East Buy removes CEO amid dispute

2023-12-16 20:10:52China Daily Editor : Mo Honge ECNS App Download

East Buy, a subsidiary of private tutoring giant New Oriental that successfully transitioned to a livestreaming firm, said on Saturday that Sun Dongxu was discharged from his position as the company's CEO while New Oriental's founder Yu Minhong will concurrently serve as the chief executive.

The appointment came after a dispute involving the company's influential livestreamer Dong Yuhui intensified this week.

The differences started after the editorial team of East Buy said its promotional content was prepared and written by the team instead of solely by its top livestreamer Dong on December 6.

It quickly led a group of online shoppers and many fans of Dong to question the company in taking credit for his work and long-time efforts.

On Tuesday, Sun Dongxu, then-CEO of East Buy, said in a livestream that neither the editorial team nor Dong responded or behaved appropriately, adding that Dong has received an annual salary of millions of yuan. 

At the same time, he condemned the so-called fandom culture where fans attack the company online because of their idols. Fandom culture basically refers to groups of fans cheering anything and everything related to their idols.

But Sun caused another wave of anger among netizens due to his aggressive attitude while doing the livestream, including dropping his cellphone.

On Wednesday, Dong made a long statement, clarifying that the promotional content was written by both the team and him according to different situations and thanked fans and the team for the support.

However, all these didn't stop the drop of East Buy's online followers as well as the company's stock price.

Founder and Chairman of New Oriental Yu Minhong apologized on Thursday and said the dispute was supposed to be "an internal matter" but exposed big management holes within East Buy.

The stock price of East Buy fell to HK$26.25 ($3.69) per share on Friday from HK$32.75 on December 6. As of publishing time, the number of followers on Easy Buy's Douyin account was 28 million, a significant drop from over 31 million a week ago. 

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