With more than 2,300 schools, universities, kindergartens, and learning centers now recruiting foreign teachers in China, you need to know that 90% of the school are legitimate but 90% of the recruiters are not. You can research them yourselves or you check the new updated CFTU white and blacklists that you can find at http://ww.chinaforeignteachersunion.com and http://www.chinaforeignteachersunion.org respectively.
But what makes a school "legitimate" in China. Good question. First all of the public schools and universities are legit. From here it becomes a crap shoot although here is how you can tell...
1. Legitimate schools are registered with the Ministry of Education and have a business license issued by the Chinese government called an SAIC license. A genuiine school should be able to give you both their MoE registration number and their SAIC license number. If they cannot, scratch them off your list.
2. Now, even the ones who are real schools may not be authorized to hire foreigners which requires a special license from the SAIC and they will be able to tell you if the school can hire foreigner at this link (although you will need a Chinese translator to help you). http://gsxt.saic.gov.cn/ Another easy way to find is from the invitatiion letter they send you. If they do not send you a letter clearly stating you are coming to China to work as a foreign teacher and need a "Z visa" the school is not authorized to hire foreigners. Scratch them of yur list and what remains are the legitimate school. Do not take the word of anyone in China from a school or recruiter as they will all lie to get you to come to China. There is a huge shortage of qualified teachers at present.
Now how can you find an honest recruiter in China? This is not so easy because in all of China there are now only 367 legally registered and licensed agencies and job recruiters although their are over 4,000 of them running ads online and 20% of just fronts for identity theft rings. You have a 1 in 12 chance of getting an honest recruiter and with these odds, most people1 decide to find theirr own jobs in China (not difficult at all if your read our web site)
If a recruiter cannot somplete and send this form letter back to you with every blank filled in along with a color scan of their government ID or passport, they are a scam with 99% probability. Until they do send yuo back this completed form and ID you have no way to know who your are really dealing with. Here is more info and a link to the form letter we are speaking about: http://scam-detector.com/forums/forum/employment-scams/192-3-ways-to-avoid-a-china-job-scam-recruiter-for-esl-tefl-ap-foreign-teachers In China you really need to verify everything you are told and trust only the FAO's of International Schools and Universities. Our white and blacklists will make things much easier for you and they are yours free for the asking, Good luck!