China fines e-education companies for misleading consumers

BEIJING, May 10 (Reuters) – China’s market regulator on Monday announced that it has fined online education startups Yuanfudao and Zuoyebang 2.5 million yuan (388,754) each for misleading consumers.

Alibaba-backed online tutor Zuoyebang used fake ads, while Tencent-backed education technology company (0700.HK) Yuanfudao used deceptive prices, the regulator said in a statement.

Yuanfudao said in a statement that he had conducted a self-assessment of his products and had “rectified the associated misleading tags.” Zuoyebang said he “sincerely accepts the administrative sanction.”

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Chinese regulators have stepped up efforts to curb excessive advertising and bogus pricing by education companies.

Last month, local Beijing regulators fined four education agencies, including GSX and Koolearn (1797.HK), each of 500,000 yuan ($ 77,313.21) for misleading customers with false advertising and prices. Read more

($ 1 = 6.4308 Chinese yuan)

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Report by Yingzhi Yang and Tony Munroe in Beijing; Editing by Kim Coghill

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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