Beijing has introduced some new guidelines regarding quantities of homework and the frequency of exams. This article explains the new rules.
Of course, these rules don’t necessarily take into account the competition that’s still in place: it’s fine to do without homework, but will students still be able to get into good schools, etc? Some of the parents and teachers don’t think so.
I do have two Beijing students whose schools are making a serious effort to reduce “make work” homework and unnecessary tests. These students are noticeably more… interesting than the other students, as they have more time to explore their own interests. They do, however, complain about their homework as much as the other students do. 🙂