Every year the CFTU invites 5,000 expat foreign English teachers working in China to participate in an annual foreign teachers survey that began in 2010. Every year there are always a few surprises.
We just published our CFTU 2016 Teacher Poll results and were shocked to see a record number of teachers leaving China dissatisfied with their teaching job in China. The survey was taken last November from the first 1,500 teachers who responded to our email questionnaire of 25 questions that we ask every year. 73% of those responding to our survey claimed they were "not satisfied nor happy" with their China experience and labeled it "a mistake" This documentary on China's work environment went viral in China https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6X2uwlQGQM#t=45
The complete CFTU 2016 annual report can be read at our web site http://www.chinaforeignteachersunion.com, and will go out in our next month's newsletter to members. But here are the reasons the majority of foreign English teachers in China say they will not be staying another year in China:
1) Air and water pollution are now at dangerous levels (42% of the 73%)
2) Salaries are much higher in Korea, Japan, and Singapore (39% of the 73%)
3) Cheated by employer and/or agent and/or recruiter (10% of the 73%)
4) Worried about Hepatitis epidemic in China (7% of the 73%)
5) Family issues back home (2% of the 73%)
This is a record level of dissatisfaction for China foreign teachers but at least now the major reason is pollution. Three years ago the major reason was "scams". According to research at Berkley, breathing Beijing's winter air is like smoking 40 cigarettes a day! http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3201954/Breathing-Beijing.... Although the situation improved in 2016 the improvement was a marginal 2.8% - a difference that won't stop you from gagging and coughing if you are not wearing a mask at all times when you go out of your China apartment.
2016 was also a record year for deportation of illegal foreign TEF/ESL teachers with 2,987 expats booted out of China, mostly for not having a valid Z work visa or using a fake diploma to obtain their visa. We will be publishing a detailed deportation report within the next 30 days. Stay tuned.
This link may help you with more specific information since some parts of China are far worse than others when it comes to toxic air pollution: http://www.eng.utoledo.edu/~akumar/IAP1/api.gif