BEIJING, June 1 (Reuters) - China's market regulator fined
15 private tutoring firms a combined 36.5 million yuan ($5.73
million) for false advertising and pricing frauds, the official
People's Daily newspaper reported on Tuesday, amid a crackdown
on the sector.
The 15 companies include Tencent-backed Yuanfudao,
Alibaba-backed Zuoyebang, and New Oriental Education &
Technology Group, the People's Daily said, citing a
news briefing by the regulator.
The news comes a day after China announced it would allow
couples to have a third child, amid rising concern about a
declining fertility rate that many in China blame on the high
cost of raising families. Most children in China undergo private
tuition in addition to public schooling.
Some courses offered by the companies were sold at just 1
yuan, discounts that masked the eventual full price, the
The penalized firms included several with U.S. or Hong Kong
listings, including TAL Education Group, OneSmart
Education Group, Beststudy Education Group and
On the same day, Guangdong and Shanghai provincial-level
market regulators fined private education companies over pricing
and advertising frauds.
Six companies were fined a combined of 14 million yuan in
Guangdong, according to a statement from the local market
It said the companies made up teachers' diplomas, teaching
qualifications and experience, and made false promises to
The Shanghai market regulator announced on its WeChat
account that it had fined four companies, including English
teaching companies Dada and Wall Street English, a total of 10
($1 = 6.3667 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Lusha Zhang, Sophie Yu and Tony Munroe; Editing
by Christian Schmollinger, Raju Gopalakrishnan and Gerry Doyle)