LatePost Finance reported on Thursday that Beijing regulators have interviewed many leading online tutoring companies such as Yuanfudao, Zuoyebang, Gaotu and NetEase Youdao this week, asking them to stop selling courses targeted at senior high school students during winter vacation and to refund any fees paid.
This action is not surprising since the recent implementation of the “Double Reduction” policy requires that high school students cannot receive tutoring on holidays and weekends.
Previously, the “Double Reduction” policies in many regions in China forbid the tutoring of compulsory education subjects for primary school and junior high school students. Many workers in the industry believe that this may be a buffer for the adjustment measures.
An employee from one major online tutoring firm said that the high school courses during the winter vacation has not been affected after the “Double Reduction” policy, and that the number of students enrolled has increased compared with last year. “I thought we would see some growth in this sector [now]. I didn’t expect it to stop so suddenly,” he added.
The pricing of tutoring courses for senior high school students in Beijing seems to be as follows: 20 yuan per online class and 40-80 yuan per offline class. Further, major private tutoring companies can only be non-profit, meaning that the income and profits they earn can only be used to maintain the operation of the company instead of being used for dividend payouts to shareholders.