Embattled education training company New Oriental began trending on China's social media platforms recently,
after its teachers started livestreaming the selling of agricultural products, books and daily necessities using both Chinese and English.
Anchors on the Douyin livestream channel Dongfang Zhenxuan, meaning Oriental Select,
combine useful English phrases with the selling of products, such as providing the English translation of the product and commonly used sentences.
The anchors' excellent pronunciation and grammar have garnered the channel an enthusiastic fan base and attracted millions of views.
The knowledgeable and oftentimes amusing approach to selling products have led to netizens posting comments such as, "It's a good way to spend money where you get a product and also some extra knowledge".
New Oriental used to be a tutoring titan in the domestic market,
but faced the massive challenge of transforming its business model after authorities tightened up the management of off-campus tutoring in July, 2021.
The company's founder, Yu Minhong, said in a letter to the company's employees on June 1 that the firm has experienced great difficulty in its fiscal year of 2022,
when the company's market value plummeted by 90 percent and its employees decreased to 50,000 from the previous 110,000.
"However, we've planned our new services in accordance with the government's policy.
We've also set up Dongfang Zhenxuan, which has grown to be an important platform for selling produce and daily supplies," he said in the letter.
我们还成立了“东方甄选”，它已经成长为一个销售农产品和日用品的重要平台 。”他在信中说 。
Xiong Bingqi, director of 21st Century Education Research Institute, said that he is not surprised that New Oriental went viral online as it has a strong online marketing capability.
Its bilingual livestreams bring new experience to viewers.
However, he said that he has a "wait-and-see" attitude toward the future development of the company's livestreaming, as most livestream shoppers want to buy "cheap and cheerful" bargains.