Demand for qualified foreign teachers seems to be greatly outstripping supply, especially for teaching primary/kindergarten age children. Many schools will hire anyone if they are desperate enough, especially if the person is already here and ready to start immediately. Most schools either don't or can't plan far ahead because foreigners come and go frequently, either because they don't like the job, or the customers don't like them. I don't think there has been any relaxation of visa requirements, at least officially.
This has to be a 'whole' of China problem. I'm sure it's not just in Kunming.
From what I am seeing, it's still often not so much about desperately needing teachers, but about increasing market value of the establishment toward paying customers - needing the foreign faces.
Especially in training school type of setups (link in OP), as opposed to normal primary and high schools and universities.
It is amazing how much these places are charging per student
No wonder these places are popping all over the place.
But given the fact that teachers are in so high demand in China, wouldn't it make a lot of sense for foreign teachers to start their own schools? What's stopping you guys?
In MBA terms, barriers to entry.
Too much red tape. China is not business friendly. You have to have a lot of money to start any business here.
However, in recent years the business environment has changed from flat out requiring initial capital investment in cash to allowing businesses to get started and then presentng the red tapes later on.
For example now there are business types where also foreign partners can give their capital investment in their work input rather than hard currency, but lot of officials do not know how to proceed when the business license doesn't show any capital investment amount.
We met this red tape with foreign exchange authority, when we had work done for foreign customers and wanted to get on with invoicing them. Apparently for each invoiced amount of foreign currency that you want to bring in the country, you need to have equivalent or more in RMB previously deposited in China.
Advice from the same authority in Kunming: Do like everyone else and have the foreign customers make payments to the manager's personal bank account, off the company records.
So it sucks!
Notice all the ads for foreign teachers? Summer school is coming and they can't find teachers. Ha.Ha.