Disney English quits China after 12 years

Li Qian
Company's 26 centers across the country including 10 in Shanghai suspended operations in January because of COVID-19 and offered online classes as a temporary measure.
Li Qian

Disney English is quitting the English education business in China after 12 years, it announced on Monday.

The Walt Disney Company opened its first learning center in Shanghai in October 2008. Designed for the domestic market, its English-immersion classes, featuring storytelling, singing and interactive games, soon became popular.

Disney English has 26 centers across the country, including 10 in Shanghai, and it has attracted more than 100,000 learners aged between 2 and 12.

They suspended operations in January due to the COVID-19 outbreak, offering online classes from March 19 as a temporary measure.

Mahesh Samat, Walt Disney Co’s executive vice president, said: “Over the past few years, we have noticed a shift in consumer preferences toward online learning experiences and this trend has been accelerated by the global pandemic as families are hesitant to resume in-person supplemental learning classes.

“After careful consideration, we have made the difficult decision to not reopen the centers. We are ensuring that each family of a Disney English learner is refunded accordingly, and we are taking care of each and every one of our affected cast members. “

The company said parents can apply for refunds from June 26 to July 21.

As limited numbers of people will be allowed in its centers, parents should make an appointment. They will have to wear masks and present their health QR codes, and bring contracts, ID cards and bank cards with them to get their money back.

For more information, they can call 400-820-8066.

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