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889

China Horizons

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889

The owners have been arrested in China and the business is closing.

 

https://www.eastidahonews.com/2019/10/families-want-answers-after-two-members-of-rexburg-company-are-detained-in-china/

 

Retaliation?

 

https://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/oct/16/jacob-harlan-alyssa-peterson-arrested-in-china-ret/

 

https://chinahorizons.org/

 

Googling around, it looks like CH was focused on sending Mormon teachers to China, and that may have increased its vulnerability.

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889

Thank you. I wasn't aware of the background.

 

But Googling around some more, I see there are a few other places that operate on the "pay us and we'll send you to China to teach" formula. Was CH an outlier in not going by the book, or are there potential problems with some of these other places as well?

 

(According to VOA, they were both released on bail yesterday.)

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DavyJonesLocker

Thanks Rufus, great information.

Personal view points

1. The laws in China often dont translate that well into English. So human trafficking law may well  include crimes such as you mention (I.e assisting people to enter the counter illegally) rather than the definition we would be used to in the Western world. However great fodder for the Western media

2. Naturally western reporting was  going to be one sided and from comments online everyone immediately assumed  big nasty china at it again picking on these two purely for politics reasons. The fact is a lot  of arrogant foreigners are flaunting the laws here and well .... they get what they deserve in my view.

3. This whole new concept of GoFundme, I find quire irritating. Modern society seems to have turned into "I got myself into trouble now someone bail me out" How about a "go give me a loan and I'll work my hardest to pay it back " campaign. 

 

 

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Rufus
53 minutes ago, 889 said:

But Googling around some more, I see there are a few other places that operate on the "pay us and we'll send you to China to teach" formula. Was CH an outlier in not going by the book, or are there potential problems with some of these other places as well?

 

I think any company doing this is likely operating illegally in China. There are some provisions to obtain visas for internships which are unpaid and have restrictions on how many hours the person may work, but this requires sponsoring companies and approval. It is likely that these companies are doing this. 

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mungouk
12 hours ago, Rufus said:

There are some provisions to obtain visas for internships

 

Is there really a legal visa for internships?

 

I've been told that the appropriate way (not necessarily legal...) of doing this is to come on a student visa — you're likely a student anyway in your home country — but registered with a Chinese university, and to do the internship while on the student visa. Unpaid. 

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NinjaTurtle

The owners broke the law and were thrown in jail. I don't think we need to read anything else into this. But the other news report says this was retaliation for the arrest of a Chinese official in New York on visa fraud charges. It's hard to say exactly what is going on.

 

It also sounds like none of the Mormon teacher 'employees' were arrested, which is quite reasonable.

 

Foreigners who teach illegally in China are really putting themselves at risk.

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重大雷雨
On 10/17/2019 at 8:31 PM, Rufus said:

There are legal problems with this situation as well as some ethical issues I have always had with it. 

 

Your post is very strange.  It is riddled with holes and reads like an ultra-biased propaganda piece.

 

1. I highly doubt you have enough knowledge about Chinese law to preclude the legality of their employment process.

 

2. Do you have access to an actual written agreement or documentation suggesting their process would have been subject to the normal work visa application standards?   There are always alternative programs,  alternative legal pathways and legal exceptions written into the laws.  Always.   (I don't even know for sure if all laws are published and publicly accessible in China for review)

 

3.  The business is providing a service of value as demonstrated by the large number of posts on this forum complaining about abusive employment practices directed at English teachers in China.  In addition, we all know many people who have had difficulty or spent a lot of valuable time finding a suitable site for employment or internship as an English teacher in China.   Fortunately, you have swooped in from above as our saviour to determine who should and shouldn't get paid for providing a service of value.  What would the world do without you?   The students do not have to use their service or pay them if they think it is unfair.  There are alternatives;  this is how a free market works.

 

4. Again, I highly doubt you know the letter of the law in China.  Anecdotal evidence suggests even law professionals in China are often unsure of the precise legality of many common situations.   If the employees were knowingly placed in a risky situation, that would be negligence on the part of CH.  But, again, YOU have not written anything to tell us that YOU actually know that this was the case.   Please tell me if you have any evidence to back up your claims instead of just subjective opinions.

 

 

Best case situation:  all of these seemingly "retaliatory" arrests are just a long running series of coincidences.

 

Worst case:  they actually are retaliatory arrests and may increase in frequency or severity.

 

I don't have confidence that anyone here knows. 

 

 

  I had been considering a new job handling manufacturing in China, but I am increasingly viewing the manufacturing location as an additional uncompensated risk for the job. 

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889

"I highly doubt you have enough knowledge about Chinese law to preclude the legality of their employment process."

 

We here may not, but myself I'm willing to assume that the Gong An does: they don't take this sort of action on high-profile international cases unless they're sure of their footing.

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重大雷雨
18 hours ago, Rufus said:

I hope that sheds some light on the matter. All the best! 

 

Thank you for the clarification on your background and experiences in China.  I wish a short bio like that would have been available in your profile.   Your input is interesting and valuable.

 

There are still many questions and it still sounds to me like there is more than you are telling. 

 

Why would they be allowed to operate illegally for so many years, then suddenly be found to have committed a criminal offense?   Maybe your company is a competitor or has had other negative interactions with CH.  Maybe you personally have known the founders and have  seen unethical behaviour.  Maybe you just plain do not like them.  I do not know and probably never will.

 

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Dawei3
On 10/17/2019 at 10:31 PM, Rufus said:

I can comment on this because I know a lot of people who have been in the China Horizons program

 

On 10/19/2019 at 9:12 PM, Rufus said:

I hope that sheds some light on the matter. All the best! 

Rufus - Thanks for your insightful first post & diplomatic and convincing 2nd post.  

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Rufus
1 hour ago, Dawei3 said:

Rufus - Thanks for your insightful first post & diplomatic and convincing 2nd post.  

Thank you for the support! 

 

7 hours ago, 重大雷雨 said:

Why would they be allowed to operate illegally for so many years, then suddenly be found to have committed a criminal offense?   Maybe your company is a competitor or has had other negative interactions with CH.  Maybe you personally have known the founders and have  seen unethical behaviour.  Maybe you just plain do not like them.  I do not know and probably never will.

A lot of things fly under the radar in China. In some ways its like the wild west. However, you can just think about this in the USA. How do so many illegal immigrants live and work in the country and "get away with it"?

 

My company in China is a bakery, so in no way competing with CH. In fact, many of the CH teachers who have heard about my bakery come and visit it whenever they are in Shanghai. My other company is a US based publishing company of the Mandarin Companion Chinese graded reader series. 

 

I don't know the founders, but I know one of his cousins. Their very business model is based on skirting the law in China. I believe the real victims in this situation is the family of Jacob Harlan and the family of his other associate who was detained. They are the ones who have been unaware of the legality of the situation and will be without their father for some time, possibly years. 

 

@重大雷雨 I understand you are skeptical about my comments, but I assure you my view points on the matter are not because of any animosity towards CH or its owners nor are they due to any affiniation to the Chinese government. I just believe the reported story is incomplete and paints CH as a victim when in fact they have been breaking the law in China for years. I carry no doubt that the timing and detention and prosecution has political influence, but regardless of the timing, the Chinese gov has a legal case to do so. 

 

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DavyJonesLocker
1 hour ago, Rufus said:

My company in China is a bakery, so in no way competing with CH. In fact, many of the CH teachers who have heard about my bakery come and visit it whenever they are in Shanghai. My other company is a US based publishing company of the Mandarin Companion Chinese graded reader series. 

 

 

discount on cakes for forum members Rufus? :D

 

 

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889

Posters here should not be bullied into personal disclosures.

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重大雷雨
2 hours ago, Rufus said:

A lot of things fly under the radar in China. In some ways its like the wild west. However, you can just think about this in the USA. How do so many illegal immigrants live and work in the country and "get away with it"?

 

 

If it seems like I am questioning your motives and the situation in general... that is because I am.  I would have to be extremely naive or inherently biased not to.

 

So, it may be political retaliation?  Even if in your opinion, they deserved it, it could be political retaliation.  There have recently been a large number of laws in the USA that are selectively enforced and sometimes become enforceable as a form of political retaliation.  I have no delusions about why the law suddenly becomes unenforceable in some cases or why extralegal punishment is applied to other cases in the USA.  It is further proof that "legality" often has no bearing on guilt.

 

I would not be surprised if CH had come to an agreement with government officials that was perfectly acceptable and legal in the years before this.  I still must take the position that I do not know and cannot be certain one way or another.   Maybe they are a victim and maybe not.   Maybe it isn't clear-cut.  People may see nobility or boldness in choosing a side, but I do not do so if there is inadequate information.   You seem credible to everyone here, but if I am being logical and sensible, I will not take your word alone as fact.

 

The general tone of your first post and some of the specifics did demonstrate hostility towards CH and its business model without respect to legality;  your bias should be noted.   Maybe you are 100% correct about CH being run by unethical and borderline (or fully) fraudulent people;   I cannot exclude that possibility.  

 

Either way, I will thank you for your input.   It does provide more valuable information about the situation.

 

50 minutes ago, 889 said:

Posters should not be questioned if they have group-think support.  They must both be agreed with and unconditionally believed.

 

Right.

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roddy

Rein yourself in there, 重大雷雨, please. 

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Rufus
11 hours ago, 重大雷雨 said:

I would not be surprised if CH had come to an agreement with government officials that was perfectly acceptable and legal in the years before this.  I still must take the position that I do not know and cannot be certain one way or another.   Maybe they are a victim and maybe not.   Maybe it isn't clear-cut.  People may see nobility or boldness in choosing a side, but I do not do so if there is inadequate information.   You seem credible to everyone here, but if I am being logical and sensible, I will not take your word alone as fact.

 

@重大雷雨 I believe that if you were to spend some time living and working in China, your understanding of this matter would evolve.

 

In regards to CH coming with some sort of agreement with gov officials, I can't fathom who could or would inside of the Chinese gov come to some tacit agreement or understanding with such a small company like CH. It would take an edict from a high standing party member, perhaps someone from the politburo, and cross department coordination between the police station, public security dept 公安局, entry-exit bureau, labor dept, and the Commerce Dept 工商局 to make it work properly. So many of these departments are very soiled and do not have much cross dept communication or coordination. I have never heard of a foreign company, much less one that is not even incorporated in China, having such an arrangement. I can't understand what incentive anyone of power in the government would have to stick their neck out to make such and arrangement to go contrary to the well established policy. I appreciate your different view on the matter, but based on my experience in China, it just doesn't seem plausible. 

 

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