Chinese Tutoring Firm Yuanfudao Forays into Garment Business Amid Government Crackdown

Garrett_Li

Garrett_Li

· 10月20日

Chinese K12 education unicorn Yuandudao, a company specializing in after-school tutoring service before China’s crackdown on private tutoring, has turned to selling down coats in business adjustment.

BEIJING, October 20 (TMTPOST)— Chinese K12 education unicorn Yuandudao, a company specializing in after-school tutoring services before China’s crackdown on private tutoring, has turned to selling down coats in business adjustment. According to information on corporate information app Tianyancha, Yuanfudao has taken control over Beijing Bingyuan Clothing, betraying the company’s interest in the garment market. Internal sources working at Yuanfudao have confirmed that the company will be starting to sell down coats for adults and is currently building its designer team.

Image Source: unsplash

Yuanfudao has responded to the news report, commenting that Yuanfudao’s main business focus is still education and that the involvement in Beijing Bingyuan Clothing is merely an investment. Yuanfudao has been recruiting designers, procurement managers and supply chain assistants on Chinese recruitment app Boss Zhipin, according to a news report by Sina Finance.

Besides investing in the down coat business, Yuanfudao has also announced that it will enter the To-B smart education market, working to provide education technologies and solutions for governments and schools.

China announced its "double reduction" policy earlier in July this year, restricting private education service providers’ business operations and forcing private tutoring companies to go non-profit as a way to improve education equality and reduce pressure on students. The "double reduction" policy might have made students’ life a bit easier, but it has dramatically affected K12 education companies’ business prospects, including Yuanfudao, whose main area of expertise is in the basic education curriculum in China. K12 education companies and tutoring service providers are now struggling to adapt to the "double reduction" policy, with some of them shifting their focus to education for adults and other business ventures.

Founded in 2012, Yuanfudao was once valued at over US$7.8 billion after receiving investments from renowned investors such as IDG Capital, Hillhouse Capital Group, Boyu Capital, Warburg Pincus, and Tencent. The company made it to the 2019 Hurun’s most valued Chinese brand list. It provides K12 services such as live tutoring platform Yuanfudao, English tutoring app Zebra AI Class, online exam question bank Yuantiku, and question searching app Xiaoyuan Souti, etc.

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