The crackdown exacerbated the financial problems of these companies and led to further protests every month since January 2019.
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on the tutoring industry aims to create a more harmonious society by equalizing educational opportunities for children across the country, but it has had the opposite effect early on.
So far in August there have been eight protests announced in which workers in the country’s education sector were involved.
One of the protests involved a company in Shanghai that helps students prepare for study abroad whose management has fled without its employees being paid. Similar episodes were seen in cities like Beijing, Changsha, and Nanjing. The crackdown has exacerbated the financial problems many schools have faced as a result of the pandemic, said Aidan Chau, a researcher with the Hong Kong-based organization.
“Companies used to still hope they could continue, but after July some principals decided to just shut down and run away,” he said. “We assume that there will be more cases as soon as the actual guidelines are actually implemented.”
China unveiled a major overhaul of its $ 100 billion education technology sector, banning companies teaching school curriculum from making a profit, raising capital, or listing on a stock exchange. The move came after teens complained of excessive tutoring requirements, parents worried about high fees and their children would be left behind if they didn’t take additional classes.
Chau said the protests so far have involved smaller firms because larger firms had better policies and paid employees amounts that met or sometimes exceeded legal requirements.
He called on the Official All-China Trade Union Confederation to help educators get their salaries and solve other problems. “If the official union does nothing, it is when the workers themselves choose to do something,” the Communist Party or the union have no excuse, he said.
The Federation of Trade Unions, a nationally recognized umbrella organization, did not respond to a request for comment.
Labor inspection data is based on keyword searches from Chinese social media platforms, including Twitter-like Sina Weibo and Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat messaging app.