TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan-based online English-learning platform TutorABC is accused of being controlled by a Chinese company and could serve as a propaganda vehicle for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
TutorABC has fallen into the hands of the Ping An Insurance Company of China, according to Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲). He sounded the alarm about the Chinese influence over education in Taiwan at a press conference on Thursday (Jan. 7), reported CNA.
Describing it as part of China’s “red infiltration” efforts, Lin said Ping An Insurance had acquired the parent company of TutorABC, iTutorGroup, in a covert deal, citing Chinese media reports. The Taiwanese company, which boasts a clientele of 200,000 from all walks of life, could be used to advance the CCP’s political agenda, Lin warned.
Currently, Chinese investors are banned from holding stakes in education-related businesses in Taiwan, but TutorABC is registered as an IT company, which could present a loophole. The Investment Commission, which oversees matters pertaining to foreign investment, said an investigation into the company's ownership is already underway, prompted by similar complaints late last year.
TutorABC contested the allegation in a Facebook statement, saying that while iTutorGroup was established by the founder of TutorABC in 2008, the two have become independent companies. It stressed that the company provides educational solutions incorporating cloud technology and that it ensures members’ personal data are protected.