China fines online education firms for misleading consumers

May 9, 2021 10:24 PM EDT

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BEIJING (Reuters) -China's market regulator said on Monday it fined online education startups Yuanfudao and Zuoyebang 2.5 million yuan ($388,754) each for misleading consumers.

Alibaba-backed online tutor Zuoyebang was found to be using false advertising while Tencent-backed education technology firm Yuanfudao was found to be using misleading pricing, the regulator said in a statement.

Yuanfudao said in a statement that it has conducted a self-review on its products and has "rectified related misleading tags." Zuoyebang said it "sincerely accepted the administrative penalty."

Chinese regulators have stepped up efforts to rein in education companies' excessive advertising and false pricing.

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

($1 = 6.4308 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Yingzhi Yang and Tony Munroe in Beijing; Editing by Kim Coghill and Sam Holmes)



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