Mainland China has the world’s biggest education system, with 275 million students. The government spends more on education than any other item – 15 per cent of its fiscal budget – but households too devote around 13 per cent of their expenditure towards educating their children. Private institutions increasingly complement the state system.
All mainland China’s schools became public in the 1950s but in the 1980s private investment in education was allowed again.
Private institutions provide international schools for the middle-class, they supplement public schools in cash-strapped provinces, and they offer places for migrant workers unable to register their children in local public schools.
Education is compulsory for 6 to 14 year-olds but attendance of high-school students, aged 15 to 17, has climbed from 40 per cent to nearly 90 per cent over two decades and enrolment for higher-education reached the government’s 50 per cent target in 2019 – a year early.
The participation of private schools in the compulsory education stage is below 10 per cent and unlikely to rise, given the government’s focus on this sector and the requirement for these schools to be ‘not-for-profit’. However, the proportion of private high schools – the 15 to 17s – has risen above 20 per cent and is close to 30 per cent for higher education.
While private schools are different to public schools, they are complementary. Private schools have greater flexibility in syllabus-setting. And schools run for profit have more control over their revenues: besides tuition fees plus charges for boarding, school camps and uniforms, some local-government bodies pay the private sector to ease pressure on public schools.
In higher education, it is difficult for private schools to compete with public institutions, especially the public universities, which are well-funded and have better reputations. But rising demand for vocational learning has benefited the private schools, which are usually more market-oriented and can tailor courses to suit blue-collar and technical workers.
However, China has a declining birth rate: 24m babies were born in 1989, only 15m last year. The number of schools is thus falling, even if a greater share is private. There may thus be scope for mergers in the private sector.
Yet despite fewer births, the number of students in higher education has risen from 4m in 1998 to 33m last year with institutions increasing from around 2,700 to nearly 4,600. And the 52 per cent going into higher education is still below the average of 70 per cent for OECD countries: we thus expect Beijing’s target to be raised.
Manufacturing industry faces a shortage of skilled labour that is estimated to rise from 19m to 30m by 2025. The uncertainty caused by the pandemic has bolstered higher vocational education admissions, not least to avoid unemployment, but the virus also presents challenges for the record 8.7m higher-education students graduating this year.
But longer-term, mainland China’s economic growth and the demand for skilled labour – especially in ‘new economy’ industries – leaves private-school operators well positioned to mitigate the current economic pressures. Private schools are more adaptive than public universities and faster at rolling out new qualifications such as on automation, mobile-game design or robotics.
First published 22 September 2020.
Would you like to find out more? Click here to read the full report (you must be a subscriber to HSBC Global Research).
Disclosure and disclaimerMore, collapsed
The following analyst(s), economist(s), or strategist(s) who is(are) primarily responsible for this report, including any analyst(s) whose name(s) appear(s) as author of an individual section or sections of the report and any analyst(s) named as the covering analyst(s) of a subsidiary company in a sum-of-the-parts valuation certifies(y) that the opinion(s) on the subject security(ies) or issuer(s), any views or forecasts expressed in the section(s) of which such individual(s) is(are) named as author(s), and any other views or forecasts expressed herein, including any views expressed on the back page of the research report, accurately reflect their personal view(s) and that no part of their compensation was, is or will be directly or indirectly related to the specific recommendation(s) or views contained in this research report: York Pun, CFA
Equities: Stock ratings and basis for financial analysis
HSBC and its affiliates, including the issuer of this report (“HSBC”) believes an investor's decision to buy or sell a stock should depend on individual circumstances such as the investor's existing holdings, risk tolerance and other considerations and that investors utilise various disciplines and investment horizons when making investment decisions. Ratings should not be used or relied on in isolation as investment advice. Different securities firms use a variety of ratings terms as well as different rating systems to describe their recommendations and therefore investors should carefully read the definitions of the ratings used in each research report. Further, investors should carefully read the entire research report and not infer its contents from the rating because research reports contain more complete information concerning the analysts' views and the basis for the rating.
From 23rd March 2015 HSBC has assigned ratings on the following basis:
The target price is based on the analyst’s assessment of the stock’s actual current value, although we expect it to take six to 12 months for the market price to reflect this. When the target price is more than 20% above the current share price, the stock will be classified as a Buy; when it is between 5% and 20% above the current share price, the stock may be classified as a Buy or a Hold; when it is between 5% below and 5% above the current share price, the stock will be classified as a Hold; when it is between 5% and 20% below the current share price, the stock may be classified as a Hold or a Reduce; and when it is more than 20% below the current share price, the stock will be classified as a Reduce.
Our ratings are re-calibrated against these bands at the time of any 'material change' (initiation or resumption of coverage, change in target price or estimates).
Upside/Downside is the percentage difference between the target price and the share price.
Prior to this date, HSBC’s rating structure was applied on the following basis:
For each stock we set a required rate of return calculated from the cost of equity for that stock’s domestic or, as appropriate, regional market established by our strategy team. The target price for a stock represented the value the analyst expected the stock to reach over our performance horizon. The performance horizon was 12 months. For a stock to be classified as Overweight, the potential return, which equals the percentage difference between the current share price and the target price, including the forecast dividend yield when indicated, had to exceed the required return by at least 5 percentage points over the succeeding 12 months (or 10 percentage points for a stock classified as Volatile*). For a stock to be classified as Underweight, the stock was expected to underperform its required return by at least 5 percentage points over the succeeding 12 months (or 10 percentage points for a stock classified as Volatile*). Stocks between these bands were classified as Neutral.
*A stock was classified as volatile if its historical volatility had exceeded 40%, if the stock had been listed for less than 12 months (unless it was in an industry or sector where volatility is low) or if the analyst expected significant volatility. However, stocks which we did not consider volatile may in fact also have behaved in such a way. Historical volatility was defined as the past month's average of the daily 365-day moving average volatilities. In order to avoid misleadingly frequent changes in rating, however, volatility had to move 2.5 percentage points past the 40% benchmark in either direction for a stock's status to change.
Rating distribution for long-term investment opportunities
As of 21 September 2020, the distribution of all independent ratings published by HSBC is as follows:
Buy 55% ( 33% of these provided with Investment Banking Services )
Hold 36% ( 32% of these provided with Investment Banking Services )
Sell 9% ( 25% of these provided with Investment Banking Services )
For the purposes of the distribution above the following mapping structure is used during the transition from the previous to current rating models: under our previous model, Overweight = Buy, Neutral = Hold and Underweight = Sell; under our current model Buy = Buy, Hold = Hold and Reduce = Sell. For rating definitions under both models, please see “Stock ratings and basis for financial analysis” above.
For the distribution of non-independent ratings published by HSBC, please see the disclosure page available at http://www.hsbcnet.com/gbm/financial-regulation/investment-recommendations-disclosures.
To view a list of all the independent fundamental ratings disseminated by HSBC during the preceding 12-month period, please use the following links to access the disclosure page:
Clients of Global Research and Global Banking and Markets: www.research.hsbc.com/A/Disclosures
Clients of HSBC Private Banking: www.research.privatebank.hsbc.com/Disclosures
HSBC and its affiliates will from time to time sell to and buy from customers the securities/instruments, both equity and debt (including derivatives) of companies covered in HSBC Research on a principal or agency basis or act as a market maker or liquidity provider in the securities/instruments mentioned in this report.
Analysts, economists, and strategists are paid in part by reference to the profitability of HSBC which includes investment banking, sales & trading, and principal trading revenues.
Whether, or in what time frame, an update of this analysis will be published is not determined in advance.
Non-U.S. analysts may not be associated persons of HSBC Securities (USA) Inc, and therefore may not be subject to FINRA Rule 2241 or FINRA Rule 2242 restrictions on communications with the subject company, public appearances and trading securities held by the analysts.
Economic sanctions imposed by the EU and OFAC prohibit transacting or dealing in new debt or equity of Russian SSI entities.
This report does not constitute advice in relation to any securities issued by Russian SSI entities on or after July 16 2014 and as such, this report should not be construed as an inducement to transact in any sanctioned securities.
For disclosures in respect of any company mentioned in this report, please see the most recently published report on that company available at www.hsbcnet.com/research. HSBC Private Banking clients should contact their Relationship Manager for queries regarding other research reports. In order to find out more about the proprietary models used to produce this report, please contact the authoring analyst.
- This report is dated as at 22 September 2020.
- All market data included in this report are dated as at close 17 September 2020, unless a different date and/or a specific time of day is indicated in the report.
- HSBC has procedures in place to identify and manage any potential conflicts of interest that arise in connection with its Research business. HSBC's analysts and its other staff who are involved in the preparation and dissemination of Research operate and have a management reporting line independent of HSBC's Investment Banking business.
Information Barrier procedures are in place between the Investment Banking, Principal Trading, and Research businesses to ensure that any confidential and/or price sensitive information is handled in an appropriate manner.
- You are not permitted to use, for reference, any data in this document for the purpose of (i) determining the interest payable, or other sums due, under loan agreements or under other financial contracts or instruments, (ii) determining the price at which a financial instrument may be bought or sold or traded or redeemed, or the value of a financial instrument, and/or (iii) measuring the performance of a financial instrument or of an investment fund.
China’s vast educationa
Legal entities as at 1 September 2020
'UAE' HSBC Bank Middle East Limited, DIFC; HSBC Bank Middle East Limited, Dubai; ‘HK’ The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Hong Kong; ‘TW’ HSBC Securities (Taiwan) Corporation Limited; 'CA' HSBC Securities (Canada) Inc.; HSBC France, S.A., Madrid, Milan, Stockholm; ‘DE’ HSBC Trinkaus & Burkhardt AG, Düsseldorf; 000 HSBC Bank (RR), Moscow; ‘IN’ HSBC Securities and Capital Markets (India) Private Limited, Mumbai; ‘JP’ HSBC Securities (Japan) Limited, Tokyo; ‘EG’ HSBC Securities Egypt SAE, Cairo; ‘CN’ HSBC Investment Bank Asia Limited, Beijing Representative
Office; The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Singapore Branch; The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Seoul Securities Branch; The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Seoul Branch; HSBC Securities (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, Johannesburg; HSBC Bank plc, London, Tel Aviv; ‘US’ HSBC Securities (USA) Inc, New York; HSBC Yatirim Menkul Degerler AS, Istanbul; HSBC México, SA, Institución de Banca Múltiple, Grupo Financiero HSBC; HSBC Bank Australia Limited; HSBC Bank Argentina SA; HSBC Saudi Arabia Limited; The Hongkong and Shanghai
Banking Corporation Limited, New Zealand Branch incorporated in Hong Kong SAR; The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Bangkok Branch; PT Bank HSBC Indonesia; HSBC Qianhai Securities Limited; Banco HSBC S.A.
Issuer of report
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited
Level 19, 1 Queen’s Road Central
Hong Kong SAR
Telephone: +852 2843 9111
Fax: +852 2596 0200
This document has been issued by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (“HSBC”) in the conduct of its Hong Kong regulated business for the information of its institutional and professional investor (as defined by Securities and Future Ordinance (Chapter 571)) customers; it is not intended for and should not be distributed to retail customers in Hong Kong. The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited is regulated by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. All enquires by recipients in Hong Kong must be directed to your HSBC contact in Hong Kong. If it is received by a customer of an affiliate of HSBC, its provision to the recipient is subject to the terms of business in place between the recipient and such affiliate. This document is not and should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase or subscribe for any investment. HSBC has based this document on information obtained from sources it believes to be reliable but which it has not independently verified; HSBC makes no guarantee, representation or warranty and accepts no responsibility or liability as to its accuracy or completeness.
Expressions of opinion are those of the Research Division of HSBC only and are subject to change without notice. From time to time research analysts conduct site visits of covered issuers. HSBC policies prohibit research analysts from accepting payment or reimbursement for travel expenses from the issuer for such visits. HSBC and its affiliates and/or their officers, directors and employees may have positions in any securities mentioned in this document (or in any related investment) and may from time to time add to or dispose of any such securities (or investment). HSBC and its affiliates may act as market maker or have assumed an underwriting commitment in the securities of companies discussed in this document (or in related investments), may sell them to or buy them from customers on a principal basis and may also perform or seek to perform investment banking or underwriting services for or relating to those companies.
HSBC Securities (USA) Inc. accepts responsibility for the content of this research report prepared by its non-US foreign affiliate. The information contained herein is under no circumstances to be construed as investment advice and is not tailored to the needs of the recipient. All U.S. persons receiving and/or accessing this report and wishing to effect transactions in any security discussed herein should do so with HSBC Securities (USA) Inc. in the United States and not with its non-US foreign affiliate, the issuer of this report.
In the UK, this publication is distributed by HSBC Bank plc for the information of its Clients (as defined in the Rules of FCA) and those of its affiliates only. It is not intended for Retail Clients in the UK. Nothing herein excludes or restricts any duty or liability to a customer which HSBC Bank plc has under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 or under the Rules of FCA and PRA. A recipient who chooses to deal with any person who is not a representative of HSBC Bank plc in the UK will not enjoy the protections afforded by the UK regulatory regime. HSBC Bank plc is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. In Singapore, this publication is distributed by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Singapore Branch for the general information of institutional investors or other persons specified in Sections 274 and 304 of the Securities and Futures Act (Chapter 289) (“SFA”) and accredited investors and other persons in accordance with the conditions specified in Sections 275 and 305 of the SFA. Only Economics or Currencies reports are intended for distribution to a person who is not an Accredited Investor, Expert Investor or Institutional Investor as defined in SFA. The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Singapore Branch accepts legal responsibility for the contents of reports pursuant to Regulation 32C(1)(d) of the Financial Advisers Regulations. This publication is not a prospectus as defined in the SFA. This publication is not a prospectus as defined in the SFA. It may not be further distributed in whole or in part for any purpose. The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited Singapore Branch is regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Recipients in Singapore should contact a "Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Singapore Branch" representative in respect of any matters arising from, or in connection with this report. Please refer to The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited Singapore Branch’s website at www.business.hsbc.com.sg for contact details. In Australia, this publication has been distributed by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (ABN 65 117 925 970, AFSL 301737) for the general information of its “wholesale”
customers (as defined in the Corporations Act 2001). Where distributed to retail customers, this research is distributed by HSBC Bank Australia Limited (ABN 48 006 434 162, AFSL No. 232595).
These respective entities make no representations that the products or services mentioned in this document are available to persons in Australia or are necessarily suitable for any particular person or appropriate in accordance with local law. No consideration has been given to the particular investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any recipient. This publication is distributed in New Zealand by The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, New Zealand Branch incorporated in Hong Kong SAR.
In Japan, this publication has been distributed by HSBC Securities (Japan) Limited. It may not be further distributed in whole or in part for any purpose. In Korea, this publication is distributed by
The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Seoul Securities Branch ("HBAP SLS") for the general information of professional investors specified in Article 9 of the Financial Investment Services and Capital Markets Act (“FSCMA”). This publication is not a prospectus as defined in the FSCMA. It may not be further distributed in whole or in part for any purpose. HBAP SLS is regulated by the Financial Services Commission and the Financial Supervisory Service of Korea.
In Canada, this document has been distributed by HSBC Securities (Canada) Inc. (member IIROC), and/or its affiliates. The information contained herein is under no circumstances to be construed as investment advice in any province or territory of Canada and is not tailored to the needs of the recipient. No securi ties commission or similar regulatory authority in Canada has reviewed or in any way passed judgment upon these materials, the information contained herein or the merits of the securities described herein, and any representation to the contrary is an offense. In Brazil, this document has been distributed by Banco HSBC S.A. ("HSBC Brazil"), and/or its affiliates. As required by Instruction No. 598/18 of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Brazil (Comissão de Valores Mobiliários), potential conflicts of interest concerning (i) HSBC Brazil and/or its affiliates; and (ii) the analyst(s) responsible for authoring this report are stated on the chart above labelled "HSBC & Analyst Disclosures".
If you are an HSBC Private Banking (“PB”) customer with approval for receipt of relevant research publications by an applicable HSBC legal entity, you are eligible to receive this publication. To be eligible to receive such publications, you must have agreed to the applicable HSBC entity’s terms and conditions (“KRC Terms”) for access to the KRC, and the terms and conditions of any other internet banking service offered by that HSBC entity through which you will access research publications using the KRC. Distribution of this publication is the sole responsibility of the HSBC entity with whom you have agreed the KRC Terms.
If you do not meet the aforementioned eligibility requirements please disregard this publication and, if you are a customer of PB, please notify your Relationship Manager. Receipt of research publications is strictly subject to the KRC Terms, which can be found at https://research.privatebank.hsbc.com/– we draw your attention also to the provisions contained in the Important Notes section therein.
© Copyright 2020, The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, on any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited.
MCI (P) 077/12/2019, MCI (P) 016/02/2020.