More Private Education Companies in China Go Bust

By Alistair Baker-Brian, September 3, 2021

2 0

The bad news continues for China’s private education sector as more and more companies announce closure. 

The spate of closures has come following a new law, which effectively bans for-profit out-of-school-hours tutoring for core subjects to kindergarten, primary and middle school students. The laws are a hammer blow to a sector still trying to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The government says the new laws are to reduce the academic burden on students and to curtail the control of capital over the education sector. 

Private education is a multi-billion dollar industry in China. After news of the new rules was leaked in June, stocks of many of the biggest companies fell drastically. 

READ MORE: Here's Why Private Tutoring in China Could See Some Big Changes

The latest institution to announce closure is Juren Education, a private tutoring company for young people aged 5-18 years old, which was first established in 1994. 

The announcement was made on August 31 via the company’s WeChat account, citing “operational difficulties.” 

The closure will affect around 13,000 families who have paid for courses, as well as hundreds of staff, according to Sixth Tone.

That’s learned that Best Learning English also recently announced closure. The company operated English training schools in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, as well as a number of franchise schools in other cities. 

One of Best Learning’s employees, who asked to remain anonymous, spoke to That’s about the closure.

The employee said that the company had already struggled, having been unable to open at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

When the new rules were introduced, the company attempted to adapt by rebranding the training centers as ‘Thinking Labs.’ 

An article published on Sina Education explained that the curriculum of these schools included culture, art and science, among other things, in an attempt to sell classes that would make students into well-rounded individuals.

Training-Centers.jpeg

One of Best Learning Education's Thinking Labs. Image via Alistair Baker-Brian/That's

However, the experiment (no pun intended) was short-lived. When we visited one of the Thinking Lab locations in Beijing’s Wangjing area, the front door to the school was already locked and had a notice informing customers of refunds. 

In another more dramatic case, the chief executive of British private tutoring and educational consulting company Holland Park reportedly left Shanghai for the UK with RMB10 million (USD1.5 million). Yicai.com reported that Jake Hall fled having announced the company had gone bust. 

A letter to employees from Hall stated that investors withdrew commitment to Holland Park following the new regulations in China. 

Holland Park’s website still features the address of their Shanghai office. However, under the locations tab, only London and Dubai are displayed. 

Adult training centers have not been immune from the latest wave of closures. On August 12, it was reported that Wall Street English, a long-term stalwart of the adult English education market in China, would file for bankruptcy. 

The company was not affected directly by the new rules. However, yicai.com suggested that the collapse was partly to do with a lack of confidence in the industry from investors. 

In order to survive, training centers for younger students will have to change their curriculum to avoid any teaching of core subject material. How this plan will be implemented remains to be seen.  

READ MORE: Why is Wall Street English Filing for Bankruptcy in China


[Cover image via Pixabay]

more news

More Than Politics: Pursuing an International Relations Degree in China

A degree in International Relations can help us confront the complexities of the 21st Century.

Education Charity Shanghai Sunrise Celebrates 25 Year Anniversary

Championing education for a brighter future

Ministry of Education Guide Requires Prevention of Sexual Abuse in Textbooks

Though the guide will take time to implement, positive effects of the curriculum will no doubt be highly anticipated.

Education Webinar: A Strong Reader is a Strong Thinker

In this webinar, Rebecca Bellingham will share the comprehension skills every child needs to become a powerful reader

6 Reasons to Hit Up The Bund Finance Center for Halloween Fun

A series of immersive Halloween-themed activities

China's After School Training Centers are Struggling to Survive

As many training centers continue to recover from the effects of COVID-19, the sector has now been hit with new laws which effectively ban after-school tutoring in core subjects. Some businesses have already perished. For others, they must adapt or face the same fate.

We're Now Offering Exclusive Packages for Education Clients

Want to reach tens of thousands of followers with posts promoting all that is best about your school or education institution?

Wellington Introduce 2021 Festival of Education Speakers

Meet this year's roster of educators, industry experts and thought leaders.

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at Thats_Shanghai for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in Shanghai With thatsmags.com

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday

Subscribe

Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Shanghai!

Visit the archives