China to impose hefty fines, penalties for illegal education tutors

HONG KONG (Reuters): Unlicensed tutoring services in China could face penalties of up to 100,000 yuan ($13,715.54), the country’s Education Ministry said as it seeks to crack down on the lucrative after school industry and promote a “good environment” for learning.

The announcement made by the Ministry of Education on state run CCTV is the most recent measure by authorities to reform China’s education sector and alleviate the academic pressure on students.

Beijing in 2021 imposed tough rules to clamp down on the booming $120 billion private tutoring industry, aiming both to ease pressure on children and boost the country’s birth rate by lowering family costs.

However, problems such as unlicensed after school tutoring continues to “varying degrees” and the problem of individual institutions “taking money and running away” still occurs, the ministry said.

“There is an urgent need to improve the legal system for after school training,” it said.

China’s slowing economy, grappling with chronically low consumer confidence, is affecting young couples’ plans to either get married or have children, compounding the demographic headaches of one of the world’s fastest-ageing societies.

The high cost of education has been cited as a key factor by young Chinese for not wanting to have children.