So-called “white monkeys” are working illegally outside major Chinese cities, exhibited to be gawked at and photographed, like a monkey in a cage, according to media reports.
New arrivals in smaller provincial cities appear at bizarre promotional events derisively called “monkey shows”, the South China Morning Post reported. Those whose English is too accented or not fluent enough to teach are taking part in monkey shows in order to provide for themselves.
English-speaking local agents act as intermediaries for the “monkeys” and Chinese clients, for a cut of their fees of 20 to 30 percent. The best agents reportedly also protect their clients from the worst excesses of small-town Chinese businesses, and are often willing to deal with their landlords and banks.
“Most are here on student visas to learn Chinese, but they never go to class,” said Alice, one of those agents, who didn’t want to have her Chinese name published.
According to Alice, most o