What we do


Charltons delivers high impact advice to clients in the education sector in Hong Kong and Mainland China. We can assist investors and operators with a wide range of investment and collaboration opportunities, in particular in the areas of pre-school education, after-school tutoring, professional training and vocational education, language schools, international schools and private universities. Charltons also has vast experience in assisting education companies list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Most recently, Charltons was the legal adviser to the sole sponsor in the listing of Tianli Education International Holdings on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2018.

We have almost two decades of experience in China and have offices in Shanghai and Beijing, as well as long established relationships with top Chinese law firms in all of the major Chinese cities. Our deep local knowledge and international perspective gives us a unique insight into Chinese business practices and issues arising from investments in the education sector in China, in particular Sino-foreign joint ventures with domestic education institutions. We provide an insightful and highly personalised service to clients, guiding them through the PRC regulatory requirements, foreign investment restrictions and governmental approvals involved.

Clients receive smart and practical advice from multidisciplinary lawyers with broad regulatory and transactional experience. Our team has wide experience across M&A, investment and joint ventures, corporate finance and charity law, as well as in dealing with regulatory and governmental bodies in Hong Kong and China. We can assist educational institutions negotiate collaboration and R&D agreements, equity and debt fund raisings, joint ventures and sales of equity interests, licensing of intellectual property rights and employment issues.

As part of our commitment to corporate social responsibility, we established the Asia Education Foundation charity in 2006 to award scholarships to outstanding PRC students who otherwise might not be able to start or continue with their studies. Since then, Asia Education Foundation has granted scholarships to more than 70 students of Sun Yat-sen University, Nanjing University and South China University of Technology. We plan to extend the scholarship programme to students in Myanmar shortly.

Educational Institutions Listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange

Listed issuers on The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited engaging in the education sector include China Chuanglian Education Group Limited (“China Chuanglian”) and Hong Kong Education (Int’l) Investments Limited (“HK Education”).

While China Chuanglian provides online training and education services in the PRC, HK Education is the only listed educational institution offering educational programmes and tutoring classes in Hong Kong.

Brief profile of HK Education:

  • Listing date: 4 July 2011
  • Place of Incorporation: Cayman Islands
  • Price of the offer share: HKD$1.30 per share
  • Amount raised upon listing: HKD$150.8 million
  • Market Capitalisation: HKD $416.15 million (as at 07 May 2020)

Regulation of education institutions in Hong Kong

Institutions, organisations or establishments which provides any nursery, kindergarten, primary, secondary or post-secondary education or any other educational courses (including institutions offering courses outside the formal curriculum such as tutorial, commercial, language and computer courses) would generally require registration with the Permanent Secretary of Education and would be regulated by the Education Ordinance (Cap. 279 of the Laws of Hong Kong) as well as its subsidiary regulations.

As part of the registration process, often clearance from the Planning Department, the Lands Department, the Fire Services Department, the Buildings Department and the Housing Department must be obtained. Following registration, the school will be issued with a certificate of provisional registration or registration as a school. Thereafter, the Permanent Secretary and any inspector of schools may enter and inspect any school premises at any time to ensure compliance with regulations.

No person may teach in a school unless he is a registered or permitted teacher. Each school must have a registered teacher to be principal who would have authority over teachers and pupils of the school and be responsible for teaching and discipline in the school.

Each school will have either an incorporated management committee or a management committee comprising of managers of the school who would, inter alia, ensure that the school is managed satisfactorily and that the education of pupils is promoted in a proper manner. One of the managers would be a supervisor and who would act as the communication channel with the Permanent Secretary or other public officers.



Education Institutions Listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange

Regulation of education institutions in Hong Kong