22 October 2016
What if three-year-olds ran the world? It's possible, but they have to go through executive training first much earlier. Photo: YouTube
What if three-year-olds ran the world? It's possible, but they have to go through executive training first much earlier. Photo: YouTube

The next Steve Jobs just crawled into class, bawling and kicking

Children’s golf summer camp, children’s equestrian training school, Queen’s English class, etc.

The more creative you get, the more money you can coax out of tiger moms who want to give their children a head start this side of the marketing jungle.

But have you heard of a chief executive course for three-year-olds?

State news agency Xinhua ran a piece about a sold-out summer school in southern China that teaches toddlers how to run a company.

The news coincided with the launch of Shenzhen-Hong Kong Stock Connect, the second cross-border stock trading service.

We’re not sure about the link between the two but we’re almost certain one has nothing to do with the other.     

Turns out that this sort of “nappy-level” executive program is for real and reportedly costs parents a bundle. 

There’s more.

A Chinese golf school in Guangzhou for children has been charging parents 1,000 yuan a day for a five-day training program to teach the game to their toddlers. The package includes bed and breakfast.  

In Foshan, a twice-a-week English private tuition sold all its 15 allocations within hours of opening, easily raking in 132,000 yuan for the school.

A Guangzhou school that trains children between age three and 12 charges 50,000 yuan a year for each weekly class.

But back to the fledgling CEOs.

You can’t accuse the school of being vague about its intentions, judging by the course description: “Grooming the future leadership of the children of age three and eight, and equip them with the leadership and competitiveness of a leader.”


Not meaning to offend anyone, we wonder how many children of three have even heard the word CEO? I was into my teens when I first became aware of it.

Interestingly, the Xinhua reporter visited the CEO class and found that it was no more than a private nanny service crawling with screaming tots.

At least they’re getting the hang of boardroom antics this early.

I guess all these absurdities are written into the Chinese DNA, mine included, judging by how quickly we decide to send our children to summer school just as easily as we register for A-share trading.

But it seems our mainland cousins couldn’t care less whether they’re getting their money’s worth, perhaps because China does not have anything close to Hong Kong’s Trade Descriptions Ordinance.

That’s not to say they’re happy.

In the first half of the year, the China Consumers Association received 2,626 complaints relating to education and training.

Last year, it was swamped with 5,000 complaints.

Meanwhile, the next Steve Jobs just crawled into class, bawling, kicking and thrashing about.

Mind you, that’s what some full-grown CEOs do also. 

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EJ Insight writer

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