|China's for-profit education sector has been under scrutiny as part of Beijing's push to ease pressure on school children and reduce the cost burden on parents. (Photo from phuketnews)|
[Asia News = Reporter Reakkana] SHANGHAI: China bars tutoring for profit in core school subjects to ease financial pressures on families that have contributed to low birth rates, news that sent shockwaves through its vast private education sector and share prices plunging, Reuters reported.
The policy change, which also restricts foreign investment in a sector that had become essential to success in Chinese school exams, was contained in a government document widely circulated on Friday and verified by sources. The move threatens to decimate China's US$120 billion private tutoring industry and triggered a heavy selloff in shares of tutoring firms traded in Hong Kong and New York including New Oriental Education & Technology and Koolearn Technology Holding.
All institutions offering tutoring on the school curriculum will be registered as non-profit organizations, and no new licenses will be granted, according to the document, which says it was distributed by China's State Council, or cabinet, to local governments and is dated Jul 19. More than 75 percent of students aged from around 6 to 18 in China attended after-school tutoring classes in 2016, according to the most recent figures from the Chinese Society of Education, and anecdotal evidence suggests that percentage has risen. Meanwhile, three sources told Reuters last month that the crackdown is being driven from the top.