A China education firm laid off 60,000 people last year following a government policy crackdown

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One of China’s biggest providers of private educational services laid off 60,000 people last year, its founder said, following a crackdown on private tutoring.

Yu Minhong, the founder and chairman of New Oriental Education, which provides after-school tutoring and sells books, said in a WeChat post on Saturday that the company’s market value had dropped by 90% and its revenue by 80% during 2021, Bloomberg reported.

It comes after China’s ruling Communist Party announced a “Double Reduction” policy in July 2021, which included a ban on for-profit tutoring of school subjects for children, and almost instantly wiped out a $100 billion industry. 

The company ended all its online and in-person, kindergarten-to-grade-9 tutoring services, Yu was reported to have said in the post. Policy, the pandemic, and international relations had affected New Oriental’s operations, he said.

Tuition refunds, employee severance packages, and the cancellations of teaching site leases cost the company close to 20 billion yuan ($3.1 billion), he said.

New Oriental didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

As of May 31, 2021, the company had 88,126 full-time employees and 17,086 contract teachers and staff, it said in its 2021 annual report. New Oriental now has around 50,000 staff, Yu said in a separate post Monday, per Bloomberg. 

– businessinsider.com