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ByteDance Lays Off Hundreds After China’s Tutoring Crackdown

  • It’s shutting one service while pivoting others to comply
  • China’s new online tutoring curbs include a ban on profits

Photographer: Geg Baker/AFP/Getty Images

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TikTok-owner ByteDance Ltd. has laid off hundreds of employees as the social giant shuts down a significant part of its online education businesses to comply with Beijing’s new regulatory regime for the after-school tutoring industry.

The Beijing-based company told employees working on edtech products including Guagua Long, Qingbei and GoGoKid that they will be laid off with compensation, said a person familiar with the matter. At least hundreds of employees were affected, while others will switch to different products under the ByteDance umbrella, the person said. GoGoKid, a one-on-one English tutoring app similar to Tencent Holdings Ltd.-backed VIPKid, will shut down completely, while the other two apps shift focus to quality education like coding and art, the person added.