Beijing has granted the first batch of nonprofit online tutoring licenses to five ed-tech companies, nearly five months after it handed down sweeping rules to regulate the private tutoring market.
China’s national database of registered nonprofit organizations shows that the five online learning companies registered their after-school tutoring services targeting students below 10th grade as nonprofit organizations on Dec. 3, 2021. These five organizations are business units that belong to ed tech unicorns Zuoyebang and Yuanfudao, NYSE-listed TAL Education Group, Youdao Inc. (a subsidiary of NetEase) and New Oriental Education & Technology Group. They are supervised by the Beijing Municipal Commission of Education. The ed-tech companies can run their other businesses on a for-profit basis.
On Monday, China’s Ministry of Education announced on its website that local education authorities are in the process of evaluating more nonprofit online tutoring licenses. Before they finish, the MOE has ordered subject-based online learning apps removed from app stores. Once the companies obtain licenses to offer online tutoring courses to primary school and junior-high school students, they can submit applications to their respective provincial education authorities for their apps to be back in service.