After spending about 30 hours learning and researching the Gi2c China internship scam, I came across comments on no less than a dozen blogs and forums that you can indeed get FREE FORTUNE 500 CHINA INTERNSHIPS with zero risk of being scammed. Now, whenever I see the word "FREE" I always assume there are strings attached and I have to look for the five point font text which will be the "Tems & Conditions". But I was pleasantly surprised to find out that if you are willing to buy your own plane tickets, you can get a free China Internship for 90 days with one of 100 Fortune 500 Companies in China that sponsor internships. There are actually more than 320 Fortune 500 companies with China operations but only about 100 that utilize interns. The top 20 are listed here by intern popularity http://chinainternshipreviews.wordpress.com.
If exposure to Chinese business culture is what you prefer, there are over 1,000 international Chinese companies like Huawei, and Alibaba that accept foreign interns but the pay is only 2,000 yuan per month and they hire only about 5% of their interns. Also about half of these, 1,000 Chinese companies have reputations for demanding 10 hour work days 6 days a week from their interns. But so long as you know before you go, the choice is yours to make. See Free China Internships Without Scams - DIY!
At least with the Fortune 500 and other MNC companies you have a 1 in 5 chance of being hired on and in that case they will reimburse you for your air fare. Finding free housing is not difficult either with one of several homestay programs available through universities in Beijing or Shanghai (avoid all the agents or you expose yourself to scams)
By the time you board your plane for China you will have spent about 3 hours doing paperwork with a Corporate Intern Coordinator in the HR office of the company where you will intern, another 30 minutes for a Skype interview, and about an hour at the Chinese embassy/consulate getting your visa - but it sure beats paying a broker $999-$4,999 in fees!
If however you are just super busy or too darn lazy and want someone to do everything for you, you need to avoid the companies like Gi2c and there are about a dozen of them. You can use the Red Flag Alerts here to help you avoid the bad apples, but again you can forget about "free". Fraud Alert - 5 Red Flags Of China Internship Scams & Fake Jobs (1/1) - ESLwatch - ESLwatch - Information, News, Forum and School Reviews