China Investment Roadmap: the Education Sector

Published: August 2016

There are an abundance of opportunities for foreign involvement in China’s education sector, but a return on investment can only be realized with a firm prior understanding of the market environment and the selection of an appropriate investment vehicle. In this issue of China Briefing, we navigate through China’s regulatory framework for investment into education, presenting a roadmap for best practices in the industry. We examine the key market information that has driven the industry’s growth, analyze the different investment models that are available for foreign companies, and finally discuss the effect that China’s recently released NGO law will have on foreign investment into education.

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  • No. of Pages: 12 pages

In this issue:

  • Knowledge is Power: Understanding the Education Market in China
  • Investing in China’s Education Industry
  • China’s New NGO Law and its Impact on FDI into the Higher Education Industry 

China’s massive education industry has not lacked for publicity in recent years. Spurred by its explosive growth and the strikingly high test scores that come out of the country, education in the Middle Kingdom has both been a model that foreign governments have attempted to emulate, and a sector that foreign companies have been eager to invest in – and with good reason. Although China undeniably has a strong domestic base for education that is the envy of many other countries, there are numerous niche sub-sectors that overseas educators are well placed to tap into and a great appetite for foreign expertise.

But while there are various gaps in China’s education market that foreign education providers could fill, the industry has consistently remained one of the country’s most restrictive for foreign direct investment (FDI) since its opening up period in the late 1970s. In China’s Catalogue for Foreign Investment, FDI into education can alternately be defined as encouraged, restricted, or prohibited depending on the area of investment, highlighting how sensitive the industry is still considered by the Chinese Communist Party.

In this issue of China Briefing, we navigate through China’s regulatory framework for investment into education, presenting a roadmap for best practices in the industry. We examine the key market information that has driven the industry’s growth, analyze the different investment models that are available for foreign companies, and finally discuss the effect that China’s recently released NGO law will have on foreign investment into education.

There are an abundance of opportunities for foreign involvement in China’s education industry, but a return on investment can only be realized with a firm prior understanding of the market environment and the selection of an appropriate investment vehicle. We hope that this issue of China Briefing will help put your company on the right path.


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