Caixin
Apr 02, 2021 06:31 PM
CHINA

China’s National Broadcaster Removes Ads of Top Tutoring Firms

What’s new: China’s national broadcaster CCTV has removed the advertisements of some top online tutoring firms amid a governmental regulatory campaign to primarily reduce risks around financial default in the sector, Caixin has learned.

The top brands involved include Yuanfudao (猿辅导), a homework tutoring app founded in 2012; TAL Education (学而思), the largest by market cap; and GGL (瓜瓜龙) launched by tech giant ByteDance. Advertisements or title sponsorships of both these companies, and others, were pulled from CCTV’s programs and platforms last month.

The national broadcaster had come under increasing pressure to reduce the presence of online education brands since the conclusion of the country’s annual political gatherings of lawmakers and political advisors, known as the “Two Sessions,” in early March, a source familiar with CCTV’s internal discussions told Caixin.

Meanwhile, however, online tutoring advertisements are still allowed to appear on some provincial broadcasters such as in Hunan, Zhejiang and Shanghai.

The background: The move came after China’s Ministry of Education vowed to tighten scrutiny of after-school tutoring institutions and investigate and punish illegal training activities. Speculation also emerged that Beijing plans to reduce the workload placed on students in the form of homework and to limit after-school activities, known as “Double Reduction.”

China’s online education industry was hit by waves of financial defaults last year during the pandemic, with multiple firms going bankrupt including Youwin Education (优胜教育) and Xueba100(学霸君), prompting large gatherings of protesting customers demanding their money back. 

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.

Contact reporter Lu Zhenhua (zhenhualu@caixin.com) and editor Marcus Ryder (marcusryder@caixin.com)

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