New Oriental Founder Michael Yu Plans to Set Up Agricultural Platform to Help Rural Revitalization Through Live Commerce

Michael Yu, founder of private educational services provider New Oriental, said during a Monday live-stream on Douyin, the Chinese mainland version of TikTok, that the company plans to set up a large-scale agricultural platform in the future. Together with hundreds of teachers, Yu will offer goods through live commerce to help sell agricultural products and support rural revitalization.

Yu said that in the months since the country’s education-related “Double Reduction” policy was carried out, he has devoted most of his time to New Oriental, thinking about the future of business development and dealing with various internal problems.

Talking about the future development, Yu said that New Oriental must be able to help others. The firm plans to set up a large-scale agricultural platform in the future, which is not to simply sell goods, but to help upgrade agricultural industry and revitalize rural areas, and also to help improve farmers’ livelihoods.

In the future, New Oriental will use its existing two platforms to open up the upstream and downstream industrial chains and do platform-based retail in the agricultural sector. In other words, the firm wants to create an ecosystem, including selecting products, building brands and platforms.

New Oriental has previously set up an agricultural company. On October 27, Oriental Youxuan (Beijing) Technology Co., Ltd., wholly-owned by Beijing New Oriental Xuncheng Network Technology Co., Ltd., was established with a registered capital of 10 million yuan ($1.56 million), and whose legal representative is Sun Dongxu. The business scope of the new company includes selling fresh meat, eggs, aquatic products, fresh fruits and vegetables.

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Paying attention to agriculture is closely related to Yu’s experience. “I am a teacher born in a rural village. At present, the countryside is moving towards modernization and getting rid of poverty and getting rich. However, their lack of knowledge or fewer opportunities to read books leads to growing income disparity. Helping children in China’s rural areas acquire more knowledge is one thing I should do,” Yu said during a live-stream on Douyin in April of last year.

In addition, regarding the transformation of New Oriental, Yu said that the firm will have to close 1,500 service points across the country. The company has already donated nearly 80,000 sets of study desks and chairs to rural schools, and nearly 80,000 more sets may be sent to the places where they are most needed in the future.