Wall Street English "Thunderstorm" was refunded by collective rights protection, and the amount involved may reach 100 million yuan.

Caijing New Media Shu Zhijuan/Wen Panxi/Editor

Once the news of Wall Street English bankruptcy broke out, it immediately triggered students to get together to refund their fees and defend their rights. On August 13th, Caijing’s new media reporter saw in Wall Street English on the fifth floor of Kaide Jingpin Shopping Center that the door was closed and there was no one in the room. There was a staff member at the door who was responsible for registering the refund information of the students. There were already more than a dozen students’ registration information on the numerous registration forms, and the refund amount ranged from 20,000 to 70,000.

The staff member said that he was not a staff member of Wall Street, but a staff member of the shopping mall, and he was asked by the police to register the refund information of students here. Later, the reporter called Jiuxianqiao INDIGO and Financial Street Shopping Center, where Wall Street is located, and they were told that they could register at the front desk of the shopping mall, and they could not contact the person in charge of Wall Street English.

Caijing’s new media reporter learned from a wall street English rights group that there is a 2,000-person rights group that can’t join because it is full, and the amount involved by everyone is almost over 10,000. Later, the reporter found that there are many refund groups of Wall Street English rights protection, including Nanjing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Some media have publicly reported that the amount of refund involved has reached hundreds of millions.

Despite the collective silence of Wall Street English officials, judging from the situation reflected by all parties and the investigation by Caijing’s new media reporters, its business situation is not optimistic, and a series of problems such as the loss of the person in charge and the inability of the students to refund the money have made the incident continue to ferment.

A number of stores suddenly closed, and students collectively defended their rights.

"After repeated comparisons, I chose Wall Street English. I didn’t expect it to be closed." On August 13th, at the English Wanshou Road Store on Wall Street, a student surnamed Liu, who was filling out the refund registration record, told the new media reporter of Caijing. Up to now, many English stores on Wall Street, such as Jiuxianqiao, Financial Street and Guomao in Beijing, have also closed overnight.

Rumors of bankruptcy broke out in Wall Street English. At noon on August 13th, a reporter from Caijing, a new media, came to Wanshou Road Center, where there was still a wall street English signboard, and found that the store was closed and there was no relevant notice at the door. The staff of Kaide Jingpin Shopping Center, who stayed at the mall, told the reporter that according to the relevant requirements of the police station, the students were given a refund registration and filing here.

The reporter saw on the refund form that students need to fill in the registration time, project, identity information and amount. Many students came to the scene early in the morning to register for a refund, ranging from 20 thousand to 70 thousand, and the amount registered in the morning alone was nearly one million yuan.

This scene was also staged in other stores, and Wall Street English stores in Beijing International Trade MALL, Financial Street Shopping Center, INDIGO and Xizhimen Kaide Mall also suddenly closed. According to the staff of the mall, the reporter said, "Yesterday (August 12), there were students attending classes normally, but today (August 13), no one came to work, and Wall Street English didn’t give any instructions to the mall in advance. We are contacting each other. “

Due to the sudden incident, the students spontaneously organized rights protection without being able to contact the English staff on Wall Street. According to a student of Wall Street English WQ Group, on the afternoon of August 13th, Wall Street English students from various centers arrived at the entrance of Chaoyang District People’s Court in Beijing, and about a hundred students lined up at the scene to apply for court filing and rights protection.

In addition, Caijing’s new media reporter found that the students have formed many WeChat rights groups and QQ rights groups, of which two QQ groups add up to nearly 2,000 people. In the rights group, the reporter saw that the amount of tuition fees was launched among the students. Some people roughly estimated that the unpaid tuition fees involved at least 100 million yuan.

In fact, the shortage of English capital chain on Wall Street has long been a warning. The difficulty in refunding fees is one of the early signs of the tight capital chain of Wall Street English this year. Many Wall Street English students only charge fees and don’t teach on social platforms.

One student said, "After eight months, the refund was still unsuccessful." In April 2020, the student applied for a refund. At the beginning of May, Wall Street English verified the refund amount, but said that the refund time could not be determined on the grounds of the epidemic. It was not until last September that the other party replied in December. Finally, I found the principal of the learning center, and the principal asked her to apply in the applet. "I finally replied at night, and the result said that the refund would be in August 2021."

The industry believes that in 2017, Wall Street English was acquired by Baring Asia and CITIC Capital for $300 million. In the education track, which is generally losing money and depends on capital transfusion, and there is no new financing transfusion for a long time in Wall Street English, the occurrence of "store closing tide" is probably an inevitable result.

Traditional business model is difficult to maintain the decline of training giants.

The impact of epidemic situation, the shrinking adult English market, the impact of the "double reduction" policy … The dilemma of Wall Street English may be caused by multiple factors. However, the most fundamental reason is that the negative market voice of Wall Street English has been constantly, and there are many problems in its own operation, such as exaggerated marketing and opaque quotation, which is also the inevitable result of the development of market competition.

According to public information, Wall Street English was founded in Italy in 1972, focusing on adult English education, with more than 400 learning centers in 28 countries and regions around the world. Since the first learning center was established in China in 2000, 76 learning centers have been opened in 11 cities.

How did the former training giants, who have been developing in China for nearly 21 years, go into decline step by step?

In fact, in recent years, the adult English market has entered a trough since its development, and the growth of offline adult English has slowed down three or four years ago, and many adult English education companies have fallen into difficulties such as insufficient students and declining performance.

"The younger age of English education, the slowdown in the development of foreign companies in China in recent years, and the sharp drop in the demand for English learning such as studying abroad and traveling abroad under the epidemic have all affected the income of English on Wall Street to some extent." An industry insider told reporters.

According to iResearch’s China Adult English Market Research Report in 2020, the adult English market will be 95.3 billion in 2019, and it is estimated that the adult English market will shrink by about 37.6% to 59.5 billion yuan in 2020.

At the same time, the negative market voice of Wall Street English has been constantly, and there are many problems in its own operation. Tianyancha APP shows that Wall Street English involves dozens of legal cases, including education and training contract disputes, service contract disputes and labor contract disputes. In June 2021, Wall Street English was fined 2.5 million by Shanghai Municipal Market Supervision Administration for "false or misleading commercial propaganda" and ordered to make corrections.

But the most fundamental reason is that the traditional business model has been difficult to sustain. Since the outbreak in 2020, the forms of many traditional education fields are changing, and adult English learning products are getting rid of the time and space restrictions of offline scenes with efficient and convenient logic. At this point, Wall Street English obviously falls behind.

According to the former staff of Wall Street English, the classes of Wall Street English are divided into four grades: regular class, VIP, VVIP and personal tailor. The advantage is that offline is more planning and interactive. But when the epidemic came and went online, the problem was exposed. Interactive projects such as important group discussions offline cannot be completed, and the coverage of knowledge points is not comprehensive, and the effect is far less than offline. Not only are the students dissatisfied, but the teachers are also very uncomfortable and complain one after another.

"After the problem came out, the company did not say to change the teaching model, but changed the sales model." The employee went on to say that the previous study of English on Wall Street was staged, usually at a level of three months, and the sales were also sold by stages. After the epidemic, the phased sales of classes became a year-round system. In fact, even if you can only learn eight levels at most in a year, you can’t finish it at all. Moreover, there are hidden hidden restrictions in the annual contract system, and only the online part of multimedia can be learned, and foreign teachers’ classes still need to be arranged according to the curriculum.

"The annual contract system is to provide services that are far less than in the past at similar prices. In the long run, this model is difficult to survive. " The above employees are called.

In fact, in order to rectify the chaos of pre-payment for teaching and training, in May this year, the "Administrative Measures for Pre-payment of Disciplinary Off-campus Training Institutions in Beijing (Trial)" jointly issued by various departments in Beijing clearly pointed out that it is not allowed to charge more than 3 months or 60 class hours at a time. At the same time, the management measures stipulate that training for primary and secondary school students shall not be paid by means of training loans. Institutions shall not induce students of other ages to pay fees by means of training loans.

"At the same time of fierce competition in English training institutions in the market, the epidemic has 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. " Zhang Yi, CEO of Ai Media Consulting, pointed out that for education and training institutions, the pressure of survival in the future will be even greater if they have not successfully transformed before, because the market space for training has been greatly reduced. Next, a large number of teaching and training institutions, including adult education and training institutions, may close down.