The Chinese EdTech giant New Oriental laid off 60,000 employees after China’s crackdown on education, says founder

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China’s New Oriental laid off 60,000 employees and posted an 80 percent drop in operating income after Beijing introduced new comprehensive rules for the country’s private education industry that banned for-profit tutoring last year, according to its founder.

Yu Minhong, who founded the company in 1993, released the numbers on his official WeChat account on Saturday in a disclosure showing how the July 2021 raid hit one of China’s once-largest private tutoring companies.

The WeChat post did not specify a period for the decline in operating profit.

Prior to the new rules, New Oriental had 105,200 employees, including 54,200 teachers, according to its website.

Chinese authorities banned for-profit tutoring in curriculum subjects last year to ease pressure on children and parents, leading to a wave of school closings and layoffs across the private education sector.

New Oriental, whose market value has also fallen 90 percent since the rules were announced, has sought to reorient its business towards other sectors not affected by the regulations, including dance and drawing classes and Chinese classes for foreigners in overseas markets.

Yu also got the company to sell live-streaming fruits and vegetables, and said the company plans to set up its own live-streaming e-commerce platform for farmers.

“New Oriental has seen too many changes in 2021,” he said in his WeChat post.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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