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Barbara Schulte

The term ‘private school’ as used in the Chinese context denotes a wide variety of schools, reaching from schools for poor rural children, to those for migrant children with external residency, to schools for children from the middle and upper classes seeking an education beyond the ordinary. Even though Chinese education has not undergone any large-scale privatization, an increasing number of families opt for private educational alternatives. This chapter provides an overview of Chinese private schools: their development and current situation; their different types (low-, medium-, and high-fee); the motivations of entrepreneurs to establish private schools; and the rationales of families who opt for private schools in a system dominated by state-provided education. The conclusion discusses the implications of changing state-society-business interaction in education. The chapter is based on fieldwork conducted at private schools in the cities of Beijing and Kunming, and in Zhejiang province between 2010 and 2015.