Beijing market regulator penalizes 3 tutoring companies for illicit operations

Beijing market regulator announced penalties on Monday for three local private tutoring agencies, Xueda Education, ABC foreign language training school, and 51 Talk, for their engaging in illegal marketing activities.

Based on rising consumer complaints of “chaos” across the private tutoring sector, the Beijing market regulator enhanced investigation and ferreted out the private tutoring agencies that violated rules.

Xueda Education had violated related regulations on advertising, fair competition and illegal pricing. ABC foreign language training school was penalized for unlicensed business operation and illegal pricing. 51 Talk had published false advertising and is being investigated by the market regulators.

The three agencies were punished with 1.235 million yuan ($191,030), 181,300 yuan, and 500,000 yuan, respectively.

As of Monday, the Beijing market regulator had investigated 5,031 physical private tutoring agencies and 956 online private tutoring platforms. A total of 139 cases were probed, dealt with a collective 11.53 million yuan in administrative fines.

At the end of July, China’s market regulator issued a series of measures targeting the country’s vast private education sector, including barring curriculum-based tutoring institutions from raising money through stock market listings, and banning foreign capital to control the private education sector through methods such as mergers and acquisitions, entrusted operations or franchise chains.

Media reported that several private tutoring agencies have already begun cutting costs principally by discharging some of their staff. An anonymous source from a private English tutoring platform based in Beijing told Global Times on Monday that a new round of job cuts looks imminent.

The same source revealed that the current regulations will restrict the time of curricular and extracurricular training across weekday evenings and weekends. “The current educational job market is embroidered in chaos due to the large scale of job cuts, and I will take time to think what I would do after careful observation,” said the source.

Source: Global Times

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