Monday, November 9, 2015

CFTU Needs Freedback From China Foreign Teachers On 2015 Annual Survey To Compile New 2016 White List & Blacklist - HELP!

HELP WANTED!  Ladies and gentlemen of the ESL 7 TEFL industry now teaching at least one year in China... You have all been posting great comments on our forums and blacklist pages this year and now it is time to reflect upon your first half of the school year and unload. We and your teaching colleagues around the world now want to hear your first-hand feedback on which ESL/TEFL forums gave you the most useful and accurate information about China, about which agents caused you grief/problems, and which schools and universities did right...or wrong by you.  Who treated you fairly and who exploited you? Who honored their contracts and who did you want to strangle?  

This year we are accepting the first 2,000 surveys to come back to our inbox.  We urge you to be honest and truthful and do not bash an entire learning center or school based on just one argument you had with someone who may not have even understood what you were saying in English! Nothing in China is all good or bad (except a few dozen sleazy agents already known to all on our blacklist) So please let loose - get your survey form today by email and let loose with the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Request your survey form at  As a token of our appreciation, all those who complete the survey form will get a complimentary VPN service download from the CFTU. This offer is only valid on survey forms received before November 30th.

If you don't speak up nothing will change very much from one year to the next. But because you and our teaching colleagues have been doing this survey for the last five years, we have seen a steady drop in complaints from  over 3,000 a year in 2010 to just 695 this last year.  This is progress friends!

Your submission is completely and strictly confidential. In fact we do not even want your full name, but must have either your first or last name in case we have any questions or in case you include a complaint (last question of survey) in which you want some investigation or resolution. 

The results of our surveys are always published during the first week of January with the CFTU white and blacklists coming out on the 15th of January.  We expect this year's White List to be the largest ever, thanks to your many comments, tips, complaints, and reccomendations. We are slowly achieving our goal of making China a safer and easier place for expat teachers to work and live. Sorry friends, we can't do much about the air pollution, so buy and use a good quality PM2.5 mask.  

Please give us three working days to respond to your email and be sure to return your completed survey form back no later than November 30th. Incomplete forms will not be processed, and we ask that you please keep your foul language to a minimum. We do not want a repeat of last year when our volunteers complained of third degree burns to their eyes and ears!  Sincerely, the CFTU team thanks you for your assistance and frankness.

We hope you all spend the Thanksgiving holiday with your close friends and loved ones to give thanks for all the special and unique opportunities we have here in China

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Scam - Free Fortune 500 Internships Available In China To University Graduates


Although many scam artists want you to buy an expensive China internship package for several thousand dollars the ones they sell you are with unknown companies that are 80% third tier Chinese ventures and 20% are international start-ups that have a 50% failure rating in China.

The Fortune 500 internships are the plums and best of all they are free – except for your air fare and meals. How to get them?  Directly – by yourself is the only way, and these three links will walk you through the process

Just keep in mind that you will be competing with at least five applicants for every internship so the key is to apply early before the April-May rush.  To help expedite your search you can get a directory of the HR Intern Coordinators (no phone numbers – only emails) from China Career Center which you can contact at  Also be aware that If you are contacted by any company that wants you to pay a fee they are fraudsters looking for a quick buck – yours!  Good luck! 

Remember, if anyone asks you to pay for a job or internship placement in China or to lie on your visa application, it is absolutely a fraud.

Monday, November 2, 2015

How China foreign teachers can get back the wages cheated from them in 30 days or less - without a lawyer - for free!

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Not at all impossible.  But you will need to calm down, put away the clubs, guns, pepper spray, axes, and knives you were considering... and follow this advice we received compliments of China Scam Patrol who swear by their "unconventional" methods. A calm and cool head will prevail...
Thanks to Jason at China Scam Patrol you now have a 95% chance of getting your money back from people who scammed you IF you know their real name or their real office location. It also helps to snap a photo of the person who swindled you.

There are a few ways to get your money back IF it is more than 1,000 yuan. If the amount is less than this, no Chinese authority will bother. Here are the tips I received from Jason at China Scam Patrol:

1. Go and personally make a written report at the Public Security Bureau closest to you. In Beijing it half way between the Dongzhimen and Llama Temple subway stations on the second floor (walking distance from either subway exit) Be sure to be detailed on the written report, show your receipts and identify any witness you may have with their contact info. BE SURE TO GET A COPY OF THAT REPORT.

2. Now scan this report and post it on Wei and and send a copy to Also go to China's Liar Kist at Scam .com abd post a copy of your report with photos of the perp.

3. Make 12 copies of this report and glue or tape them to the wall in the elevators and the wash rooms of the building where the scam artist is based so the cheater will take you seriously. A dog that barks and never bites is always ignored.

4. If you were cheated by a foreigner, take a copy of the above complaint and visit the nearest SAFEA office and make a second official WRITTEB complaint, being sure to keep a copy of that one as well. Verbal complaints go nowhere in China! Also be sure to write down the name and phone number of every official you speak with and ask for their name card. It also helps to have a photo of the person who cheated you to share with SAFEA.

5. If you want to ensure an official investigation is made against the scammer, go to the "Procuriate Office" in the district where you were swindled and again make a written complaint. The procuriate is the Chinese prosecutor and they are obligated by law to investigate any claims of crimes made by foreigners.

According to Jason, most China cheaters will want a quick settlement with you, but you are advised never to settle for less than what was stolen from you and always ask for a written, signed, and chopped apology as well. Why? - Just in case the cheater ever slanders you, you have proof of the truth.
Of course, you should also add the cheater to the CFTU blacklist to help warn others. See here  No get what is owed to you and let "face" be your equalizer.

Monday, August 17, 2015

SAIC Is Your Friend China Foreign Teachers - Use It Well!

The SAIC is the State Administration of Industry & Commerce - the Chinese government bureau responsible for issuing business licenses to every LEGAL business commercial entity in China. It provides accountability and the ability to trace and track incidents of fraud. What does this mean to you as a foreign teacher?  It means that if an employer or a recruiter cannot provide you a scan of their SAIC business license that you can actually verify online, don't risk your time nor money having anything to do with them. Having said that, be advised that roughly 95% of all ESL teacher recruiters and and agencies in China are now unlicensed entities who operate only in cyberspace using fabricated Chinglish names and disposable mobile phones and free email addresses. SAIC provides you security as an employee. If you adopt a policy of only working for licensed employers, (as all public schools and universities are) you are making it more difficult for others to exploit you.
For more info on this subject visit

This database is where you go when you need to know who really owns a business in China, where their office is located, and when the company was established. The police use it to arrest the people who swindle you.  Take a quick visit using your Chrome browser and it can be translated on the fly into English.  Now that you know about SAIC, you need to now that many Chinese have a business license to operate a flower shop or travel agency and use it to operate a school!  So keep an eye out for the details, and keep your employment kosher to avoid losing your money and time.  Good luck! 

This article may be of further interest to you:  

Saturday, July 18, 2015

CFTU Warns China Foreign Teachers That "Visa Law Requirement Update" is Scam

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Real quick here... Every summer ESL job recruiters in China get desperate and start telling whoppers to sign up the teachers they need for September. In recent days they have been reported for telling newbie teachers that "There was a recent update to China's Visa Law last week and now you do not need a bachelor degree or a Z Visa to teach in China."


There has been no changes to China Foreign Teacher Requirements nor to China Visa Law since September of 2013.  Here is what is mandatory by law to teach legally in China:

1-  A bachelor degree in any subject

2-  A Z visa in your passport when you arrive to work

3-  At least be 21 years of age

4-  Be fluent in English

5-  Have 2 years of previous work experience

6-  Have a police certificate if you want to work in Beijing 

If anyone tries to tell you differently, they are a scam and you need to read this here:

Thursday, July 9, 2015

CFTU Issues Scam Alert About Online Schools In China Recruiting Foreign Teachers

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Warning to  our ESL & TEFL teaching colleagues... In the last three months a dozen different "Online Schools" appeared like mushrooms on the internet to recruit foreign teachers to teach by Skype.  Not a bad idea when you think about the convenience it can provide to both students and teachers.  However, we believe that every teacher has a right to know who they are working for.

Some of these online schools are clearly scams that are phishing for your personal information to conduct identity theft, while others are swiping the famous names of universities and well-known names like Disney and Wall Street and even New Oriental and in truth they are not affiliated and only scamming customers - using us foreign teachers to help them cheat their victims.

So if you are going to work for one of these "Online Schools" here is what you must do to protect yourself from becoming a victim, part of a scam, or simply not getting paid for any lessons you teach:

1)  Demand to know the location of their physical office and go visit it to verify!

2)  Ask for a scan of their SAFEA and SAIC certificate and license, and then contact both agencies to verify.  Don't think that they won't send you a photo-shopped copy of someone else's documents.

3)  Do not accept Chinglish names like Robert Wu or Lucy Zhang. Ask for a face to face meeting and then aske to see their plastic government national identification card with their photo and full legal Chinese names - not copies  If you do have a problem, the police have no way to track a fabricated Chinglish name. Copy the front and back for your own records. Don't be shy to ask for this, after all they want a copy of your passport right?  You are entitled to their ID!

4)  Check their reputation on line. If their website is less than a year old, you should look for another employer, and preferably a traditional school with a verifiable track record of at least 5 years.

5)  Last but not least, check our blacklist at : 

The convenience of teaching from your home on Skype is hard to beat, just make sure you are dealing with reputable people so you don't end up as a defendant in a fraud case or a victim yourself. Some teachers have actually taught over 40 hours of lessons and have never received pay for their work. Without taking the above 5 precautions, you have no way to find the people who cheated you, much less collect your wages!

Remember, when in doubt about any recruiter:

Thursday, May 14, 2015

CFTU Warns Of Fake Endorsements & Affiliations By China Job Agents, Recruiters, And Even Some Bold Schools.

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China Foreign Teacher Requirements         Breaking A China Teacher Contract

With fewer ESL teachers choosing China as a career destination due to pollution and now-stringent visa requirements, China recruiters and agencies are getting creative, crafty,  and quite unethical with their claims. Some have gotten so bold as to say they have A+ ratings with the Better Business Bureau, or "Endorsed By SAFEA" or "Approved By The Ministry of Education". All of these claims are pure rubbish however and here is why...
1) The Better Business Bureau is an U.S. based private organization that have no jurisdiction, interest, nor operations in China and they do not monitor nor investigate anything in China. Still, China job agencies have hijacked their famous logo and inserted it in their websites and even on their letterhead and biz cards. When we asked one recruiter by what authority could she use the BBB logo, she just smiled and ran to the rest room to avoid further questions.

2) SAFEA, the Foreign Experts Bureau of China also does not "endorse" anyone or anything. Their official role is to register schools that are authorized to hire foreigners, and to ensure that foreigners wanting to work in China qualify to do so. Yet, many agents will pose next to SAFEA's Haidian HQ entrance sign and assert they are SAFEA endorsed, or "partners" with the government agency. Total BS!  But this recruiter below admitted that most new ESL teachers abroad believed him! You will also see many recruiters and school hijack the SAFEA logo above and just attach it to brochures, business name cards, or even paint it on a wall to suggest they have some connection or approval with/from the government agency. You should challenge whoever does this deception and directly ask "Who is your contact at SAFEA?" and if they cannot give you a real name, ask them to explain the use of the government logo.
3) Likewise China's Ministry of Education does not "affiliate" with any recruiters or private entities. Their mission is to promote and evaluate the qualification of China's public teachers, professors and the curriculum they teach. It is actually a criminal offense in China to say you are "part of the MoE" or an MoE partner. Still hundreds of private English School do this every day of the week -illegally.
4) Then there are the truly brazen sleazeballs who will adorn their brochures and printed material with the logos of Oxford, Princeton, Harvard or other top 100 school and claim they are "partners" and "affiliates". This ruse works really well if they get lucky enough to bribe a former Dean or Professor from these schools whose photos can be seen online on the real university website.  Don't fall for this scheme friends, and avoid people who try to fool you with these masquerades.

If you have any doubts about whether someone is truly connected with any government agency or bureau ask them for a scan of their credentials and the email them to us and we will verify directly with the government ministry they claim to be working for/with.  Send your email to Report[at]  In the interim, this article will help you understand what each of China's ministries and bureaus can and cannot do for you:
If you suspect or wonder if a certain job recruiter is legitimate or a fraud, try using this "Red Flag Review" and you'll have your answer in 30 minutes or less for free:

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

CFTU Building A ESL/TEFL Skype Database Network Of China Foreign Teacher Direct Employers - For Free!

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In the past we offered an email directory of all the FAO's of white-listed schools in China (now over a thousand) but that list was abused by job applicants who would pester the employers for updates as often as 3X per week!  We received over 400 complaints and withdrew the list from general circulation and have come up with a better idea, and hopefully this one will not be abused, or it too will be discontinued.

We are now collecting the Skype contact info for any and all learning institutions in China that are NOT blacklisted. If you know of a good school that needs qualified teachers, ask them to send all their contact info including the SKYPE contact for their FAO (Foreign Affairs Officer) and we will add it to the list we are now compiling. It should be ready for distribution within the next 30 days.

QUALIFIED TEACHERS who meet the below requirements can send their resumes in to us in MS Word format with your skype contact as well and your photo all in one word file. Also specify in what three cities you are willing to work. What we will do free of charge is, IF you meet the below requirements, we will send your resume to 30 FAOs (10 in each city you designate) just as we receive it from you with no editing. They will have your contact info and if they want to interview you, they will initiate the contact. Once they do so P L E A S E do not pester and nag them. They are super busy. If you are not contacted within 15 days, you can then authorize us to send to 30 more FAOs. BUT... Please do not send us any information if you cannot produce a genuine and verifiable university degree when the time comes to do so. We are not your agent and you will have to do your own negotiating when you are contacted. We are only going to make the initial introduction as a public service to you.


1)  Bachelor Degree In Any Major (Must Be Verifiable)
2)  Minimum Age of 21, Maximum Age 55
3)  Police Certificate Confirming No Felony Convictions
4)  Fluent In English (Oral & Written Evaluation Will Be Made)
5)  Willing To Sign & Honor A One Year Contract

Schools need to supply us with a copy of their SAIC business License, their web site address,  FAO name and SKYPE contact.  We will update the list every 45 days.

Send your information in confidence to:

Friday, March 27, 2015

Beware Of China Internship Scam Operators - Not Only Gi2C - There Are Many Frauds Targeting You!

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If you haven't seen the ads yet, you will. Or maybe you will get an email invitation or Skype call out of the blue. The pitch is that you can get a great international job in China that is not even advertised but only if you go through the "back door" with an internship. And they want to sell you one of there "reserved slots" for $999 to $4,999!  Truth be told, there are plenty of real internships offered by many International companies but they do NOT call or solicit you! They have dozens of people contacting them every week! The good news is their internships are absolutely free aside from the cost of your air fare. But if you end up getting a job offer from them they will usually reimburse the air fare costs.

Lately a lot of people have been shining a light on Gi2c that charges a lot of money to get a internship in China. We have no time to investigate them but we do know that there are over a dozen such companies in China and in the UK that sell internships and 99% of them are frauds that cause people a lot of grief and disappointment.  We do know that every teaching internship we have seen in the last three years turned out to be a scam. 

In China many illegal scams operate within the gray area of the law and the police are frustrated trying to figure out how to deal with them. Just remember, there is no BBB or FTC here to protect you so if you get swindled it would end up being just an expensive lesson in common sense for you. Here are some links you should probably visit if you are looking at exploring a China internship: and

Sometimes it is very easy to be talked into something you wanted to do anyway, so make sure that any internship you pursue is offered only by a direct employer, and preferable from a big name international company you know well. China is full of schemes and if you get cheated it doesn't matter if they are technically "legal".  Some of the biggest frauds in China have huge web sites and articles published in reputable newspapers because they buy big advertising contracts and the article you are reading is really a clever "advertorial."  Many also buy time on the "talk radio" shows. Don't be fooled and you won't become a victim.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Beware of New M Visa Scam Being Used By Dishonest China Foreign Teacher Job Agents & Recruiters

It seems the latest recruiting trick being used by the unlicensed China job recruiters theses days is the "Cultural" M Visa scam where teachers are receiving third party invitation letters by proxy from cultural companies in China that are bought by the recruiter.  Although this invitation letter may come from a legitimate company engaged in real cultural affairs, and may work to get you into China, it will get you arrested and deported if you are found teaching at any school the first time a PSB visa inspector makes a random visit to your learning institution.

To be very clear, the only legal way for you to work in China is with a "Z" visa which is the proper work visa. All other arrangements that do not provide you a Z visa BEFORE leaving your homeland to come work in China are a sham or outright scam and should be avoided and reported to the CFTU

Also remember that no moneys have to be paid to obtain neither a job nor an invitation letter in China and if asked to do so please keep the emails and/or skype logs and notify us immediately at

If you have questions about working and/or living in China you may want to visit this popular site known for accurate answers with no hidden sales agendas...

We strongly advise that you do not hunt for teaching jobs at certain websites known to be fishing grounds for over 500 identity thieves., as explained at this link here:

There is no need to use a recruiter to find a job since you can contact China schools directly by email with your resume. But if you still decide to use a recruiter at least find an honest one that will not misleads you nor sell your information to third parties. To know if your recruiter is honest and licensed (legally accountable) be sure to read this: 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Happy New Year To Our Members, Volunteer Staff, & Teacher Colleagues Around The World!

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It's that time of year again when we want to say "XIE XIE" to all of our members, staff, volunteers, and teaching colleagues in 27 Provinces of China for your loyal support, ideas, and criticisms. (we call them "suggestions") because we knew that if you really didn't care there would just be silence. As you will see in our 2014 Annual Report, we have made great progress not only in reducing the number of teacher complaints, but getting much greater cooperation from SAFEA and the school system. Our White List has grown to 1,039 schools and we hope by this time next year to double this number, and get every China foreign teacher a free (or dirt cheap) TEFL training program and 16 hours of Chinese Lessons as a Welcome gift to China. We of course want to pursue our goal of a standard wage scale as we discussed previously but our collective level of training needs to improve before such a wage can be justified. Please see all of our 2015 New Year's Resolutions in your newsletter and enjoy your Spring Festival vacation!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Beware of China Visa Agents That Target Expat Foreign Teachers For Identity Theft Scam

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If you travel to China today you may find the police on your doorstep in six months to arrest you for IRS tax refunds fraud, credit card fraud, mortgage fraud, immigration fraud, automobile finance fraud, or check fraud. At first you will laugh. Then you will cry and call a lawyer. Three months and $10,000 later you will finally clear your name and get your good credit back. Then you too will start warning your friends.

Over a million visitors visit China every day for business or pleasure. China has become the number two tourist destination in the world. In addition, 800 young uni grads come to China to become foreign teachers every month. But just traveling to China more than doubles your risk of identity theft. Why? Because three or four different Chinese "agents" will ask for copies of your passports

1. Travel Agents

2. Visa Agents

3. Job Agents & Recruiters

4. Hotel Front Desk Agents

Interpol confirms that more than 60% of the world's identity theft victims originate through a China-based scam involving one of the above professions. All of them will say they need a copy of your passport. This is not true. What they really need to know in an email from you is the following:

a) Country that issued your passport

b) Your passport number

c) The date your passport expires

To be fair however, half of all these agents are honest employees who only want to do their jobs and provide professional service to you. But the other half like to earn extra money on the side. Chinese have always been very good at hustling in the gray and black markets of Beijing, Shanghai, and 30 other large cities across China.


This creates a "Good News - Bad News" dilemma for all of us travelers. First the bad news: 90% of all China job recruiters and visa agents are "black operators" - not registered with the government and without a business license that would provide some accountability. By using disposable mobile phone numbers and free emails like,,, .etc and fabricated "Chinglish" names like "Tommy Chen" or "Debbie Zhang" they can virtually disappear without a trace the moment someone links them to a ID Theft and files a report with the police or a claim with the court.

Visa agents are not policed nor regulated in China as a profession. China has no BBB or FTC to protect consumers. So how do you protect yourself from the swindlers?  In fact, your only defense is knowledge before you embark on your China adventure. At present China Scam Patrol has three suspect visa unlicensed agents under investigation that you may want to avoid:

Beijing Service Center Visa Service

Panda Visa Service

Golden Bridge Visa Service

The good news is that you can make yourself about 99% scam-proof in China with 30 minutes of reading and following these six simple tips:

1. Avoid Chinese agents of all kinds and handle your own visa application directly with the Chinese embassy or consulate for free just by following the step by step instructions on their website in English and four other languages..

2  Never let your passport out of your sight and allow nobody but an official law enforcement officer "hold" your passport and never allow third parties other than direct employers to make a copy.

3. If you are going to work in China visit and read

4. If you plan to visit China for any purpose visit and read:

5. If you will go to teach in China as a foreign teacher, visit and read:

6. While in China install a boot lock software program on your mobile devices and avoid doing any banking or stock trading transactions by Wi-Fi connections.

Thus concludes our crash course on China Visa Agent Dangers. If nothing, more you have been warned. Safe travels and prepare yourself for the world's largest variety of tasty foods and amazing historical sites! We hope all your China memories are pleasant ones!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

CFTU Asks All Foreign China Expat Teachers To Obtain TEFL, TESOL, or CELTA Training ASAP

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After reviewing the compilation of data received from the 2014 annual teacher survey it was learned that only 8% of expat teachers now working in China actually hold a teaching certificate and 69% of those surveyed admitted that they never taught any subject before arriving in China. This combination is not only embarrassing but deprives their students of a quality education. More training and higher recruiting standards are the only solutions.
We therefore urge every teacher to seek more training but to ensure quality training we urge you to seek only classroom training that allows you to have a realistic teaching environment with a live interactive "classroom" dialogue and role play, followed by peer review and critiques. Online and software-based TEFL, TESOL, and CELTA training cannot fill this need.  Anything less than a 120 hour course, in our opinion is probably not worth taking. Pilots and Surgeons do not take "crash courses" in their professions, and teachers also need to have thorough and comprehensive training.
Instructors should also be independently certified to internationally-recognized standards and not just hold certificates issued by their own company. And last but not least, certificates issued must truly be globally recognized and accepted.  On this note you may want to read these comments about accreditations:
We are always in favor of more training for China foreign teachers. It gives us leverage to lobby for standard minimum wages of 250-300 yuan per hour for qualified teachers. Teaching certificates should be mandatory for any expat China teacher who never taught before landing in China. We believe those with no prior teaching experience should also serve a 6 month internship under the guidance and supervision of a veteran ESL/TEFL certified teacher.

We will soon be meeting with SAFEA and MoE reps to establish some local China standards and perhaps an assessment or test in order to have a benchmark. Please remember this... Be a native English is an advantage for sure, but that does not automatically make you a teacher. Now put yourself in the shoes of a parent and see what education YOU would want for YOUR child?