Wall Street English employees "resigned" offline teaching and training institutions are difficult to transform
Our reporter Zhang Min and Li Chunlian
The news that Wall Street English, a veteran English training organization, announced its bankruptcy caused an uproar in the market.
On August 12, the head of sales in the North Wall Street English District notified the principals of each central branch school that the company will officially declare bankruptcy next week and required the principals to notify the employees of each branch school to complete the resignation procedures as soon as possible.
On August 13, a reporter from the Securities Daily made several calls to the Wall Street English International Trade Center, but none of them were connected.
Afterwards, the reporter went to the Labor and Personnel Dispute Arbitration Institute (hereinafter referred to as the "Arbitration Institute") in Chaoyang District, Beijing. Here, the reporter saw dozens of Wall Street English workers, including sales and foreign teachers, lining up to apply for labor. arbitration.
"I received the'resignation' notice yesterday and came to the labor arbitration center today. I have not received my salary for three months." A person who claimed to be working at Wall Street English told reporters.
Wall Street English has become another English training institution in trouble after Weber English and Disney English.
"Frozen three feet is not a day's cold." iiMedia Consulting CEO Zhang Yi said in an interview with a reporter from Securities Daily that the business changes of an established English training institution are closely related to external environmental factors and its own adjustment and development.
With the development of higher education in China, people’s English proficiency continues to improve, which has also led to fierce competition among English training institutions in the market.
The epidemic has had an impact on offline teaching, which requires relevant institutions to adapt to changes and make digital adjustments.
Obviously, Wall Street English has not kept up with this change.
The old English training institution falls
"Very embarrassing, very sigh." After hearing the rumors of Wall Street English's bankruptcy, a staff member of another English training institution in the industry told a reporter from the Securities Daily.
According to the official website of Wall Street English, it established its first learning center in China in 2000, and currently has 39 learning centers in 11 cities across the country.
Affected by the new crown pneumonia epidemic, in January this year, Wall Street English stated that it will actively seek change, pioneering and innovate, and through continuous new product research and development and service improvement, it will provide students with better life experience, personal growth and life planning. The value of many, once again redefine the learning mode and future trend of adult English in this subdivision field.
After nearly 7 months, Wall Street English fell into rumours of bankruptcy.
"Securities Daily" reporters made many calls to Wall Street English sales staff on this issue, but none of them were connected.
On August 13, the reporter came to the Wall Street English Wangjing CapitaLand Mall store. The staff of the mall told reporters that the educational institution had been closed for a long time. It is now rented by another educational institution and is currently undergoing renovation.
The news that Wall Street English went bankrupt and many stores had quietly closed stunned the staff member: "I thought the company would survive."
A Wall Street English teacher told reporters: "We also suddenly received the news of'resignation' yesterday. Once the company goes bankrupt, I don't know if the wages can be recovered through labor arbitration."
The reporter saw at the Court of Arbitration that due to the large number of people involved in the Wall Street English labor arbitration that day, the Court of Arbitration vacated a court for Wall Street English staff to register.
Near 12 noon, the staff of the Court of Arbitration shouted to the on-site registration staff: “Because there are too many people, most of them come to register without an appointment. It is recommended that you come back in line at 2 pm or postpone your registration until next Monday.”
"Where the employer defaults or fails to pay the labor remuneration in full, the employee may apply to the local people's court of the employer for a payment order according to law, and the people's court shall issue a payment order in accordance with the law." Lawyer Wang Xiaofan from Anhui Wende Law Firm told the reporter of Securities Daily Said that workers can also go to the labor administrative department of the employer’s location to report relevant demands. If the employer’s arrears of wages to the worker is true, the labor administrative department has the right to require the employer to pay within a time limit; if the worker’s petition also involves the termination of the labor contract, If financial compensation or compensation is given, it is recommended that the worker resolve it through labor arbitration.
Student refunds have been delayed
The same torment as the Wall Street English staff who "begs for salary" are those who spend tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars on Wall Street English courses.
"Securities Daily" reporter noticed in the rights protection group of Wall Street English Broad Center that the group has more than 400 people, and the contract signed with Wall Street English involves several million yuan.
In fact, as early as a week ago, some students applied to Wall Street English for a refund, but they were not resolved.
Ms. Liao, who was in the Wall Street English newspaper class, told the "Securities Daily" reporter that she had purchased a course with a contract value of 144,000 yuan in Wall Street English in 2019. Later, because she could not apply for a foreign teacher course, she filed a withdrawal application to Wall Street English. , But the staff did not reply to the withdrawal of the class for a long time.
On August 12, a reporter from the "Securities Daily" called Wall Street English sales and public calls. The staff said that refunds can only be done according to procedures.
On August 13, the reporter called Wall Street English sales and public calls again, but no one answered.
However, on the eve of rumours that Wall Street English fell into bankruptcy, there were still course sales staff encouraging students to actively apply for classes.
A student in the Wall Street English class told reporters, “Sale has been calling me a while ago to continue the class and change to VIP.” This is not the case.
Wang Xiaofan said that the manifestations of contract fraud include: lack of actual performance ability, to defraud the other party to continue to sign and perform the contract by performing the small contract first or partially performing the contract.
Fleeing after receiving goods, payment for goods, advance payment or secured property from the other party.
"A training service contract relationship has actually been established between the training institution and the trainees. If the company knows that it has no capacity to perform, and asks the other party to continue to pay, it may be suspected of contract fraud; of course, if the trainees are defrauded by the training agency If an employee fraudulently obtains it in the name of the company, the employee may be suspected of fraud. The specific decision shall be based on the perpetrator’s subjective intentions, the amount of funds and the final flow of funds."
Can adult English training be unsustainable?
In fact, in recent years, the adult English track has fallen into dire straits.
As early as the end of 2019, Weber English, a veteran English training organization established for more than 20 years, suffered a serious loss, causing a break in the capital chain. All stores in Beijing were closed, and many students' pre-deposited tuition fees of tens of thousands of yuan were in vain.
Adult English training was quite popular many years ago.
EF entered the Chinese market in 1993; Webber was formally established in Shanghai in 1998; Wall Street English entered China in 2000; Midland English was established in Chongqing in 2006... and gradually formed the first phalanx of adult English training in China.
However, with the rise of online education, the situation of offline institutions has become increasingly difficult in recent years.
The "Securities Daily" reporter inquired about Black Cat complaints that Midland English had 802 complaints, most of which involved inducing loans, delays in refunds, and contract deposit clauses.
Wall Street English has 581 complaints, mainly including concealing the content of the contract to induce students to buy courses with large loans, and difficulty in refunding fees.
The new crown pneumonia epidemic has had a profound impact on China's education and training industry, and the implementation of the "double reduction" policy has also indirectly affected the adult English training market.
Zhang Xiaorong, Dean of Deepin Technology Research Institute, told a reporter from the Securities Daily that, affected by the epidemic, fewer and fewer people go abroad, and fewer people learn English. The adult English training market is shrinking.
The transformation of offline teaching and training institutions is difficult
After the implementation of the "double reduction" policy, the transformation of the education and training industry is imminent.
Many K12 companies are aiming at the quality education track, and New Oriental's transformation and training of parents is quickly out of the circle, but there are also organizations that collapse before the transformation due to the broken capital chain.
Whether it is the sudden closure of Giant Education or Wall Street English’s bankruptcy, the difficulties faced by offline education and training institutions seem to be more severe.
"Since March, there have been no offline courses. This not only led to more refunds of students, but also no new students signed up, and the company's cash flow simply couldn't keep up." An agency salesperson told a reporter from the Securities Daily. Affected by the epidemic, many institutions were holding on to wait for the industry to pick up last year, but now they are facing strict policy supervision. How to "live" and then "stand up" is not an easy task. Many institutions have no time or funds to come. Support the transformation.
The research report of Ping An Securities stated that at present, various teaching and training institutions have begun to actively transform to quality education, adult vocational education and other fields. However, the user portraits, operation models, teaching and research systems in these fields are different from K12 teaching and training. Whether the transformation is successful remains to be seen, and the entire K12 education and training industry is at great risk.
Zhang Xiaorong said that education and training companies rarely keep large amounts of cash on their books. They usually rely on fees to maintain cash flow. Companies that do not have enough cash to keep are difficult to survive.
"Capital is afraid to bet on the education and training industry when it is not good to judge the direction." An investor told the "Securities Daily" reporter that there is no stable cash flow and subsequent capital injections are often caused by the bankruptcy of education and training institutions. fuse.