A Chinese private-equity firm quietly purchased two popular tutoring services used to prepare students for college entry exams such as the SAT and ACT, according to The Wall Street Journal.
In January 2022, Primavera Capital Group, based in Hong Kong, bought Princeton Review and Tutor.com from ST Unitas, a Korean education company, according to the WSJ. Recently, the U.S. has closely monitored Chinese companies’ purchases over concerns of national security and data privacy.
There were no press releases detailing the purchases in 2022 and the tutoring services recently updated their websites to include references to Primavera Capital Group, the outlet reported.
It is unclear whether the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., a group that reviews the threat of foreign purchases of entities, is reviewing Primavera Capital Group’s recent investment, the WSJ reported. The committee is “committed to taking all necessary actions within its authority to safeguard U.S. national security,” a Treasury Department spokesperson told the outlet.
Tutor.com, a service of Princeton Review, provides free tutoring and college prep to the Department of Defense and U.S. military personnel while additionally serving several school districts and education departments within the United States, according to the organization’s website. The education service collects information on its tutors and clients including names, addresses, recording of meetings and IP addresses, the WSJ reported.
Tutor.com partners with several well-known and sizable school districts including Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia, Fresno Unified School District in California and Los Angeles Unified School District in California, the second largest school system in the country, the organization’s website showed.
Chinese companies are becoming more uncomfortable as the U.S. begins to make their purchases public out of concern for the nation’s security, the WSJ reported.
“There’s reason for that hype,” Elly Rostoum, a former U.S. intelligence analyst, told the outlet. “There’s reason for the U.S. to be worried about those transactions.”
In addition to the tutoring services, Chinese ties to U.S. entities have recently come to light; one of Virginia’s most prestigious high schools, Thomas Jefferson High School has received more than $1 million in donations from Chinese interests since 2014, according to a report by Parents Defending Education, a parental rights group.
ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, a popular social media platform, has come under fire for its Chinese ties. U.S. lawmakers have threatened to ban the app over national security concerns. (RELATED: Former Top House Dem Made $70K Lobbying For TikTok)
Princeton Review, Tutor.com and Primavera Capital Group did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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