Breaking Your Contract in China: New Consequences for Pulling a “Midnight Run”

  • 33 replies
I would truly love to see a facility for foreign teachers to complain to a similar department about schools, and then the department would measure complaints and apply a similar standard for blacklisting them. The obvious problem with this is that it would essentially create a 2 way type of communication and people who don't need visas to be in the Middle Kingdom are much more fond of the 1 way type of "communication".

How about a safe list of schools approved by SAFEA so that laowais would know which horrible schools to avoid?

Schools would just bribe their way onto the safe list, unfortunately. :(

The China Foreign Teachers union are wrong in so, so many ways, but they have provided us all with a nice little blacklist.

I think the done thing is to copy the relevant part of webpages, but please tell me mods if it's too long, and you just want the link.

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.

Pingyang Quishi School (Wenzhou)
Chi Cheng International School  (Xian)

Tian Shuo School & "Maggie" (Chanchun) 

Fei Fan English School  (Fushun)

Dong Peng English (Online)

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

ABC Foreign Language School

Key Logic  a.k.a. Key-Logic (Beijing) and  and   and                        

Peng You English (Online)
This company refuses to provide a legitimate mailing address and ownership information and all emails are sent using a VPN service.

Rego International School (Shanghai)  and

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

Cheery English (Shanghai)

Treville Foreign Language School (Guilin)

St. Paul Christian School

Larry's Global English School (Taizhou)

Shanghai Golden Apple School

Golden Tran a.k.a. Goldentran (Beijing)

Web International English linked with China ESL  & Rebecca Tang (Beijing)

North China Power Electric University

Xuehui Science Kindergarten (Shanghai)

Runner Education (Xiamen)

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

Okiki School, (Shangahi)

Canada Worldly English  (Guangzhou)

Cornelli School

Larry Global English  (Taizhou)

Warren School of Language  (Yinchuan)

ECA (Guangzhou)

Kid Castle (Hangzhou)

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).

Wuhan Polytechnic University  (Wuhan)

Bluniverse School (Hefei)

World International English School (Suzhou)

Birmy International School  (Taizhou)

Yang En University (Quangzhou)

KISQ School (Qingdao)

Lingdong School  (Foshan)

Davis Language Center (Tianjin)

Jiangxi University of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Helen Group  (Hangzhou) 

Fuzhou Polytechnical College (Fujian)

Tianjin University of Commerce (Tianjin)

Aston English Schools (Shenyang)

Benxi Future English School (Dongbei)

Yanjing Overseas Chinese University (Beijing)  and

Thornburi Language Center

Ginzhou Foreign Language School

Dezhou University

Shenzen Shiyan School

Huija Kindergarten (Beijing)

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

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.

Weci English School

Beijing High School No. 19

Dr. Duan & CMS Chinese Montessori Society

TEFL Academy

Guangdong Ocean University

Zenith Kindergarten

Decai Training Center (Guangzhou)  and and

English First (Xian)
Dell English (Songyuan)

English First (Changchun)

New Jordan Education Group

Shandong Provincial Modern School

Columbia Private English School (Changchun)

Golden Bridge School  (Harbin)

English Town  (Panjin)

English First (Hangzhou)

Childrens Joy Language School  (Harbin)

San Jie Foreign Language School (Beijing)

TCM China  (Beijing)

Yakup International (Beijing) and  and

Wall Street English (Shanghai)

Auqi English School (Heliojiang)

Hebi School of Vocation & Technolog

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

English First (Taiyuan)

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)

Yincai School (Inner Mongolia) and

New Century English School (Dalian)

Shutong Pattison (Liaoning)

Delter International Business School

Seder English Training Center (Dalian)

Icon Language Center (Suzho)

Jiangsu Huaian Modern English  (Jiangsu)

Nanjing Talent Academy  (Jiangsu)

Sino Canada High School  (Suzhou)

Stenford English (Jiangsu)

Hangzhou Babel English (Zhejiang)

Jinagxi University of Finance and Economics (JUFE)  (Nanchang)

Yingtan College (Jiangxi)

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

Youth Academy Of Dance  a.k.a. YAD  a.k.a.  Tong Yi

Vivid English School  (Beijing)

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

Caig Hill  (China Esl Agent - See Photos Below) and

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)
Guangdong Ocean University (Zhanjiang)

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)

Fei Fan English School (Fushun, Lioaning)



  • *
  • 2238

How about a safe list of schools approved by SAFEA so that laowais would know which horrible schools to avoid?

There are 6819 of them and they are listed here:
I have my standards. They may be low, but I have them.
- Bette Midler

Tian Shuo School & "Maggie" (Chanchun) 

My first real job in China was with these clowns. The reason they are on this list would make an interesting movie. I did my full year, got all my bonus and was able to walk away with my head up. It took some doing, but I never relented, knew what I could/couldn't do and got what was rightfully mine
For you to insult me, first I must value your opinion



  • *
  • 2545
    • Children of the Atom
It sort of regulates itself up to a point. If you're good at your job and stay in China for a few years you will find the good or better schools and know how to avoid the rubbish ones. Likewise if the school is serious and treats teachers well they will be able to keep teachers who are good and not hang onto the ones who suck

I mean in principle I agree with having an organisation to protect the integrity of English teaching in China but they can get round to that after they stop officials taking bribes...

How about a safe list of schools approved by SAFEA so that laowais would know which horrible schools to avoid?

There are 6819 of them and they are listed here:

Maybe you should read this about this bogus "SAFEA Whitelist":

Please stop spending your time posting endless copies of the same crap in different corners of the internet and seek help, or at the very least strong medication.

Wagner- The post (from this topic) you've quoted has nothing to do with your CFTU information that you've linked to. It's simply a link to a list of which schools are allowed to recruit foreign teachers, which is helpful information.

Can't you at least read the posts before CFTUing them?


Oh lordy lordy. I have worked for two of the schools on Just Like Mr. Benn's post (#16).

I found this thread through an internet search. No, not bing.

Jiminy. I need to search the internet before I accept a position.

Goodness gracious ... sorry to necropost ...

I used to be one of those "high and mighty," forum posters who always argued against breaking contracts and doing midnight runners.  But I honestly think that applies to other countries other than China. 

I really believe it is okay to break a contract in China if you believe you will never come back to this place ever again.  China isn't like other countries.  The recruiters or schools who hire do not tell you the tiny details that will make or break your stay here.  It's all a matter of perspective, something they simply do not have. 

I'm in no way endorsing anyone break their contracts and do midnight runners, but having now experienced China I'm less inclined to judge people who decided to bail ship.

Does that mean that things are going / went bad for you in China.

Like you, I think that its wrong to bail on a school, but sometimes its the best of 2 bad options.

I had to bail on a school (not in China) at one point. I felt terrible, and frankly the bad situation was caused by my not doing the due diligence I would have done if it was a chinese employer. The day I arrived I realised that it was a big mistake, but I was so determined to be someone who kept his word, and to not run out on the school days before the start of semester leaving them with no possibility of getting a replacement teacher, that I decided to stay.

By the time I woke up on my third morning i knew i had to go, and although I felt incredibly guilty, there's not one doubt that I made the right decision. It would have been disasterous to stay.

I'm not ancient, but I'm old enough to know a bad situation when I encounter one, but if I'd been paying proper attention in my skype interview, i could have avoided some of the most stressful days of my life.

The thing is, it was basically my fault, but I came out of it having had an interesting and educational experience.

So I think midnight runs are wrong, but the very nature of throwing yourself into the unknown is that however careful you are, it's possible to eventually make a  mistake.

As I say this wasn't china, and I'm not sure there's a particular problem with China, but the cultural differences can really accentuate misunderstanding.

« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 02:14:23 AM by Isidnar »

Since we're here and talking... the difference between breaking a contract and quitting is presumably whether or  not you notify the school you're leaving early. But either way you get a breach penalty. I don't know enough, or any, of contract law in general to know if that is weird, but it seems weird. Employment contracts you can't quit from without being penalised? I could see breach penalties in a contract to deliver goods, and I guess also services too, which leaves me wondering why I think teaching is different.

» now with New and Endlessly Improving CV 4U  ٩( ᐛ )و

« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 02:18:28 AM by Isidnar »