If edu firm New Oriental shifts business to livestreaming, it will learn from internet influencers: Yu Minhong
Published: Nov 15, 2021 01:19 PM
New Oriental  Photo: CFP

New Oriental Photo: CFP

If education company New Oriental shifts its business to livestreaming selling, it will certainly learn from influencers Li Jiaqi and Wei Ya, Yu Minhong, founder of New Oriental, said on Sunday responding to an Economic Daily commentary on his decision of transforming his business to start selling agricultural products.

Yu thanked the reporter who wrote the commentary in the Economic Daily saying it is a kind reminder for New Oriental as it transforms to livestream selling agricultural products, a field that the company is not familiar with. The company would continue to move forward and live up to expectations, Yu said. 

Titled "New Oriental should not copy Li Jiaqi," the commentary on Economic Daily said it would not be easy for New Oriental to shift to livestreaming selling agricultural products given huge challenges in the field. 

As one of the leading enterprises in education and training, New Oriental's transformation will be a wind vane for the industry, just jumping from one fast-money-making industry to another may not be the best example, the commentary wrote.

Yu refuted that not a single field is easy to make money, neither education industry or the livestream industry.

The commentary came after the company announced its business transformation toward selling agricultural products. New Oriental would establish a large platform to sell agricultural products through livestreaming sessions in which Yu and hundreds of teachers will participate, in order to support rural revitalization and help local farmers increase their professional skills.

Yu's announcement swept China's internet, raising waves of discussions for the education industry's future amid the "double reduction" policy for primary and middle school students. The decision by New Oriental to donate around 80,000 sets of school desks and chairs to rural schools and its closure of nearly 1,500 teaching locations was trending on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo.

Most netizens called his business transformation decision as a "decent withdrawal," saying New Oriental continues to seek for hopes in desperation. 

Since Chinese authorities rolled out the "double reduction" policy in July in a bid to ease the burden and anxiety for students and implemented a slew of measures regulating the private tutoring industry, China's private education companies have been adjusting their business structures.

But the move toward selling agricultural products does not mean that New Oriental has completely given up on the education industry, observers said. 

New Oriental will stop providing subject-related training services to students from kindergarten to ninth grade by the end of 2021, a statement released by the company early Monday showed. 

Global Times