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China Temporarily Removes Homework Helper Apps for Students

Garrett_Li

Garrett_...

· 2021.12.14

The Ministry of Education says that homework helper apps make students lazy and affect their ability to think independently.

BEIJING, December 13 (TMTPOST) -China’s Ministry of Education ordered on Monday the temporary removal of homework helper apps that allows students to search for homework answers by uploading pictures of their homework assignments, citing concerns over the apps’ potential impact on students’ learning behavior.

The ministry has required education administrative departments to stop reviewing and approving online tutoring apps that focus on school curriculum subjects until the reviews of primary and secondary online tutoring schools are completed. Apps that have already completed the filing process will be removed from app platforms temporarily.

Apps that are removed can enter app markets again after acquiring approval for conducting online tutoring services that cover primary and secondary curriculum subjects.

The ministry says that homework helper apps make students lazy and affect their ability to think independently. Apps that cause students to form bad learning habits will be temporarily removed until they are adjusted and receive approval from provincial-level education administrative department.

Source: Visual China

Homework helper apps have a large user base in China. Zuoyebang, for instance, had more than 100 million monthly active users in 2021, according to statistics from mobile market research firm QuestMobile. The app was launched in 2014 and provides online courses and homework help for its users. Users can search for answers to their homework assignments through uploading pictures of their assignments.

Xiaoyuansouti, another popular homework helper app in China, had around 22.8 million monthly active users in 2020. The app was hit with controversy earlier in June this year as a student tried to use it to cheat at gaokao (China’s national college entrance exam).

In 2020, homework helper apps in China accumulated around 7.75 billion downloads, according to Xueyan Think Tank.

The Ministry of Education’s new move on the online tutoring industry sparks heated discussion online. Some netizens have pointed out that homework helper apps could be extremely useful for parents who do not have the education background to help their children with homework.

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