How can I accept payment from Chinese parents?

a China-facing Woocommerce shop with Alipay/stripe

Most Chinese parents don’t use paypal or other foreign payment methods.  Teachers can’t use Alipay without a Chinese bank account.  

It may not be easy or worth it for you to build a website and find a way to get paid from China.  But you’re connected with parents in China who want you to teach their kids.

I offer private Woocommerce shops for teachers. These shops are visible in China and can accept Alipay. This way you can offer your classes directly to Chinese parents and conveniently accept payment from them. You don’t need to have an Alipay account or a Chinese bank account.

Frequently asked questions

Is this like Italki?

Italki, preply, spitball…these are marketplaces.  You list your services, and compete with other teachers for students.   But if you have a long-time connection with a student, you wouldn’t want to bring them onto a marketplace, for fear of losing your student to a cheaper teacher.  Ideally, you would want to build your own private website from scratch. 

The shops i offer aren’t private websites built from scratch, but they are private.  Imagine a platform like Italki, except that each vendor’s storefront has been separated from the marketplace and made to look and act like a private website.This was done so that teachers who have longstanding relationships with their students could do business with the parents directly without fear of losing them to cheaper teachers in a marketplace. It’s also a cheaper, faster alternative to building your own website.

Couldn’t I just build my own website?

Yes, you could!  And if you want to, you should!  There are a couple things to consider first, if you’re building this website for Chinese students.  

  • It should be visible in mainland China.  The Chinese internet is guarded by a firewall, which blocks certain resources (google, facebook, gravatar…).  Your wordpress site will contain references to some of these blocked resources, and you’ll need to hire a developer to ‘go under the hood’ to remove them.  The shops I offer have been developed in this way to be China-facing, and they are also hosted in Hong Kong so they’ll load faster in China.
  •  It should support a Chinese payment option.  The main ones are Wechat pay, Alipay, or Union Pay.  These will be much easier for Chinese parents to use than paypal or credit card.  The shops I offer teachers support Alipay payments through Stripe feature called ‘Alipay with sources’.

How much does this cost?

The fees are as follows:

  • $25 set up fee (one time). This includes me setting up your private store so you’re ready to send parents there to check out. Takes 1 day.  Also,
  • 10% transaction fee. This includes payment processing fees. For example, if you sold a 100 dollar package, i would process the alipay payment and forward you $90 via transferwise the same day. The remaining $10 would go to stripe and transferwise fees, as well as my own fee.

Will this give me students?

No, the shop does not come with students or student traffic.  I serve teachers who are already connected with Chinese parents.

Can I use the shop for students in other countries, not China?

It is not the best option for teachers of non-Chinese students.  This is because I have designed the shops to overcome specific barriers to doing business in China.  For teaching Chinese students, it may make sense to pay a 10% transaction fee, because they need to have Alipay to do business, and they need a shop to be visible inside mainland China.  But other countries don’t have these same barriers, and there are cheaper ways to do business.  For example, you could just use paypal with students, and not pay more than about 3% in fees.