WeChat bans advertisements for off-campus training facilities

Han Jing
WeChat has begun to prohibit promotional content from after-school training facilities for primary and middle school students.
Han Jing

WeChat has banned promotional content from after-school training institutions for primary and middle school students, as well as preschool children. The move is its latest response to the nation's tougher rules on off-campus training that aim to ease the burden of students.

Content promising to improve students' test scores quickly is often regarded as "spreading anxiety in education."

WeChat bans advertisements for off-campus training facilities

The announcement released by WeChat on its official account

Offering off-campus training in subject or non-subject categories via WeChat is also banned by the app, according to a guide released by WeChat.

Chinese, foreign languages (English, Japanese, Russian), history, geography, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, and morality and law are classified as subject categories, in line with the state's course offering rules during the compulsory education period.

Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, also announced on November 19 a ban on courses for preschool children and subject or non-subject courses for primary, junior, and high school students. Such content should be released under the category of "children's interest-oriented classes." The app also bans content providers from promoting non-subject courses via live streaming or videos. Violators will face punishment according to the regulations on selling banned products over e-commerce platforms.

In May, authorities ordered comprehensive management of off-campus training institutions and a stepped-up crackdown on unlawful operation, false advertising, profiteering, and improper links with schools. The National People's Congress drafted the new law in October. Advertising boards in metro or bus stations are prohibited to display ads for off-campus training facilities, according to an announcement released by the market watchdog on November 3.

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