New business comes with old risks for China’s struggling tutoring industry

Students arriving to school on the first day of the new semester in Shenyang on March 1, 2023. PHOTO: AFP
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BEIJING - China’s after-school education industry was caught flat-footed after Beijing rolled out a policy in mid-2021 that outlawed most after-school classes for K-12 students in an effort to reduce inequality in education.

The ban — which covered both online and in-person instruction — effectively sent the industry into survival mode as companies sought to replace the revenue they lost from classes they were no longer allowed to offer. E-commerce offered one potential path.

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