- Teachers, sales and advertising employees reportedly given their marching orders
- Pre- and post-school teaching units said to have been closed
Regulatory pressure put on China’s online education sector recently may have claimed another victim –TikTok parent Bytedance is reportedly laying off staff at its education business.
Reuters has reported that the Beijing-based tech company is giving marching orders to teachers, sales and advertising employees at its learning unit.
The report said the company, which is also under scrutiny by US officials suspicious of its threat to national security, has closed pre- and post-school teaching activities.
Regulators last week ordered providers of private curriculum-based teaching programmes to refocus their business models, saying they must now operate as not-for-profit firms and comply with a slate of other tough restrictions.
The diktat follows similar restrictions placed on other tech sectors, most notably fintech, which prompted Ant Group to cancel what would have been a record-breaking overseas IPO, and ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing.
Bytedance was also said to have pulled an IPO after it received warnings from Chinese regulators over its use of data.
The company offered no immediate comment, Reuters reported.
A rival to TikTok’s short-video app, Kuaishou, closed its US-only Zynn app, according to reports, without offering any explanation. The app had been the centre of controversy since it launch last spring after it was found to have paid users to watch its videos in a bid to lift the company’s online rankings.
Mark McCord and Reuters
This story was updated to amend the byline.