As China continues to crack down on the private tutoring sector, one education-tech company has decided to pivot into blockchain and cryptocurrency mining.
- Nasdaq-listed Meten Holding Group, which officially changed its name from Meten EdtechX Education Group in August, has moved forward with plan for the new business venture in the crypto world, with its initial order from AGM Group Holdings, a software company that in August pivoted into Bitcoin ASIC chip research and development, for 1,500 Bitcoin mining machines worth US$12 million.
- Meten said in September that it was planning to venture into the blockchain and crypto business. “For this new line of business, we are contemplating purchasing mining machines and non-fungible token assets and placing them into operations in the U.S. or Canada. We may also build our own mining farm, and we are currently searching for low-cost natural gas, oil mines, and other suitable sites in Canada,” the company said in a September regulatory filing.
- Founded in 2006, Meten had built a nationwide offline network of 105 self-operated learning centers as of the end of last year, as well as 13 franchised learning centers. In 2014 it launched its online English learning platform “Likeshuo.” However, the company seemed to face uncertainties since the country started to crack down on the sector in July.
- Meten noted in the September filing that in July, Chinese authorities issued a document, or “the Double Reduction Opinions,” to regulate institutions offering after-school training services on academic subjects. Meten said at the time that it had not received any notification for rectification or administrative measures in accordance with the document.
- Meten said it chose to partner with AGM for its chip design expertise. However, just last week, it was revealed that AGM’s chip design partner HighSharp was accused of patent infringement by mining rig maker Canaan.