Official statistics showed that China was home to 86 international schools nationwide in 1999 and that the number soared to 661 by the end of October 2016. Meanwhile, international schools have sprung up in a growing number of second- and third-tier cities in recent years, becoming a prime choice for many middle-class families. The growing demand has made some public and private schools blindly follow international programs that seek to cash in on the market. A series of problems have emerged, including irrational and repeated school-building, and a lack of resources and teaching staff. Experts warn that for many international schools there is a long way to go before developing a teaching style and evaluation system that fits the Chinese market while also being geared to international standards.