Winter is coming for the education technology giant.
Chinese education firm VIPKid, famous for connecting domestic students with native English-speaking tutors overseas for live video lessons, has announced that starting November 5, 2021, students in the Chinese mainland will no longer be able to take Major Course, Starlight, and Supplementary classes with foreign teachers living outside of China. China-based foreign teachers can also continue to teach, but their qualifications will be screened.
Meanwhile, parents will no longer be able to book classes with foreign teachers living outside of China after October 19, 2021. Any courses that have already been scheduled or booked will still take place until November 5, 2021.
The moves comply with China's latest regulations on off-campus tutoring markets, issued in July 2021, which prohibited companies from hiring teachers overseas to teach students in China. In fact, other Chinese private education firms have also been re-directing their businesses to conform to the new rules; even the social giant ByteDance's GogoKid, a the rival of VIPKid, was shut down recently.
However, VIDKid assured in their announcement that "this update does not mean an end to all teaching opportunities on the VIPKid platform", displaying the company's courage and solid intention to get through this regulatory wave. Big plans to for its global platform, Adult English courses and courses with global students are said to be right on the way.
VIPKid's investors include Tencent Holdings, Sequoia China, Jack Ma's Yun Feng Capital and Kobe Bryant's Bryant Stibel.