New Oriental’s Yu Minhong brings again English instructing with a live-streaming e-commerce twist


Michael Yu Minhong, chairman of New Oriental Schooling & Expertise Group, has discovered a brand new option to enhance gross sales for his live-streaming enterprise: convey English tutoring again.

The 59-year-old founding father of mainland China’s largest personal schooling firm appeared in a live-streaming session on Friday night on Douyin, the Chinese language model of TikTok additionally owned by ByteDance, after clips of a bunch instructing viewers to talk English whereas selling meals merchandise went viral on-line.

Yu mentioned having hosts communicate in two languages is a key transformation for the schooling group, and he thanked netizens for supporting the hosts who shifted from their earlier roles as academics.

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The session recorded a peak of 108,000 viewers and a gross merchandise quantity (GMV) of greater than 15 million yuan (US$2.24 million), in response to knowledge from live-streaming monitoring platform Huitun. The GMV for the session was nearly triple what Yu bought throughout his live-streaming debut final December. It ranked among the many platform’s prime 10 in GMV gross sales for all live-streamers on Friday.

The recognition of streams that includes English audio system might give the schooling group a lift after being hit arduous by Beijing’s crackdown on the trade final yr. It has since struggled to discover a path ahead, selecting dwell streaming as its surest guess to bounce again from one in every of Beijing’s most excessive insurance policies concentrating on a particular trade.

Final July, China’s State Council issued a regulation that banned for-profit off-campus tutoring for main and center college college students, killing the core enterprise of firms like New Oriental. The tutoring agency noticed income droop 48.4 per cent yr on yr to US$614.1 million within the quarter ended March, in response to its newest monetary outcomes launched in April. The variety of faculties and instructing centres it operated was down by half in the identical interval.

Hong Kong shares of New Oriental, which can be listed in New York, surged 71 per cent to HK$6.23 (80 US cents) over the previous week, gaining round HK$2.6 billion in market share. Nonetheless, the corporate’s market capitalisation of HK$21.27 billion is lower than a fifth of its peak in July 2020.

In live-streaming periods on Thursday and Friday, Dong Yuhui, a former English instructor on the firm who now sells agricultural merchandise via New Oriental’s Douyin account “Dongfang Zhenxuan”, described in English varied meals together with steak, shrimp and peaches. With each, he wrote down associated English phrases on a small whiteboard.

China’s New Oriental founder and CEO Michael Yu Minhong makes his live-streaming e-commerce debut on December 28, 2021. Picture: Captured from Weibo alt=China’s New Oriental founder and CEO Michael Yu Minhong makes his live-streaming e-commerce debut on December 28, 2021. Picture: Captured from Weibo>

“I can communicate English on a regular basis, however please bear in mind to purchase one thing,” the 29-year-old mentioned, replying to feedback that requested him to talk extra English within the session.

On Wednesday, Yu posted to his private WeChat account that the live-streaming economic system is the “third revolution of enterprise”, after hypermarkets and e-commerce.

With the sudden success of promoting agricultural merchandise, Yu mentioned he deliberate to place extra assets into promoting academic merchandise resembling books, software program, {hardware}, and different cultural and academic provides. He has already put collectively a group for promoting such merchandise, Yu mentioned, which might be executed via one other Douyin account to distinguish it from “Dongfang Zhenxuan”.

“My definition of New Oriental is to change into an schooling firm with schooling merchandise as its core,” Yu mentioned.

This text initially appeared within the South China Morning Submit (SCMP), essentially the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for greater than a century. For extra SCMP tales, please discover the SCMP app or go to the SCMP’s Fb and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2022 South China Morning Submit Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

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