play with me on my final day, I just wanted what I was owed and I would leave.. simple right? No, I am still in shock as to her actions that day. She told me to see her at 12:00 and she would pay me, and I approach her office she is leaving and then she screams at me infront of parents and students that I'm a liar and that she had said 15:10. At 15:10 I go to her office, I have my final class to teach at 15:50 and surprise she isn't there. So I tell the receptionist JESSICA that I won't move until she arrives and gives me my things like she had said. By this point I was done with this woman and her lies and power games. She walked in at 15:40 and dangled my paperwork infront of my face and pointed to where my money was, like I should beg and plead for what I had earned. She then told me what a bad person I was and that all the teachers had told her things about me and the TAS, this was her delusional attempt at trying to enrage or hurt me but her attempts were wasted because I just insisted she stopped and handed over my things. She then said get your handover notes for the new teacher and you can have your things, to which I said no because I didn't trust her. I knew that she was trying to make things difficult for me and that she was enjoying doing so. Therefore I knew I needed a Chinese member of staff that I trusted and who wasn't brainwashed or terrified of MAGGIE. They bought my handover notes up to me which enticed MAGGIE to throw my money at me and reluctantly shove my paperwork infront of me. She then said something bad about me in Chinese and that I was late to class to which I understood, so I told her it was her fault I was late. She stood up and grabbed both my money and my paperwork back and told me to shut up or I would get nothing and that she would give me trouble. This sorry excuse for a human being was not getting the better of me or ruining my plans to fly home the next day, so I grabbed them back and went back to class and informed my students the truth as to why I was late and apologized to them.

  53. Part Ten

    By now you are clear on the vindictive and malicious behavior that this "manager" has. Also her actions are encouraged by the owner of the company , don't forget that because aslong as the school is making money.... he isn't bothered, MAGGIE can do what she desires. You should also be made aware that the threats this school makes against your visa and salary are visible. The school has strong connections with both the visa office and the government. This is how the illegal teachers working at our school go unnoticed. Now I commend anybody for wanting to better themselves but it was frustrating taking over classes from the previous teacher who had no experience or degree and having alot of work to do. If you don't have a degree the school just makes one for you, which the government accepts. If you decide you want to leave without telling the school, once your new school start to process details over to a new visa, the visa office instantly contact Shane. Usually when you leave a job in China and you go to another job your visa and foreign experts number is all transferred to your new employer to be cancelled and changed, simple process. Well, a simple process for anybody who doesn't have the maturity levels of a 5 year old. Due to me staying an extra month, my visa needed extending. MAGGIE asked me", We do your visa today. Can we give you L visa?" I instantly replied, "NO!" I had paid for a Z visa, I was a professional. MAGGIE proceeded to ask why this was an issue and I told her that I understood the procedures and that if I was put on a L visa it meant I would be working illegally in China because it is a tourist visa. The ironic thing is that weeks later when my new employer contacted her asking her to transfer my documents she wouldn't. She made up a lot of excuses as to why she couldn't help, when the real reason was that I wasn't receiving any help because I was leaving. My new school had asked her to cancel my FEC and visa 4 days before my last day. Maggie simultaneously shook her had and waved her hands around, " Oh no can't, I get in trouble with police, big police man get me." I suddenly remembered her wanting me to work illegally for a month, but she wasn't willing to do it for 4 days because it didnt involve her or the school. After explaining this to her she angrily said," Ok tell them I want 6000 juan/rmb and I will help them." Thankfully my new job seems very professional and they refused to negotiate my information and declared that they weren't the kind of school to operate like that.

    1. Wow... I don't know whether to laugh or cry? Funny stuff when Maggie told the cat in the hospital "maybe the others run faster than you." What a soap opera.

    2. A former employee at Shane, myself, I can verify EVERYTHING that Jody says, and more! I left this dump earlier this year after the incident with the foreigners in the bar. Maggie also has many sneaky ways of changing the contracts under people's noses, even if you've already signed under certain set conditions. NOTHING is set in stone or standardized here.

      Also... you mention that SCWARN (Her name is Xuan) tried to help the foreigner and was banned from helping the foreigners... Maggie DID try to do that, but she cannot because Xuan is married to one of the other FT's who was in Hekou. He would take taxi's all the way to East City to find her, and then demanded to Maggie that she be brought back to Hekou with him... which is what happened. (I don't know if they are still there now, probably not) but I believe she got a job just to keep that FT happy and staying in Shane. She was probably the only good part of that school too... She was the only one who seemed to try to do her job and help the FTs at all.

      But yea... this is indeed the case. These people are a bunch of nickel and diming bludgers who do absolutely nothing but line their pockets... and have zero regard for anyone they hire. I urge everyone to heed Jody's words and steer clear.

  54. Thank you for sharing this traumatic experience with us all Jody. I think your efforts will not be in vain as we can all learn some valuable lessons from your horro. Please send your contact info to and we will try to help you with this fiasco. - D.F.

  55. Spirit Kids (Guangzhou)

    RM1301, Jinbin Tengyue Building, Zhujiang New Town, Tianhe District, Guangzhou City, under proprietorship of Ms. Susan Shen.



    Teaching Contracts:
    The contract has for a long time been in breach of the law as it condoned employment on tourist and business visas. The only time I saw the contract being used was to fine a member of staff 5000 yuan. The fine since grew to 10000 yuan.

    Unfortunately Chinese members of staff, such as the sales staff, HR employees, and some members of management, are not paid on time or paid the full amount allotted to them. This practise has been going on for months and contributes to a high turnover of employees at SK.

    In the Spring of 2013 an entire sales team walked out having not been paid. In July 2013 a principal at the school also left. In June one HR employee walked out. After an unexplained episode of withheld and unmade salary payments in August 2013 several more members of staff walk away from the school.

    SK appears to have a policy of sharing financial matters with its employees. The only reasonable explanation for this, is to emotionally blackmail company employees into accepting cutbacks to their pay.

    School Syllabus:
    SK's syllabus is a custom-made pre-school course comprising of 40 books, 10 per year, with a corresponding number of songs and chants. SK maintains that the books were made in collaboration with Manchester University however the materials are fake. Subsequently SK management lies to every teacher, foreign and native, every parent, and every child that passes through their doors. Dr Deyu Cai, (The University of Manchester, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Electrical Power Systems, 2008 – 2012) the advertised founder of Spirit Kids appears to disassociate himself from the company. Though he states, "I did the spirit-kids project with my friends when I was a Ph.D student in the University of Manchester, UK."

    SK's books themselves are often grammatically incorrect, are host to spelling errors, and uses of unusual terminology, and this is the area where foreign teachers tend to focus their criticism. They neglect to consider the more serious problem of the language's overall inappropriate complexity within SK's books and software.

    Students join classes with SK from the age of two. The SK material can take them up to the age of six, at which point they currently enter into a class with genuine Cambridge materials. At ages two until five it is unlikely that students see a phonics book and will not be reading anything at all. The routine presentations SK makes to it's patron families are of children who have rote learned the sounds of words but are incapable of reading and often incapable of using the words meaningfully. An example dialogue that a five year old should learn to produce is:

    Q: "Can you tell me how to get to the post office?"
    A: "Go straight, and then turn left after seeing a bank. Then someone else can give you further directions."

    Needless to say, a meaningful understanding of this dialogue cannot be easily grasped by a non-native pre-school child in 4 weeks.

    SK's materials are not from England, they are not made in collaboration or otherwise with Manchester University. The company's lies are damaging to it's relations with parents and teachers alike. SK conforms to a body of businesses that routinely deceive its customers and maintain an image with little to no respect for the content of education that it's patrons receive. For clarity, there have been no experts on education who devised this material or supported its publication. The school's participation in fraudulent activities damages the education of its young students but also damages the professional development of teachers within it's teaching faculty.

    1. Hey Anthony, are these problems still occurring in SK at the moment? I am currently looking into working for them.

  56. Let me just admit right now that working on an F-Visa is a stupid, terrible idea. We all think we can get away with it until we're detained in a backroom at the HK/SZ border.

    I'll start from the beginning; I came to China in August of 2012 to work for First Leap, an after-school type English kindergarten. FL made me pay for my first Chinese visa (a six month F visa) out of pocket, and promised that it was perfectly OK to work on that visa, and that they would cover the costs of renewing my next visa in HK when it was time to renew.

    At my first orientation meeting I was made aware that I was NOT working directly for FL but for a recruiting agency named ODEN. This was news to me, but I didn't think it would matter that much in the long run.

    After a two week training period, myself and a handful of FOBs are shuttled off to one of FL's chain schools (which are all located in shopping malls?) to start working. And you know? At first it seemed like it was going to be a pretty great environment. The classrooms are clean, they have modern classrooms, provided lesson plans and the kids seem to like it well enough. The TAs varied in their ability to actually speak English, which was a little problematic, but it wasn't that big of a deal

    Everything was great up until we had some big company meeting that essentially announced our school was growing, so we had to cram a bunch of shit together to make room.

    Foreign teachers were given an extra two UNPAID hours a week, supposadly for 'class preparation'; in reality, the company tried to cram as many of our classes into our unpaid 'prep time' as possible. When I signed my contract with FL they promised us no more than ten kids in a classroom, which was immediately bumped up to 14+ kids per class, without added TAs or pay. When we started, we were told that each teacher would handle no more than 18 classes/demos a week. At the end of my time at FL, I was teaching around 25 classes back-to-back, with absolutely no overtime pay.

    But my visa situation was the worst problem of all. In Feb, ODEN sent me down to HK to get a "visa renewal stamp" at the HK/SZ border. They DID NOT get me a new visa, they gave me this sketchy border cross stamp and PROMISED me that it was just as good as another F Visa. Yes, I know, I was a complete idiot to believe their lies.

    Fast forward a few months and I schedule some time off with FL to go see a friend in Hong Kong. When I tried coming back to China, I got detained in a Shenzhen backroom because surprise surprise, the "visa stamp' extension they gave me was BULLSHIT. I had a THREE MONTH overstay on my Chinese visa. I had to go back into Hong Kong stay at a hostel for a week to try and sort out any kind of visa to get me back into Mainland China. Every HK agency denied my application.

    Fortunately a mutual friend who had been in a similar situation with a similar school told me to take the ferry to Macau and apply for a 7-day transit visa back to China. I paid a ton of money for overnight processing and after walking around Macau for 24 hours, I finally was able to get back into Hong Kong, go to Shenzhen and fly to Beijing.

    Naturally, FL and ODEN outright refused to take responsibility for any part of my nightmarish experience. FL even had the audacity to ask me to give them 20,000 RMB to pay for an extended tourist visa so that I could keep working illegally!

    I had to fly back to America or else I would face imprisonment for my overstay. When I hit US soil, FL and ODEN began ignoring all my calls, emails, texts, Skype requests, EVERYTHING, until finally one of their American workers told me flat out that they weren't going to reimburse me for the visa costs OR even give me my final salary!

    I'm out about $3,000. It friggin blows, but at least I can be a cautionary tale.

    DO NOT work for First Leap. DO NOT work for the ODEN agency.

    1. Thanks for sharing. Your story serves as an appropriate warning for others. Even a monkey falls out of tree now and then.

  57. Not really a question, but a warning. I worked as at Ginde in Zhuzhou (Hunan) up until yesterday. After giving my notice last month I received verbal threats, intimidation you name it. I can't even go to the police or local PSB as they are both in their pocket. For my own safety I had to do a runner. It cost me a month salary but nothing was worth what I was going through there. Luckily, I have secured employment with a school willing to start the visa application from scratch.

    The boss and his right hand man Alex are nothing more than liars and thugs. They epitomise everything that is bad in China. They are corrupt to the core and I must say it’s just such a relief to get out of there.

    The reason for putting this out there, is that I want to warn other teachers (particularly British teachers as that's what they will be looking to recruit) of what they are likely to face. As Alex is your main point of contact he will simply tell the boss what he wants to hear. As long as he protects himself he simply doesn't care. He is one of the most sorry excuses for a human being I have come across since working in China.


    On a similar subject what's your worst experience as an employee in China? No need to share schools or names. I just wanted to sound the alarm for any unsuspecting teachers they are trying to bait.

  58. Hi I have an offer from NingJiang District New Concept English School of
    SongYuan City (CTP(creative teachimg Program) School SONGYUAN Branch) in the Jiling province. I told them I have an issue getting my physical here in the U.S because I do not have insurance. They told me it is okay I should get my police report and they will take care of the Physical once I am in China. should this raise a red flag. Also has anyone ever heard of this school. I am having a tough time finding any reviews on this school. Any information would help. I do not want to add to the Horror stories that already exist.

  59. I also would like to add that the company that gave me an offer which is Creative Teaching Program in Songyuan (Jilin province) sounds similar to Mary's Offer in Haizhinan Foreign Language Schools (儋州海之南外国语学校). I in contact with the same person via skype Lisa Xue/ on skype its Sunyanzi. Any info would be very helpful I am already feeling a bit apprehensive since this same person was in contact with Marty but representing a different school.

  60. I currently work for EF in Xi'an and want to comment on the school as I noticed that there was a negative report on this page from a couple of years ago.

    Firstly, I want to make it clear that I'm not a cheerleader for the scholl, a manager or in any way in a position of authority here. I'm just a teacher enjoying his first experience of living and teaching outside of Western Europe. In my previous life I was a shop steward and have no great love for employers but I also consider myself fair-minded and will tell it like it is.

    So, the school? Well, there are 4 EF schools in Xi'an and I have worked in only one but having met most of the foreign teachers from the other schools I can say with confidence that my experience is not unusual. My interview was with one of the DoSs from EF here in Xi'an and he was very personable. He spent a lot of time answering my many questions and was very honest about the place. What he also provided was a list of email addresses for current and past teachers and encouraged me to contact any or all of them. If a school is willing to do that then they are clearly confident that they have treated their teachers well IMHO.

    Once I accepted the job I was contacted by someone from HR who spoke excellent English and who was very patient and helpful. All my visa documents arrived by courier on time and all paid for by the school. I then had to visit the consulate and pay a further fee there (which was promptly refunded upon my arrival here) and I had my z visa!! I paid for my flights myself and these costs will be refunded at the end of my 1 year contract. I have no doubts as to this because nobody else has ever had a problem. I was even given a salary advance to get me through the 1st month.

    Upon arrival I was met by someone from the school and ferried to my new flat, fully paid for (apart from gas/electricity and phone/internet) by the school. It's a big apartment, fully furnished and of western standard. No squat toilets!!!! :) I was then taken on a welcome meal that night to meet all my new colleagues and then the next day was ferried around for my medical, to get a phone sorted and all the other nonsense. All I had to pay for was my own mobile phone sim-card.

    Since then I've had assistance whenever I need and have several phone numbers I can call if I need to, 24/7. The school really have gone out of their way to make sure we can settle in easily. A very nice welcome package was also provided in the flat for me, containing a lot essentials.

    My workload has been increasing steadily and will soon sit at about 26 ach pw. That's in line with most others and is below 20 real hours teaching pw. Obviously we have lesson planning, admin, placement interviews etc on top of this. All the other teachers are very willing to help with planning and it's not a huge chore. The schools are very well equipped and the schedule are well organised. We are very well paid (by local standards), have 2 days off each week and get about 3 weeks of holidays per year. The school provide Chinese lessons foc too, which have been great.

    We work long hours. Saturday and Sunday can be 12 hours each though during the week we work much, much less and of course have 2 days off. It can feel quite pressured at times and they expect you to earn your money of course but overall I would recommend the place to anyone. I'm also very much in love with Xi'an which, despite its mental traffic and pollution, is a fabulous city all-round. It lacks a big expat community, which for me is a bonus as it forces you to live in China and not some expat bubble.

    I hope that this was useful for anyone considering comeing to Xi'an and working for EF. It's not perfect but it's really very good.

    1. Thank you for your feedback. EF has had it share of problems in the past but they also have a great habit of fixing them, or at least make the effort to improve when they become public. Disney, Wall Street, and all the big chains can't make everyone happy so it is always best not to judge the entire school brand by one or two locations. You should always talk privately with other foreign teachers who have worked for a school at least six months before making any final decisions. Good luck to all on your teaching careers!

  61. I accepted a job at Beijing Royal School and when I got there was told the job didn't exist. Several other colleagues had the same thing happen to them, being denied the "AP" classes they were promised - and all graduates of top U.S. universities! BRS only responded after individual employees threw a fit and refused to accept the resulting assignment - usually 3rd-grade phonics. Then they used vague contract wording or simply had new employees sign a contract upon arrival that did not promise them any given position, but only that they would be employed.

    Employees were promised accommodations that turned out to be filthy dorm rooms with nonworking plumbing and filthy linens, and expected to sleep on a wooden box with a thin hay bale set on it. They were absolutely disgusting.

    Chinese nationals were paid half as much and expected to work twice as many hours, which guaranteed a hostile attitude between camps of "Chinese teachers" and "foreign faces" and certainly did nothing to promote camaraderie.

    Management was irrational and disorganized, and every single decision devolved to the owner of the "company" as it was referred to... and then if he didn't want to give the issue any real thought, he'd put off the decision-making to some low-level manager who was a shrill bitch or some dude he'd given a position and a desk to but who had no authority.

    Foreign teachers who taught evening classes in addition to their regular schedule were regularly shafted for their pay, which was excused as incompetence by HR, although nothing was ever done to reorganize the department...

    All complaints and concerns were met with laughter by the Chinese managers, who themselves joked that China is dirty and its managerial class incompetent (their words, not mine), adding, "What did you expect?"

  62. A friend of mine has been offered a teaching job in Hebei province with a sum of 5000 RMB, plus additional teaching hours. Free accommodation is included but without food, and extra hour is 70RMB only ! Is this justifiable?

  63. Opinions are like noses - everyone has one. Our opinion is that your friend is probably being screwed over by an agent if he has a 4 year degree. If he has no university degree the salary may be appropriate depending upon the quality of accommodations, medical benefits, etc. We would need to see the entire contract to be sure. in the interim you can send him over to for a crash course on "Average Salries Of Teachers In China"

  64. New World-Wide Average Salaries for Primary School teachers are now published at

  65. Does anyone know anything about school called Alexander English from Shijiazhuang? They are offering pretty good conditions (according to the contract) and Z visa.
    Thanks in advance for any help!

    1. Hello BJ, I have also an offer from this school, drop me a line to

  66. Anyone know anything about New Life ESL?

    1. Hi, I know it's been a long time since you asked that question, but did you finally got a job with new life esl ?

  67. I run the website and there are certainly NO Trojans or viruses on our site as is suggested in this article. I will readily admit that we have let some bad apples get through are system and we are working to fix this problem but we have also been at the forefront of helping teachers to understand the pitfalls of teaching in China. To suggest that our site is infected with Trojan or other viruses is libelous and we insist that you remove this from your site.

  68. Hello Nathan and thanks for your assurances. Your company was not added to this list because of Trojans or Viruses. If you have grounds to be removed from this list you will be. Kindly send us a scan of your business license to and we will check to see if the complaints filed against your company have been resolved and whether you are properly licensed to do business and hire foreigners in China. If all checks out we will be happy to remove you from this blacklist. Best wishes for the new year.

  69. Does anyone have any information regarding China TEFL Network (CTN) or Zhejiang University Helen China TEFL Network?

    1. I've just had an email from them so had a look around, the link above on the black list under Helen Group shows lots of bad reviews. So hope it worked out ok for you

    2. Helen of Hangzhou is a bad apple that is infamous in China for exploiting expat teachers. They have been blacklisted with us and others since 2010. Its a shame, beceause horror stories about her has poisoned the entire Hangzhou well which was just rated the number 1 city "to work, live and play by 2000 of our veteran members who recently submitted our annual 2014 Annual China Foreign Teachers Union Survey and Annual Report. Anyone wanting to work for a white-listed school in Hangzhou should send their most current resume and photo to

  70. Can anyone give me any advice in regards to FirstLeap? I have an interview on friday morning via Skype and so far have read both bad and good reviews on the internet. If anyone has any advice it would be greatly appreciated. Email can be sent to me direct on

  71. I am not sure if you are aware of my situation at Shanghai United International School - Gubei campus.I have contacted a lawyer about my situation.

    I am not able to access my school email account - my account has been disabled. And I suspect he will suspend my salary as well so I may not be getting paid on Sept 10 (Monday).

    David Walsh has threatened to fire me because I contacted Martin Donnell about a vacancy at Hongqiao. He has demanded that I sign a letter stating I must commit myself to Gubei - the lawyer told me I am not obligated to sign anything. The school can keep my visa and salary if they want to - it does not matter to me. I am not going to allow anyone to blackmail me, abuse me, threaten or intimidate me. We as foreign teachers come here to China to offer our experience and expertise, we are also pay taxes to this country - we are not doormats, slaves or laborers to be threatened or abused.

    1. I trust you.
      I am a student of xiehe bilingualism senior school.

  72. The first week at Gubei was chaotic and disorganized. David Walsh, the principal of the school never went to any one of the new teachers to meet them personally and never spoke to any one us. He did not even introduce himself to us.

    Last week one of the new teachers had a situation with the hotel accommodation - he had no apartment and the hotel demanded that he leave. He came to school very upset. Anyway, to help the situation, I emailed David and told him about this new teacher's situation. Then I went to his office to ask him whether he got my email. He looked extremely angry, offended and was very cold towards me. He was very abrupt and made me feel that I had committed some kind of crime. He just said he knew about the situation with the hotel and it has been taken care of. With his unapproachable attitude, I felt very uneasy and uncomfortable about approaching him about anything after that. I went to see Selena Dumble about the registers - then she mentioned me going to David about the new teacher's issue with the hotel - he comments to me were ' don't get caught in the cross fire'. Being at the school, I started to realize that we as teachers cannot approach David directly about anything, everything has to first go through her. I was not told that - not was it in any SUIS school handbook.

    I was browsing through the SUIS website, I saw the vacancy about the Head of Language Support at the Hongqiao campus. I emailed Sally Wang and she said, that it is still available. I told her that I would like to apply for this post. She replied that transfer application will only be accepted in February. I thought it would be too late because I was eager to offer my expertise in this field. So I sent an email to Martin Donnell. And I had no idea how things work with the SUIS campuses - I thought that because its the same schools, it can be arranged to move teachers of course, until a replacement is found. I had perfectly good intentions of offering my expertise - I expected David and Martin to act as sensible managers and to identify the positive impact that my experience can have on the SUIS campuses. Just because I did not go to David first, is not any reason to fire me. If he loses his temper over things like this, I can only imagine how he treats the students and parents!

    1. I trust you.
      I am a student of Xiehe bilingual senior school.

  73. Martin Donnell contacted David Walsh. On Tuesday, Selena Dumble comes to me and tells me that David is now extremely furious and enraged because I did not contact him first - why should I? - he is so cold and unapproachable towards us as teachers and everything first has to go through Selena, which I cannot understand. She told me that if David saw me in the morning, he would sacked me immediately - so why did he not do this? Because they would have had no teacher to replace me! - She said he feels insulted and accused me of starting this. She said the organization can block my work visa in China if I tried to apply for another job. Then she said David wants me to sign a letter that I will be staying at Gubei. And that I had to see him. Her tone was very abrupt, rude, condescending and bullyish - I am shocked that people like her are employed at SUIS

    After hearing these threats from Selena, it made me feel very uneasy about seeing David. I felt he would further threaten me, blackmail me or force me to sign a letter. I removed all my personal belongings from the classroom. At 4:20 Selena said David wants to see me he will be around till 5pm. Then she came back and told me he wants to see me immediately. After the way, he had reacted and had Selena speak for him, I felt I had to seek legal advice before meeting with him. It felt dangerous! I left the school around 4:30pm.

    Now I have no intentions of seeing David or Selena - if there is going to be any meeting, I insist on a witness or an arbitrator. After the way, I have been treated at SUIS-Gubei campus, I have no intentions of negotiating with people like David Walsh who wants to play God with us teachers, who wants to bully, intimidate and threaten mature professionals like myself and wants to have total power and control over us. I am a Christian - I already believe in God and I believe in fairness and justice. I was raised as a woman of integrity and godly principles in a Christian family. And I will not be surprised how David and Selena will distort the truth to make me look bad and to make themselves look good so they can keep their positions. I wish them all the best.

    I do not want to hear anything from David or Selena anymore. I am seriously thinking of giving my story to the newspapers but I don't want to hurt the Xiehe or SUIS name just because of people like David Walsh and Selena Dumble but it will be their names I will mention if I am interviewed about this situation. I feel very sorry for the students and parents, especially the Chinese community.

    If the Xiehe group wants to block me getting any visa in China - that's fine because I would be happy to go back to South Africa - I have taught here for 8 years already so that's fine. If the organization wants to withhold my salary, that's also fine. If the organization take any further harsh action against me, it will become a human rights issue - which will get global attention.

    1. I trust you.
      I am a student of Xiehe bilingual senior school.

    2. Here is the latest from Shanghai United International School...Xiehe plans to merge Gubei campus with Hongiao campus because Gubei campus doesn't the have necessary permit to operate junior high school - this is illegal practice!

      Work for other schools instead!

  74. hello, I was working for PKU College in Beijing. Four foreigners quit in 2 months because the school refuse to give the salary. We need to sue them. Also, they have a garden with vegetables. They use polluted water for the vegetables to grow. Children was sick and parents complaints. The nurse is serving the food, without washing her hands, no gloves and no hairnet. She is the NURSE!!! The school said they are working with Beijing University. This is false, they just rent an office in the area of the University. Stay away from that school.

  75. Hi, can somebody please review or have had any personal experiences with a company called English-Excel? They are apparently based in Hong Kong and the link I have here is:
    The person whom I received correspondence with is called : Louise Boyd
    I am due to have a brief telephone conversation with them on friday morning and any news or information on them would be greatly appreciated. thank you

  76. Please help! I am new and I didn't know that sending your passport scan to recruiters and schools can lead to identity theft. I wanted to try and expedite the process so whenever any school or recruiter required it in their job post, I sent my passport scan. Now that I found this website and am aware of the dangers, what should I actively do to prevent identity theft?

    1. Before you even send your personal data on a resume, much less a passport scan, we recommend that you send any and all agents an "agent reply form" to complete and send back to you BEFORE you disclose any information that can be used to assume your identity. To obtain this form scroll down to cut and paste it or send an email for the pdf version to, You did the right thing by being cautious. 20% of all expats in China are targeted for identity theft these days.

  77. I see that is listed on your website as a blacklisted agent. I was in the process of dealing with them and on seeing this, I withdrew my application, when they asked why and I sent them a screenshot of your list, they said it is complete nonsense and have been calling me right left and center to reconsider - I have no intention of doing so, but could you offer an insight into why they are listed? Thanks.

    1. I was also looking at findworkabroad as a possible agency. A friend of a friend worked for them and gave positive feedback, so can I ask the same question please? Do you have a list of reputable agents or the best websites to use for our own job hunting? I'm looking at Dave's eslcafe and so far. Many Thanks, Mark

  78. Hi, I'm currently applying with NewlifeESL. Does any one know if they are trustworthy or not? I have been told i have been selected as a applicant for the position but all I have submitted was my TEFL certificate and a video presentation, i have done no interview with the employer itself as the agents told me that the schools leave the choices to them. Just wanted an opinion, thanks

    1. This is a relatively new school that never crossed our radar screen before. If you accept the job, please ask them to give you a copy of their business license and then we can start checking them out. Also please give us your personal feedback after you complete your first 3 months as a teacher there. Thanks.

  79. I have been reading some of these entries. I wonder how carefully the moderator(s) of this site follow up on the complaints. It sounds very strange to me. I know many, many foreign teachers that just can not adapt to their new environments. They get very negative the longer they stay in China. And, what a wonderful resource to justify their poor mental images of everything China. Yes, I know there are many scammers and poor schools out there. Although I love the company I work for, there has always been issues. But, as we foreigners often say...TIC...This is China. I just can not believe that every one of these bitch sessions on here is accurate and real. And, I do not know which are real and which are fabricated because a teacher was fired or forced to leave because they suck as a teacher. There are many very bad teachers in China. Just go home if you do not like it here. I look at it this way...this is a profession. We were hired to be teachers. You should be a teacher. Not someone who thinks they should change a Chinese students thinking to be western. Or, try to explain why Chinese ways are wrong. We are guests in this country, so we should try to understand and live the life as a Chinese. No, we should never give up on our western ways. But, you can have both in your life. I doubt that there is a day that goes by that I do not say TIC to myself. But, I recognize that I came here to be a teacher first and to do a job that I was hired to do. My first priority is to the students in my classroom. Traveling, partying, dating and all the other things are far from my priority. If you came here for any other reason than to be an ESL teacher as your priority...GO HOME!!!! You are not doing the honest professional here any good.

    1. We need to clarify that we have priorities and a limited staff of volunteers. Therefore when we receive complaints from members they are priority number 1 to us. Complaints from non-members get handled in the order they are received. Thank you for your understanding and continued support.

  80. Hi, I'm currently searching for jobs in China. Could you tell me which websites are the best/safest to look on please? I have and so far. I heard good feedback from someone who worked for so like Alan Owen's post above, any insight into why they are on your list as I was considering them too. Many Thanks

  81. DEAR CFTU,Hope you are well. I love china.

    I worked at Kidcastle Xi'an School MAX 8 from Feb 2013-2014. I completed my contract with them even though the broke alots of contractual agreements. I did the 12 months and flew home to the UK. I have found another position in Guangzhou, they have said they need an "fec cancellation and a recommendation letter" from my old employers. Kidcastle are refusing to give me either. What can I do? By law must they give me these documents? Thanks in Advance!

    1. Contact Alan Zhang at SAFEA office in Haidian. Send us an email and we will provide you all the contact information. Be sure to be very detailed in your correspondence and include a copy of your contract and contact info for the principal. Copy us on your email and we will do a follow-up in a week or two.

    2. Thanks alot CFTU, I have just seen this msg now. Over the last two weeks I and a few recruitment agencies have applied alot of pressure on Kidcastle and they gave me one..a real bad one! I was a good and dedicated teacher and they offered me a new contract which I turned down...this contradicts giving me a bad recommendation letter. My new employer understood the situation and went ahead with my invitation letter processing anyway. Do you think Alan Zheng could help me get a true recommendation letter?

  82. Hello, Runzhida Culture Co.,Ltd. also know as BestFriendinBeijing Culture Co., Ltd scammed me. Jasmine Qin JasmineQin telephone: 0086-10-58673198 Cell:18701026121 Skype ID:Jasmineqin039 QQ number:1492272833 hired me for working into a kindergarten. She asked me to give her 2000 rmb because she found a job for me. She told me the school provide a working visa. Once there, I discover the school have no license for hiring foreigners, not providing work visa also. I was Lucky to find a school by myself elsewhere, providing a work visa, foreign Expert certificate and good salary. Stay away from her. She is dangerous.

    1. She apparently has other QQ numbers that she uses : 1753019628. etc. If I hadn't read your post, I wouldn't know she's a scam! Thank God!

  83. Dear Friends,

    We are currently investigating two companies owned by the same Chinese man and if you have any good or negative experience with either CUCAS or Beijing ChiWest, please share them with us in confidence. We are worried about this potential scam which has illegally been using a web suffix even though they are registered as a private for profit company with both the SAIC and tax bureau. Your feedback is much appreciated. Send your input to along with your contact info in case we have any follow-up questions.

  84. I was scammed in China by AST or 澳思特英语, the manager is called Min and is located in Nanning. The school hires foreigners illegally and does not pay them. I was also scammed by Wang Chunhui who works for CIIC in Nanning, they promised to take care of my visa and never did.

  85. Submitted by V0179B - Thank You For Your Contribution. This is worth reading for sure!

    Three basic scams to watch out for. Not that these will necessarily make or break your trip but it's probably a bad sign. The smart money says just don't take the risk when confronted by any of these things.

    1. "How quickly can you get here?" Not proof positive that bad things are about to happen but if they're trying to rush you, like any relationship someone too desperate who doesn't care who you are can be a red flag for two reasons.
    One is that this tactic may be used to pressure you and get you to rush on over before you've had a chance to think things through.
    Two, it's also a bad sign because it may mean the previous teacher left in a hurry without notice. This may not be the schools fault but few of the employers I go on interviews for back here in the states care enough to give me the benefit of the doubt. It is important enough for you to have at least a decent experience and there are enough schools in China that you can be a little picky. Make sure a school treats you right and doesn't ask you to hop on a plane after the first date.

    2. "Let me hold that for you." This should go without saying. Never let your boss 'hold on' to your passport. Without it you kinda can't leave or have difficulty doing so at the least. Obviously they will try to hold it so you don't run away from them when you realize how horrible the school is. You may need to hand your passport over to get visas and other documents. Make sure you get it back and in a reasonable amount of time. A slightly related scam is they'll tell you to come here with a tourist visa and we'll get you a residence permit which may or may not ever happen. If they can legally get you a residence permit they should be able to get you the Z visa before you go there. (Continued below)

  86. (Continued from Above - V0179B)

    3. "I hate you, I hate you, I hate you" Another scam I've heard is that they'll try to force you out around the nine month mark or even right up to 10- 11 months. This is because after 12 months they have to give you another 7k-10k RMB for your return flight, but if you choose to leave because they're treating you badly or they are now all of a sudden unhappy with you then they save some money and they were bringing someone new in shortly anyway. Sucks to get that far and have a bad time. One advice is mind your p's and q's, don't give anyone any excuse and be strong for a little longer. You could possibly even take the hint and go. You might lose some money (and feel like a failure) but you're not leaving yourself vulnerable to who knows what.

    This could jeopardize your contract though too, I know how legal these contracts are and if yours has penalties if you leave before a year. I'll say that it seemed like then, and still seems now that you are worth enough and have enough prospects for work that you can go without a contract. Unless there's something really wrong with you and you have a bad attitude from the start you'll likely be fine. You don't need a contract securing your right to work. Even if you did have a contract and you turned out to be that bad, I'm sure any sufficiently creative boss can and will get rid of you anyway, contract or not.

    Skip the contract completely, don't mention it, if they bring it up tell them you'd rather not have one, or write your own contract if it is required by the state for a visa or RP. Keep it simple, "i work for you and you pay me this much each month." If they want to push you around later and renegotiate our verbal contract then you are free to walk without worrying too much about your lack of knowledge on Chinese law.
    They will still want you to have a decent enough apartment that will keep you there, they will still have to pay you to keep you teaching. There's not much in your contract besides shelter and payment anyway, maybe work hours but again, we're adults we can reach a reasonable agreement and if you're unreasonable... well i guess with Chinese visa laws you can't just go somewhere else to work, even though there's plenty places, not without a release paper but you can go home. I don't know how legal these contracts are anyway nor if one is required for the residence permit. Going or staying both have some risks if someone is trying to push you out after 9 months it's because they don't want to pay you.

  87. Hey guys.
    Beware of New Life ESL too. They have a good rep on the internet but they showed their true colors with me.

    I sent them my CV and we had a back and fort of emails - they seemed enthusiastic about my experience and said they could find me a job without problems...until I asked about the visa situation, - after reading on their blog that "For native English speakers, Z-visas are offered. If a school can hire those of a different nationality, a business visa is provided"; since I know that working with an F visa there is illegal, and with my situation as non Native English speaker it would be difficult,
    if not impossible to get a Z one. After I voiced those concerns they went silent until I decided to send a presentation video anyway.

    After it, one of the guy on the team told me that "Sometimes we can get Z-visas for non-natives, sometimes we can only do F - depends on the school.
    There are many people working on F visas in China and it's quite normal.The law is not black and white in China and things change all the time."

    and told me they would have news for me in three days' time.

    Seemed a little strange to me that they would knowingly do something illegal, but still, I went with it in hopes that I could be one of the lucky
    non native English speaker to get a Z visa.
    I have email to back it up if you need.

    8 days passed and still no news, so I wrote another email asking for news, because being in the bubble is no fun, but no answer.

    Waited two days, still no answer. As a last resort I tried writing a post on their Facebook wall asking them to please get back to me,
    so that if they couldn't help me I would look somewhere else...
    and what do you know?

    After 10 minutes the post was deleted.

    So they know who I am, they know I'm waiting but they're still ignoring me.
    I mean if they can take the time to watch like hawks their FB page, they could take two minutes to write me an email saying they couldn't help,
    I didn't met the requirements or anything, really.

    I wonder what would have happened if I didn't write about my knowledge regarding visa matters.
    Well, seems like I dodged a bullet.

    Want to add that if the outcome would have been positive, but they could only get me a F Visa I wouldn't have gone.
    I say this because it could seem like I'm bitter over the whole ordeal but I'm not. I just want people to be more aware visa matters in China and people who exploit this.

    1. Hi, I agree with you. NewLife ESL seems legit but they are just like most of others recruitment services.
      They say they are different, but they are not. All they did for me was give my infos to a chinese agency who offered me a F visa as I am not a native speaker. I told them I do not want to take the risk of working illegally in China,I haven't heard from them since.

    2. Just want to know what I'm getting in toJune 1, 2014 at 5:23 PM

      Thank you for sharing this experience Marzai and anonyous. I was considering applying with NewLife ESL and still might but something about the overly glowing reviews and the offer to find almost anyone who speaks English a job seems suspicious. I mean its like the old saying "if it sounds too good to be true it probably is." They probably do a good job for most people though. Its really hard to know who is good to deal with. When you started asking questions about the visa they may have thought you were with the government. No doubt the NewLife ESL people are reading this blog too. People work on the wrong visas all the time in China and you probably could too but it is seems a pretty big risk of being deported, jail time etc. Not sure how often these things really happen.

      Did either of you try to give a star review on their facebook page. I don't think they can delete a rating. It was surprising to see they have nearly all five star reviews and I only saw one two star review from someone who is obviously pretty angry with them.

    3. According to and many ESL teachers, New Life ESL is just another extension of Rebecca Tang's China ESL. We are now investigating this matter. In the interim here is the link:

  88. More than a little curiousMay 15, 2014 at 4:52 PM

    What is the deal with Why do they also use the name China-Bilingo and aren't these people the same con artists that used to be with Kaplan? What happened to Alvin? He seemed like the only honest person working there? I notice that most of their students are from Gansu and Inner Mongolia. Should the schools in those regions be warned? My encounter with them was brief but when I started asking too many questions about the owner Mr. Zhang I was told my contract would not be renewed even though two weeks before I got great evaluations from Monica. This is all almost a year ago but when I called there the other day to get my release letter (it was never given to me) I asked for Alvin and they told me he no longer worked there. Maybe he was too honest for them? When I left I had to threaten them to get paid in full and only after another teacher left they paid me and then asked me to stay an extra month! With all the crazy schedule changes that place makes it impossible to plan your free time.

    My roomie said he saw a bunch of nasty comments at Echinacities and eslwatch a few months ago, but I think they hired one of those "reputation managers" to delete the posts, because we could not find them last night. What's the real story on this operation as I have a gut feeling they are still using the license from Kaplan illegally. Do you know the Chinese name for the company? I see they are still blacklisted by the CTA and WorldWolfWatch.

  89. You may be correct in your brief summary. as well as China-Bilingo are both owned by Allan Zhang a Chinese with Canadian residency card and they do operate from the old Kaplan English offices near the Sanyuanqiao subway station on line 10 in Beijing. Some of our members know Alvin and agree that he is 100% honorable and for him to have left there, there must have been a problem of some sort. We have three complaints on file from teachers that used to work there but all three did not want to publish their complaints because they claim a woman manager there threatened that they would be blacklisted if they said anything negative about the school. We also know two other honest people working there and one says she cannot afford to leave and the other just left to teach at Renmin University. We also are curious as to what name is on their license and how many licenses they hold since the one license we did find at SAIC indicates that they are a "for profit" commercial enterprise and not an NGO or MoE subsidiary as some of their sales people tell people and and as their ".org" web site suggests.
    And yes, you are correct, we still have screen shots of the complaints filed at,, and in 2012 and 2013. It is common knowledge that you can get bad press deleted for $1,000 per link by a hacker in China. As for the contents of complaints it is basically the following:

    * "Crazy last minute schedule changes"
    * "Taxes deducted but not paid"
    * "Last payment never fully paid"
    * "Secrecy about their license"
    * "Unkept promises about pay raises, bonuses, and promotions"
    * "Too many "misunderstandings"
    * "The owner always sides with Monica no matter what"
    * "They sometimes tell people they are owned by Ministry of Education and are partners with famous universities"
    * "They hire any teacher who says "yes" and have a huge turn-over rate"
    * "They make ridiculous enrollment guarantees to students who want to study abroad"

    However we give this group high marks for propaganda as their ads are spammed everywhere and their web site would fool just about anyone. If there are some old Kaplan teachers out there, we'd like to talk with you in confidence about the "problem" that took place four years that caused the "restructuring". Please send an email to

    FYI... The CTA is now defunct and most of their people joined up with us back in 2010. Their leaders were forced to leave China after they exposed a crooked principal who was related to a deputy minister. Their visas were simply allowed to expire and renewal applications were denied without explanation. If you have the old CTA report, can you send us a copy since our copy is missing three pages. Thank you.

  90. Hey guys, if you were sent to a rotten school by an agent or a recruiter, can you please send us the name and contact details of the recruiter/agent in confidence to We are going to cross-check our database to see if these agents deal with any reputable schools or only the problematic ones. We were informed by SAFEA that the PSB will soon start checking the business licenses of agents and we were asked to provide a list of "suspect recruiters". Please help us help you. Thanks - Greg

  91. You fucking rat bastards. Even we recruiters have families to feed and not all of us are greedy, corrupt, pigs you know. If people abroad don't know China and want us to help them what is wrong with that? Stop painting us all with a black brush - we need to earn a living too!

    1. Taking food out of the mouths of others because "We need to eat too!" You are despicable. You are useless to good teachers and provide no service that we can't do on our own.
      The mosquito on my arm. Sooner or later, I'm going to get tired of your free loading and smash you like the bug you are.

      Have families to feed and you're hinging feeding your family on a bunch of wide eyed fresh teachers? With you leading them and with that line of thinking, your family deserves to starve.

  92. Yes you are correct and we have no ax to grind against honest agents who provide their real legal names, license number, and business address to teachers looking for work in China. In fact, nine months ago, we offered to publish a directory of all the licensed agents and recruiters in China, and out of over 3,000 agents that advertise on the internet, only 17 came forward and of the 17 only 4 were actually licensed to do business in China. FYI... if you are an honest recruiter, you have nothing to fear or worry about. Just be truthful with your applicants and don't tell them to come work in China on an "L" , "F", "M" or "X" visa (like most do).

    I see that from your excellent English you are probably not Chinese. Are you operating from abroad or in China? Send us your verifiable details and you can post right here as I am sure some people are either too lazy or simply don't know how to find their own jobs in China. Recruiting is a legitimate business for sure. Care to accept our invitation?

  93. Please, for the love of all that is good in this world stay away from a school called English@ in Shenzhen (Bao'an District.) The owners are a French guy named Alexander who likes to tell people he's British (because in all honesty, many prefer to learn from native speakers) and his former student who is now his wife, Laura. My boyfriend and I were recruited from abroad and fed a load of lies about the school. They have teachers working on L visas and he claims that "everyone does it." They aren't legally able to hire foreigners. They don't use books. There are no little to no resources other than flashcards and your own laptop. His "centers" are rented rooms at an extra curricular activity center and one space in an empty shopping plaza. He didn't even have a course outline or a curriculum designed for some of the courses he was selling to parents. He demeans his staff, challenged my boyfriend to a fist fight for his last pay (which he never got and neither did I). They didn't pay me because I tried to resign amicably and Alexander told me he was going to fire me anyway. He said I could wait until he fired me and get paid or I could leave and not get paid. They also wanted TWO months notice (when one month is the norm in China.) They kept citing a contract I never even received until 5 months after I started working there and NEVER signed. We exchanged a number of angry emails and he took to a site called Shenzhen Stuff to brag about challenging my boyfriend to a fight, overstaying his own visa, etc. We never received observations or feedback from him, so how he is even able to gauge our abilities is beyond me. He even gave us a pay raise and later claimed on a blog that it was to "bribe me to teach better."


  94. Thank you for sharing this warning with us and we have received two other complaints so they will be blacklisted until your situation is remedied. Please send us an email to advise if your situation is resolved to

    1. I will keep you updated. Thank you very much!

  95. We just received this from a freshman China teacher who does not want to be identified. We verified his story to be true today. He is not a CFTU member but is trying to be helpful with this scam alert... (He is referring to Angelina's ESL Cafe - - which has been blacklisted with us for 3 years)

    "I will be very up-front and factual about this touchy issue. I have no personal experience working for Angelina. However in recent days I met somoene who did after I posted a link about Angelina's ESL Cafe ( & using a fake white list to convince prospects that all their client schools are safe, when in fact some are and some are actually blacklisted.

    This is in part what I had discovered and what I confirmed to be true with an actual SAFEA officlals in Beijing:

    1. Angelina's ESL Cafe is NOT part of any government ministry or agency.

    2. Angekina's ESL Cafe is NOT endorsed by SAFEA which does not endorse any agency. SAFEA registers foreigners and schools - NOT agents nor recruiters.

    3. SAFEA denies that they have ever issued any white list or endorsed any school or is "affiliated" with any agency.

    How did I find this all out? Here is what I did when I thought I was visiting a real "white list" being promoted at and was promoting a phony "SAFEA School White List" that contains all of the schools she recruits for on her web site. Here below is the link and part of what is being discussed at Dave's...

    I called over to SAFEA and spoke with a woman in the office named "Song" and asked her if I could get an updated copy of the SAFEA "white list" and she had no idea what I was talking about. After I explained it to her, she said there was no such "white list" put out by SAFEA!

    I then asked Song for a list of schools that are "endorsed" by SAFEA and she flat out told me that SAFEA is not allowed to "endorse" any school. So when I described what I was looking at online she told me that is the "SAFEA registration OF EVERY SCHOOL THAT IS LICENSED TO HIRE FOREIGNERS IN BEIJING"

    So after hearing all this I surely became suspicious as to how Angelina's could be calling this a "White List" and then I see that all the schools she promotes on her web site, are indeed on this fake "SAFEA WHITE LIST"

    So then I started to wonder is Angelina's ESL Cafe at was legit or not and started googling and found they are blacklisted in quite a few places on various ESL/TEF forums and here as well:;read=74657

    What is also quite interesting is that the teaching jobs advertised at Angelina's offer even lower salaries than China ESL !!! Can I say Angelina's ESL Cafe is a scam for sure? Not really. But I can say that they are grossly misleading people with false statements and unethical marketing methods. I was contacted by a former client of Angelina's who insists they are a scam and I gave him this link and suggested he come tell his story. I just told mine so I bid you all good luck in your teaching careers.

  96. Can you tell me if Golden Staffing is a legitimate agent/recruiter? Also, can you look into:

    Knight ESL Center
    BPRO Mc (this is a Skype ID, and he is working in the Songyang province)
    Carla Cheng
    ChinaTeachOnline (formerly known as Start Consulting)
    Ryan Kim from Ssamworld Recruiting
    Tom Xu

    Thank you guys so much! This was a huge help.

  97. Be sure to warn all your friends and teaching colleagues about the three biggest TESL/TEFL scam agencies that all tell people to come work on an L visa and then do the bait and switcheroo fraud:

    China ESL (Owned by Rebecca Tang)

    China-Tesol (Owned by Geoff Weymouth)

    Angelina's ESL Cafe (Owned by Angelina LNU)

    Also don't be fooled by the fake white list used by Angelina's ESL Cafe as explained here...

    Also all three of the above scam recruiters are using MANY different names and web sites trying to evade bad publicity and trying to "affiliate" themselves with the Chinese government by saying they are either "part of the Ministry of Education" or "endorsed by SAFEA". These are blatant lies as confirmed by the Ministry of Education and SAFEA (call or email themselves if you have any doubts)

    - Murray G.

    1. Good call Murray. Spread the word guys. Also be very sure to avoid teaching job ads posted at - most of which are fake jobs designed to cull resumes. We were banned as a user there when we tried to post some questions about this matter. The owner George Xu also refuses to reply to our emails about this issue and they continue to take money for ads from know scam agents.

      Read this link for some insight into why you must be careful on expat forums and message boards...

  98. Just a big heads up to everyone - Meten English Guangzhou 美联英语 is not giving it's foreign staff emergency health insurance cards, despite taking 1250 RMB a month minimum for taxes.

    Not cool.

    Chinese staff all have insurance cards,

    Here's why having an insurance card in China is so important:

    For those of you who don't know, if you have an emergency (break your ankle playing football, bad food poisoning, hit by a car) and need to go to the ER in China, if you don't have cash up front or an insurance card, you will be asked to leave the ER.

    Find a company that doesn't risk it's foreign workers health and money because they are cheap SOBs.

  99. can you tell me about
    Golden Future Foreign Language Training School??

    1. We have no file on them nor can we find them registered with SAIC nor the Ministry of Education. Please ask them to send you a scan of their business license and then forward it to us at We will follow-up discreetly. Thank you.

  100. is this school a n honest one??

  101. Hi, I've been in touch with a school in Songyuan called Shnycomn. I've tried looking for them online and on this list and I couldn't find anything. Has anyone heard of this school? Had any experience with them? They sent me a contract that seemed ok, but I have never taught abroad before, let alone in China, and would really like to avoid blundering into a school that could ruin my entire experience.

    1. Proceed with extreme caution. We can not say more at this time. You sill soon unbderstand why.

  102. Hi Everybody,

    I just thought I should drop a warning:

    Avoid Meten English China Completely:

    Unpaid marketing events.

    Fishbowl classrooms.

    1 day paid holiday for 1st year contract.

    Use of your pictures for promotion without your consent.

    Illegal deductions for late clock-ins.

    Broken finger print machines for clocking in.

    No health insurance for foreign staff.

    No foreign staff in management.

    No support finding housing.

    No translation support in emergency situations.

    Illegal withholding of salary of foreign staff for asking questions regarding any of the above.

    All Chinese staff have health insurance cards.

    Meten is a perfect example of a cheap, sad, unethical, poorly-run Chinese company.

  103. I have been communicating with an agency in HK; NETwork Education Solutions. They do show some proof of being a licensed agency in HK. Unfortunately, I encountered the recruiters name on a blacklist, that went to a dead link. His first name was spelled slightly different. I'm currently in Thailand, and there seems to be a great demand for teachers in China; a mere two hour flight from my apartment. Don't need to pay to work. Any clues? Thanks!

    1. Please ask the person you are dealing with to send you a scan of their business file so we can see if they are legit and properly licensed. We currently have no file on this school, but they may have operated in a different name before, or may be licensed under a different name.

    2. It's an agency; not a school. Does that matter? This is the link posted on their website.

  104. Notice to members and all other expats working in China... Last May the PSB doubled the number of their random visa check squad and 379 expat teachers were detained, fined and deported in May. We do not know how long this current crackdown will continue, but if you are working and not holding a "Z" visa (work visa) be sure to get one before you take on any new jobs. If you are deported under the new visa law you will get a 3-5 year reentry ban.

    To get a free copy of China's 2013 Visa Laws in English, just send us an email to and allow 3-5 days for a reply. Most of our staff is on summer vacation until Labor Day., Enjoy your summer holiday gang!

  105. FYI... Our web site is not a conventional website - BY DESIGN. Our previous website was continuously hacked so in 2011 we decided to host our web site on the safest server in the world - Google's! The only way to do that however, was by using this Blogger format. The information may not be pretty eye candy, but it is what you really need to know most about teaching in China. BTW... here are our most popular links below:

    CFTU's Most Popular Links

    Free China Labor Laws In English:

    Looking For The 2014 CFTU Blacklist? Click Below

    Looking For the Free 2014 China Labor & Visa Laws In English?

    Looking For CFTU Free China Job Placement? (Scroll Down)

    Looking For The Latest Foreign Teacher Scams? (Scroll Down)

    Want to Report A School Or Agent?

    China School White List:

    CFTU Member News Updates:

    China Direct Employers List:

  106. Hi, I have been dealing with Mr Gao from EduAlways and there doesn't seem to be any recent info on the place. Do you guys know if it is still as bad as a few years ago or have they cleaned up their act? The websites I have found are which seems legit and which doesn't. Any info would help. Thanks! Gary

  107. Hi There CFTU Rep,

    I'm hoping I can get some help here. I was going through the list of blacklisted schools and agents because I am looking for another teaching position here in China. I've had the worst experiences with Zhejiang University Helen Group ChinaTEFL Network Co. Ltd. (or whatever that ghastly business is called, with the CROOK "Helen" at the helm) in Hangzhou. Richard, Shirley, Hangtao.....all of the liars! The made my life a living hell here. They are liars and thieves! My stories are too long to tell now so perhaps I'll post again soon.

    Anyway, I am looking for a position and I saw a posting with a company that I thought was legit. I've been corresponding with this company for about a year and I was about to send a letter when I had a thought to check to see if they were in 'good standing.' Low and behold, I was shocked to see, big as day, the company for which I was applying and the recruiter--Steven Armstrong aka Network Education (Australia) I was speechless!!

    I wanted to read ANYTHING about this company so I clicked the link. I could not find anything about this company on the site (where the hyperlink took me to). So I typed the name in the search box...both names...together, then separately. NOTHING populate! I NEED TO KNOW!!! Please! If there is anything on this company, please, please tell me! I am going to keep looking, but I need your help, Denise!

    I will keep checking here to see if I get a response from anyone 'cause I am desperate for answers! Thanks!

    1. Avoid Hangzhou Helen like a hooker with AIDS. Google her with the words "scam, problems, and complaints" and you will understand why!

  108. Anyone had experience with ENKE, here is their website:

  109. I am being offered to come on a cultural exchange, to learn language and culture, in return I will teach students English and get monthly allowance. All on F visa. In the visa section on relevant sites says that F visa is for cultural exchange, among other things, but it doesn't say if it is illegal to teach students in return and get allowance.

    1. If you have to pay any monies not connected to your own expenses of room, board, meals, etc. be vary wary. About 70% of these "cultual exchange programs" are just scams.

  110. Hi, I have been corresponding with a Carl Johnson from The name has cropped up in some forums from several years ago but nothing recently. The organisation and the individual both had mixed reviews yet was recommended to me some foreign teachers my girlfriend works with so I gave it a go. Since then I have had a job 'offer' but very little information with it. My 2 years experience here has made me sceptical, and my first request for more information was greeted with an abrupt, almost disbelieving response! My second request has seen no reply at all, yet I am scheduled for a Skype call on Wednesday with a random, seemingly unverifiable person, and told to refer to a 'my case manager' Miss Xing; a mysterious entity that hadn't been mentioned before! Does anyone have any experience with the said organisation/agent? All signs so far don't look good, yet it came recommended so I don't know whether to give them the benefit of the doubt!

    1. Suggest you send Mr. Johnson the agent reply form letter and demand that he completes and returns it to you.

  111. If anyone is coming to Changchun, please avoid the company Wan Jia Languages Services Co.Ltd...the owner calls herself Emma. It is a very dangerous company...

  112. Can anyone vouch for or against Best Learning (dot cn) and its associated schools? I see that it's on the dirty dozen list, but can't find it here. I'm not sure what to make of that. They seem to be legit, but so do a lot of the schools that are blacklisted. Any help or clarification would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

    1. Best Learning in a large Chinese-owned chain based in Haidian district of Beijing. Some of the locations are problem-free. Others have an alarming turn-over rate of teachers. If you really want to work for Best, ask to speak privately with some expat teachers who work there. If this request is denied, we suggest you take a pass.

      Anyone want to work at white-listed waterfront schools in South China, please send us an email with your resume. We received a request from the government of China for placement assistance. None of the schools involved are blacklisted.

    2. What email is that?


  113. Please note that we have ascertained that China-Tesol is no longer operating in China and it's former President Geoffery Weymouth insists they have not recruited any teacher in 2014 and that he maintains his website active as a gesture of goodwill (It does contain a lot of useful information, but some of it it is grossly outdated). We are communicating with Geoff and will update this matter soon.

    On another note, we have learned that one agency based in New York has been requesting teachers applicants to send them actual photographs of themselves and we urge everyone to refuse this request which usually comes from identity thieves. We are investigating. In the interim, please read this article:

  114. hello everyone my name is David Valley I am THE David Valley and am indeed a real person to prove it here is my private Facebook account that has been active since 2007 to prove I didn’t just make it up: , also people say there are bad reviews from people in regards to how they feels towards chinaESL well here is some good reviews that I did come across to balance everything out for you guys: . I wanted to publicly announce on the internet that Dr. Rebecca Tang was and still is a close friend of mine but after long thought she decided to step down and go into other ventures for two reasons number one: she recently had a baby girl and would like to spend time with her child, husband, and family, and number two: there was too much internet conflict so we hired a new HR manager to take her place, her name is Rachel Chen who will be assisting any new workers from now on. Well to add to everything I am the owner of Valley Organization who is genuinely hiring people proving: a fair base salary, Z visa, airfare return bonus, and free accommodation, but people do have to understand when you sign a contract you do get these things included, but if the contracts do get breached in anyway, then the contract does get nullified and some privileges don’t get paid out such as final pay, and return airfare bonus, it’s important that people do honor their contracts rather than run off to something they feel is better, that’s not good character or honorable in anyway, however I understand a family emergency may come up, such as someone is terminally ill or someone died, of course with the proper documentations like death certificates and a doctor’s note to verify your claim then of course we will be reasonable and make an exception to your situation, also to make it clear with you people reading this, it’s not beneficial on either side to bring a teacher out here for nothing and rip them off, the real profitability is in teachers going to work and finishing out their contracts, because if we bring teachers out here for nothing then it costs us money to put people somewhere to stay

    1. Hi David.

      I want to say a couple of things to you as a teacher. If your teachers are leaving you for bluer skies and higher pay, then there is a problem. You are not offering a blue enough sky. That to me shouts, "Whaaaa! Teachers get educated when they come to China and realize that we are undercutting the average salary!" Sounds like you are looking for white bodies rather than educators.

      I'm not saying that teachers here suck. They do. Trust me. I work with them and I know that they do. I also know that contracts are usually written in such favorable terms to the employers so that they can, at anytime, deny such things to teachers and if they are not denied, then they will have to walk a really tight rope to get it. Please be considerate to the inherant risk of coming to China in the first place.

      I really admire you for really giving out Z-Visa's if that is what you do. There are too many companies doing that so I have to say good man. It is true that the profitability comes from staying the contract term, but you can still make a little profit off of one or two months work during that time it seems. Maybe you are not raking in the cash, but you're not hurting for it either. I do encourage teachers to finish out their contract terms. As should you. Teachers' wages are not what they used to be and teacher wages are set to fall against inflation again next year. If you can keep up with this, I guarantee that the best teachers will be lining up at your door.

    2. Nice try Dave, but frankly the ESL veteran community are a bit smarter than you think and you are insulting our collective intelligence with your comments. Your "Under New Management" PR ruse is not going to wipe out 8 years as China's complaint leader and most blacklisted agency in China since 2006. Actions speak ten times louder than words and your "Good Samaritan" portrayal of Rebecca is grossly misleading as most every expat teacher in China knows about the notorious case of teacher Katherine Cox when she published the illegal contract used by China ESL in which you took 66% of her salary, told her to violate the law and come work on an L visa, and then threatened to "blacklist" her if she attempted to resign or file complaints with the authorities! These links speak for themselves:

      Unless Rebecca herself publicly apologizes and compensates all those expats she exploited and abused over the years, China ESL will not have much credibility no matter what foreigner she puts at the helm and no matter how many babies she has. BTW... the post about Rebecca is right on target about her advertising dollars. We all know the woman is a millionaire and uses her guan xi to get nasty posts deleted and problematic foreigners deported. Lastly, legitimate companies do not need to use a dozen different names, email addresses and telephone numbers to advertize, nor meet clients in coffee shops or the KFC by the Xidan subway station. In case yu forgot David, one of your former employees spilled her guts to us in 2012 and the poor girl developed a guilt complex just for working with China ESL and seeing so many teachers deported because she and Rebecca told all the newbie teachers that working on an "L" was "nothing to worry about" and "just fine". This alone is reason enough for all esl teachers to beware... and not sorry.

  115. There's a recruiter on the beijinger advertising under the name LoveTEFL. LoveTEFL are a real company based in the UK but this is not them advertising.

    1. Thanks for the heads up. We will investigate immediately and alert the ESL/TEFL community as well as our 6,839 members.

  116. Any info on Shenzhen crown Mongolia Intelligence Development Consulting Co, Ltd?

    1. What is their complete Chinese company name? We have nothing on file on the name you provided.

  117. I've been checking out "Shanghai Ladder Bilingual School" near ChongQing Road in Shanghai based on some complaints from former teachers. A lot of teachers complain about schools but really it is there fault. After about a month of being at this school, I think that this school is a good candidate for black listing. They have not been able to keep teachers for over one semester. Surely, the school must have been getting crappy teachers.... well.... I wish that were true. The actual problem comes from the school's owner "Alan Leu" a Taiwanese man who bought the school from a charity two years ago. Alan believes that he can turn his elementary school into a profitable business at the expense of the students by cutting teachers' salaries (one local Chinese teacher was only getting paid 1000RMB per month IN SHANGHAI!) and even not buying text books for the children! Alan wants to stuff as many teachers as he can into one apartment so his contractual obligation to provide teacher housing is met. The apartments are dirty and falling apart and he forces teachers to pay for the internet, power, water, home repairs, ect. Also, he often invites his friends (often times from Taiwan) to stay in teacher housing with the teachers regardless of what they think. He gets outraged after teachers ask for a raise after 6 months, even though teachers who are brave enough to survive China for 6 months are worth 1.2x the normal value. The teachers end up leaving due to the lack of work VISA, getting a better paying job, or getting fired from the school for random reasons ( IE: not buying a cellphone, not staying past contract hours for meetings, not paying contractual overtime pay, ect.). He usually, tries not to pay the teachers he has fired by siting their lack of work VISA often withholding the last month's pay. To this day, no foreign teacher has served out their one year's contract. Alan has this approach to Foreign teachers: we should always have 8 foreign teachers. Six to teach classes, and two to take the spot of the others when they quit. It is like he expects people to quit. He often gets angry with teachers standing up for themselves and often resorts to the "I'm the boss and you do what I say" tactic, which often comes off childish. He sees people as tools and if any teacher decides to work for the school, that's what they are. A 100% foreign teacher turnover rate every six months, and about a 60% Chinese teacher turnover rate every year.

    Now for the good. They pay on time and in the amount they agreed on. I did get some complaints from other teachers that Alan will delay the pay if the school is not making a monthly profit, but I never encountered this problem.

    They've been working with a recruiter named "Brian Weiss" based in America. Brian gets a cool 2000RMB a month for each teacher that he can keep employed at the schools. Brian often undersells fresh teachers and experienced teacher alike for around 8000RMB a month, which is nothing in Shanghai. I don't want to see more good teachers fall victim to this scheme.

    I went in thinking that the teacher who have complained must be wrong but found out that they were right all along. Beware.

  118. What timing... I was looking through the ads at (we do these random checks to spot frauds) and I found this year old post about China ESL, and considering "Mr Valley's" recent post above, this here is quite interesting...

    Re: Beware of ChinaESL (Rebecca Tang)

    Posted Jul 23, 2013 2:52pm by Joanna Carter #15
    Joanna Carter's picture
    Joanna Carter
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 3


    If you want to know the type of person Rebecca Tang is, here is an article about her in the China Daily:

    "ChinaESL advertises teaching vacancies on websites and in Beijing listings magazines, such as The Beijinger. When a China Daily reporter approached them posing as an executive looking to hire expats by the hour for corporate meetings, a member of staff surnamed Tang responded by offering a price list.

    "We charge 600 yuan for an hour and 3,000 yuan for the day," she said. "I can promise you they will look and act like professionals during your event (our laowai) are all experienced and know what they are doing.

    "You can choose from different skin colors and accents if you want them to talk," she added.

    Later that same day, the China Daily reporter called ChinaESL and asked the same question, only this time revealing their true identity. "We only provide foreigners for English language teaching positions, that's all," the customer service worker insisted before hanging up the phone."

    Looks like she's conning both her employees and her own countrymen.

  119. Hello, I'm wanting to obtain a TEFL certificate online in hopes to teach in China upon graduation. I've done some research and does anyone know the legitimacy of ? Perhaps it's not entirely China related but I wanted to know if anyone has any experience with them or if their accreditations are reputable. Any help in regards to obtaining a TEFL certificate from a reputable company would be helpful!

    1. First off, it is an absolute and patent lie that TEFL certificates are required to teach in China. Less than 5% of expat teachers now working in China hold TEFL certificates. Taking a tefl course to enhance your teaching skills is admirable and the most respected TEFL certificate is the CELTA program from the feedback we get from teachers. Good luck to you.

    2. Thank you for your feedback. I would like to obtain a TEFL certification in order to strengthen my teaching skills as you mentioned. Just for clarification, are you saying that a normal TEFL certificate pales in comparison to a CELTA?

    3. You need to first understand one thing...THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT TO HAVE A TEFL, TESOL, NOR CELTA CERTIFICATE TO TEACH IN CHINA. Now then, any one of the three training courses not provided online, by a reputable company will make you a better teacher.

  120. URGENT SCAM ALERT! Beijing High School No. 80 - is a real school but a fake recruiter calling himself "Jordan" and "Frank" is actually an identity thief offering high-paying jobs that do not exist. Send him nothing - not even a resume and if contacted send us his email address, telephone number, and skype contact. We have already called in the cops on this sleazeball.

  121. Is it true that you CAN still get a job in China if you have a Diploma (no Bachelor's Degree) and also TEFL or experience teaching? I know some countries absolutely require it, to even get a Visa, but is China one of them??

    1. No! Absolutely false. You MUST have a bachelor degree to teach in China. Please visit for details.

  122. Is a legit recruiter? Please can you tell me? I have been struglling and finally found a very helpful recruiter, but I'm scared they may be this helpful now only to scam me later!?? Thank you.

  123. I have been email someone under the name of Jimmy Cheung in regards to a job at Fanluogang Primary School in Jiangmen,Guangdong. I can't find any reviews or websites for this school. The only mention of Jimmy Cheung was that he may be Frank Zhang. He emailed me about a Z Visa and is offering a good job. Can anyone confirm this or post their experience with him or the school? Thanks

  124. anyone have experience dealing with recruiting?

  125. SCAM ALERT TO ALL... operated by Michael Cavill in the UK is a scam.

  126. Hi there!!
    I would really appreciate if someone can provide me with information on "IVY International Curriculum Study Center" in Shanghai.I'll follow up with a full update over my placement and experience(good or bad) but for now I really need to know if this place is credible and trust-worthy.Thanks again!

    This is the address:

    手机:13501627567 座机:63550031


    1. They have been blacklisted since 2011.

    2. I'll be really grateful to CFTU if you can please confirm this.

  127. Are YOU trapped in an unfair teaching contract in China? If so, visit this link and smile...


    I have just received proof that is selling their resumes to third party recruiters as confirmed by an employee of Although there is a China Privacy Law that prohibits this without your approval. Although it MAY help expedite you getting a job, our concern is that we have no clue how many identity thieves posing as job recruiters may also be buying these resumes wholesale. We urge you to either avoid responding to job ads posted at or be extremely cautious not to include your full name, photo, or passport information when responding to those ads. The unfortunate thing is that you cannot apply for a real job at ECC without authorizing them to publicly post your resume on line. I have notified the police and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and China Scam Patrol about this Privacy Law Violation.

  129. Identity theft is a very REAL problem in China that victimizes 20% of expat teachers working here. Google "China foreign teachers identity theft" or visit http://ChinaScamPatrol.wordpress and scroll down

    We will investigate this privacy issue

  130. After personally Investigating Shanghai Oriental Ladder Bilingual School (上海市民办东方阶梯双语学校 @ Changqing road subway stop @ yaohua road), I have to, unfortunately (as acting manager), add them to the black list for foreign teachers. Not only is the boss planning to change the way ESL is done in China and kill the job as we know it, but he has problems paying his employees.

    As manager, I've never been paid the full amount for my salary. That's ok as long as my workers get paid. Actually, the payments came late, if they came at all. I've had 3 teachers quit just last month for not getting their salaries on time and when they got them, they were underpaid with the promise from upper-management that they will get the full salary later. I have given my one month's notice and moving onto greener pastures. I wish this wasn't the case because I feel like I have tarnished my good name for working for them.

    The owner's name is Alan. He is a Taiwanese man, who has come to make his fortune in China. He is a "Business man" and he postures himself to prove it. Be very wary of his silver tongue. He is a great salesmen but a terrible boss. You have to fight for anything he promises when it comes to paying the pied piper. Teachers are only paid 8000 RMB under him with housing. This measly income is barely enough for shanghai. (even though I got paid much much more as a manager).

    There is a recruiter that works with the school. His name is Brain Weiss. BE VERY WARY OF THIS MAN!!! He skims around 2000 RMB PER MONTH off of teachers' salaries without providing any HR representation to teachers. I've seen them write contracts in very unfavorable terms. Please, don't put yourself in a bad position with this man.

    Good luck my friends. Protect yourselves out there.

  131. good day, CFTU...

    Does a site like this perhaps exist to highlight Korean private academies in South Korea?

    Native English teachers experience similar things as posted on this blog, but i haven't come across a site like this one where foreign English teachers in South Korea can discuss and warn others about shady, ill-managed, money hungry hagwons / private academies.

    thanks in advance

    1. Yes, we can refer you to a fairly good site that is updated daily about Korea, Japana, and other ESL/TEFL opportunities and related scams. It is Good luck.

  132. About CFTU membership... Be advised that should you want to become a CFTU member there is no fee involved. However as one of our members you are required to sign a strict confidentiality agreement and understand that almost every China job recruiter will mock, attack, and smear you online as our internet posts adversely affect their income streams. Some of our former and present members who disclosed their affiliation with the CFTU had problems getting their visas renewed which is part of active retaliation sometimes taken by the wealth operators like China ESL, Hellen of Hangzhou, etc. So being a CFTU is no picnic although we need all the volunteers we can get to spread the word about the ESL and teaching profession in China. If you are able to contribute 90 days (180 hours) of volunteer work and are now teaching in China, we would gladly consider your membership application. Currently we have 6,839 members in the CFTU but only about 40 are truly active. Send an email to membership[at] for consideration.

  133. I am in correspondence with the Shane English School (Wenzhou Pingyang Quishi School) in Wenzhou. They have asked me to come through on the L visa, after I arrive they will apparently organize the Z visa from HK. Apparently with regards to visas Wenzhou is relatively unique to the rest of China. Is this credible?

  134. Normally in China the school has to contact the local goverment and get a letter of invitation, which when you receive it you have to send off for Z Visa. If you are from the UK... this applies. You apply for your Working Z visa in the UK via the Chinese Embassy... When you start working in China, any school should help you within the 30days apply for a Residence Permit. From what I understand you need this to LEGALLY work in China. Yes it is possible to a Chinese VISA from HK but not sure how that works.