Parents' quest for good schools is frustrating China's egalitarian drive

President Xi Jinping wants to rein in property prices and equalise access to education. Property developers are foiling that by going into the education business.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged to equalise access to education, after cracking down on expensive private tutoring services last month. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

(FINANCIAL TIMES) - Officials in an economic backwater in central China have struck upon a novel way to boost the local property market: schools funded by developers that have earned a reputation for getting their students into the country's top universities.

Property sales in Hengshui, a city of 4.3 million in Hebei province, are soaring despite recent attempts by the central government to rein in both runaway property prices and China's booming private education sector.

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