China Private Educators End in Green After Foreign Textbook Ban

China's public schools will have to remove foreign learning materials from their programs as the country increasingly tightens on censorship across various sectors.

CapitalWatch Staff
    Jan 10, 2020 1:00 PM  PT
China Private Educators End in Green After Foreign Textbook Ban
author: CapitalWatch Staff   

This week, China's public educators were shaken up by the ban to use foreign teaching materials in their classrooms.

The Ministry of Education, in a guideline published on Tuesday, said teaching materials should "insist on the guiding principles of Marxism and reflect the Chinese style," as CNN reported earlier this week.

The new law will affect public primary and secondary schools, with exceptions to apply to senior high schools that have joint programs with foreign learning centers, according to the report.

The measures came at the time the Communist Party continues to deal with monthslong protests in Hong Kong. The demonstrators in the city have been calling on the U.S. for support as they demand a shift to democratic rights.

Washington officially replied in November by issuing two bills – one to carry out an annual assessment of Hong Kong's sovereignty and the other to cut off sales of weaponry to the city's police. At the time, China condemned the interference, as one would expect.

The ban on foreign learning materials at schools followed China's December rule that journalists will have to pass an ideology exam this year to keep their media passes, as reported by the South China Morning Post.  

The media regulator said the exam aims to "increase the overall quality of China's journalists and encourage them to establish socialism as their core system of values," as cited by the SCMP.

Following the announcement for public schools, the stocks of U.S.-listed Chinese education companies went on a volatile ride that for most finished the week in the green.

China's largest private educator, New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc. (NYSE: EDU), closed at $131.12 per American depositary share on Friday, down 2% on the day but up from $126.01 five days prior. Its rival, TAL Education Group (NYSE: TAL) ended at $53.90 per ADS compared with $49.10 five days ago. Another private after-school educator, Puxin Ltd. (NYSE: NEW) today tumbled 8% to $9.55 per ADS but still enjoyed an incline from $8.08 on Monday.

GSX TEchedu Inc. (NYSE: GSX) enjoyed a 6% jump on Friday and a 15% ride up from five days ago, ending at $26.84 per share. Bright Scholar Education Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: BEDU), which aims to provide "quality international education" ended just a few cents higher on the week and 3% lower on the day, at $8.86 per share.

Separately, the Jack Ma Foundation, headed by the legendary business leader and former chairman of Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: BABA), awarded $2.85 million to 20 school headmasters and 100 teachers, as reported by Alizila. The official news media of Alibaba said on Monday that the program aims "to uplift rural educators and close China's education inequality."