Wall Street English (WSE), a language training company founded over 50 years ago, has recently declared the bankruptcy of its China operations as it struggles to manage an outstanding value of 1.2 billion yuan ($185 billion) in tuition fees and unpaid salaries.
On August 14, rival Education First (EF) announced it would provide free online courses for WSE students. Later, New Oriental Education schools in Hangzhou and Shanghai also announced they would provide one-month free courses for WSE students in those locations.
On August 16th, the Adult English Learning Department of New Oriental Hangzhou School announced through its official WeChat account that it would provide one-month free offline optional courses for WSE students in the city.
Two days later, the New Oriental Shanghai School announced that its English learning center would provide one-month free offline optional courses for WSE students in Shanghai.
Using its official WeChat account, the New Oriental Shanghai School said “New Oriental has no business cooperation with Wall Street English. Out of empathy and social responsibility, we are willing to help students involved, and plan to provide one-month free offline optional courses for WSE students in Shanghai.”
In fact, since the so-called “double reduction” policy was released by domestic regulators, New Oriental’s share price has plummeted, losing nearly half of its market value. It is now seeking transformation, working to develop new business in the context of the “double reduction” policy, so as to survive in the new market.
Founded in Italy in 1972, WSE is an international adult English training institution. It entered the Chinese market in 2000, and has opened 71 learning centers across 11 Chinese cities. Company officials said the staff in China once exceeded 3,000. Domestic media outlet ThePaper.cn reports that all WSE schools are shut down in China, but many students haven’t finished their courses. These uncompleted courses total hundreds of millions of yuan.
CBN reported on August 12 that WSE’s northern district sales director informed all principals of the company’s schools of the decision to declare bankruptcy the following week, asking them to tell their employees to finish the resignation formalities as soon as possible. WSE has not yet issued a response to the development.