New Oriental Education laid off 60,000 workers in 2021, the chairman says

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By Yifan Wang

New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc. laid off 60,000 employees in 2021, one of the worst known layoffs after China aggressively tightened regulations for a variety of private industries over a year ago.

The reduction of 60,000 employees in May exceeded the company’s entire teacher network of around 54,200 employees.

The downsizing was announced in a social media statement from Yu Minhong, the founder and chairman of New Oriental Tutoring Market, over the weekend. The company has stopped publishing financial information since May, the end of its last fiscal year.

Mr. Yu said New Oriental had shut down all elementary and middle school tutoring companies and spent nearly 20 billion yuan ($ 3.14 billion) on severance payments, tuition reimbursements, and tenancy cancellations. The company’s sales fell 80% last year, he added.

“In 2021, New Oriental saw too many unforeseen changes,” wrote Yu. “Due to factors like politics, the pandemic and international relations, much of our business remains in a state of uncertainty.”

The company’s Hong Kong-listed shares fell as much as 3.6% on Monday before leveling up 1.0%.

Write to Yifan Wang at [email protected]

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