•VIPKid acts to comply with new rules on private tutoring
•ByteDance also plans to close some tutoring operations
Tencent Holdings-backed Chinese education firm VIPKid said on Saturday it will stop selling classes taught by foreign-based tutors to students in China.
The measure comes into effect immediately to ensure the company complies with sweeping new rules announced for the country’s private education sector. Those rules banned companies from employing foreign-based tutors.
The new rules were part of China’s crackdown on private tutoring firms last month. It barred curriculum-based tutoring for profit as it tries to ease financial pressures on families that have contributed to low birth rates.
Beijing-based VIPKid is an online education platform that connected children in China with native English-speaking teachers in countries from the United States to Canada for live video lessons. The company said in a post on its official WeChat account that customers who had already purchased packages would still be able to take classes while existing customers will only be able to renew classes taught by overseas-based tutors until Aug. 9.
It added that its international business for students outside China would not be affected. Other Chinese private education firms have also been reviewing their operations. ByteDance also plans to close some of its tutoring operations, including its online classes app GogoKid, a VIPKid rival.
VIPKid’s investors include Tencent Holdings, China’s largest gaming and social media company.
•Reuters and Kevin Hamlin