Tutoring Company with Chinese Connections Responds to Parents Group’s Attempt to ‘Destroy’ It

A U.S.-oriented tutoring firm took a stand on Tuesday against a conservative effort aimed at “destroying” it due to security concerns linked to its Chinese proprietor.

In a cease-and-desist communication released online, Tutor.com rebutted assertions by the parents’ advocacy group Parents Defending Education, accusing them of misrepresenting its status and falsely alleging links to the Chinese government. The New York-based entity clarified that Parents Defending Education is attempting to convince policymakers that Tutor.com “is an agent of the Chinese administration and poses a national security threat,” as indicated in the letter.

Established twenty years ago, Tutor.com was purchased in 2022 by Primavera Capital Group, an investment company based in Beijing with offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Palo Alto, California. According to the letter directed at legal representatives of Parents Defending Education, the group opted to depict Tutor.com “as a decoy to advance their broader political cause.”

The push by Parents Defending Education mirrors and influences a larger effort by legislators nationwide to heighten concerns regarding companies with ties to China, including apprehensions that they might be forced to share student data with the Chinese authorities.

Nonetheless, John Calvello, spokesperson and chief institutional officer at Tutor.com, dismissed these concerns.

“First and foremost, it’s crucial to emphasize: We are an American entity,” he mentioned in an interview. “I want to make this very clear. And once again, as an American entity, we must adhere to all U.S laws and regulations.”

John Calvello

According to Calvello, Tutor.com “holds no obligation to disclose data” to any entity.

The company recently underwent a voluntary assessment by the federal Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which, as he stated, found “no unresolved national security issues.”

He further stated that the company has an approved security officer designated by the U.S. government to ensure compliance with data security regulations. Additionally, all data from Tutor.com is stored in the United States.

As per the monitoring platform govspend.com, states, schools, colleges, and the Pentagon have collectively allocated over $35 million for contracts with Tutor.com in the previous decade. Notable figures include nearly $1.6 million in 2015 for online homework support to the U.S. Defense Department and $1.1 million in 2022 for tutoring at California State East Bay.

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