ByteDance to close some tutoring ops after clampdown - sources

ByteDance will lay off some teachers, sales and advertising staff in the education unit

  
People walk past the Bytedance headquarters building in Beijing, China August 3, 2020.

People walk past the Bytedance headquarters building in Beijing, China August 3, 2020.

REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

BEIJING - TikTok owner ByteDance told employees on Thursday it planned to lay off staff in its education business and close some of its tutoring operations, after China imposed sweeping regulations on the sector, two sources with the knowledge of the matter said.

China last month issued rules barring curriculum-based tutoring for profit, aiming to ease financial pressures on families that have contributed to low birth rates. The move triggered massive falls in the shares of Chinese private education firms.

ByteDance will lay off some teachers, sales and advertising staff in the education unit and will shut its curriculum-focused preschool and K12 tutoring businesses (covering those aged from kindergarten to 12th grade) in China to be compliant with the regulations, according to one of the sources and a third source.

ByteDance did not offer immediate comment.

ByteDance's education unit Dali, which translates to "forceful strength" in Chinese, was established last October and runs several tutoring apps aimed at preschool kids and K12 students, including one-on-one English online classes provider Gogokid, and school courses tutoring app Qingbei.

The unit has more than 10,000 employees and its expansion has been one of ByteDance's top priorities over the past year.

The scale of layoffs could not be immediately learnt and two sources said the company has been transferring some employees form its education business to other parts of the company.

(Reporting by Yingzhi Yang, Binbin Huang, Cheng Leng and Brenda Goh Editing by Jason Neely and David Holmes) ((Yingzhi.Yang@thomsonreuters.com; +861056692133;))


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