Recently, after two months of hunting, our CFTU volunteer team has come across a handful of honest and legitimate recruiters in China. So far they can be counted on one hand. Our Board of Directors decided it is only fair that we exempt them from the stigma attached to the many scam and fake agents. Honestly we think the ratio of wolves to sheep is probably 2 or 3 to 1 at present. But we have no way of being 100% certain without a registry for agents and recruiters. Besides there are still some expats who either are too lazy or don’t know how to find their own job in China. We have therefore decided to try a Agent Whitelist with a pilot program in Beijing. Next week we will send the below (translated into Chinese) to every known agent and recruiter in China who is not already blacklisted. We need and welcome your last minute suggestions in case we missed something. Please give us your feedback in the comments section below or send an email to Curtis[at]ChinaForeignTeachersUnion.org. Thank you sincerely.
"This message is for the approximately 20,000 people in China working as employment agents and recruiters. Our message is an invitation, as well as an opportunity, and a warning. We present it to as just some friendly advice which we hope you will consider…
We have over 17,000 foreign teachers in our network and part of our mission is to protect them against scams and frauds, about 50% of which originate with scam and fake agents. If however you are a legitimate recruiter that is properly licensed and registered, we will make your contact information readily available on these three conditions…
1) You do not ask foreign teachers to provide any copies of passports nor visas. These documents will only be provided to actual employers when a job offer is made in writing.
2) You register yourself with the CFTU and provide us a completed registration form that will include your photo, SAIC or MoE registration, and a copy of your government ID card.
3) You charge foreign teachers a onetime fee not to exceed 10% of the first year’s wages and allow the fee to be paid after the first payday at the new job.
If you can agree to these terms and conditions, we will post your information on our web site in what we call the “Safe Zone” for all the foreign teachers to see, and email your one page announcement to all 17,000 foreign teachers. If you do not agree to these terms, we are obligated to advise our foreign teachers not to utilize your services. They however will make their own choices accordingly. If however, we learn that you are advertising anywhere on the internet as a “direct employer” or that you are selling visa, invitation letters, or collecting month fees from foreign teachers, we will remove you from the safe zone and graylist you. If three or more teachers claim you cheated them, you will be blacklisted as a warning to others, and remain blacklisted until all complaints are resolved."
[b]Until this registry is established in February/2012 we urge you to use extreme caution and check our black and white lists.