by WorldTribune Staff, November 29, 2017
A Chinese company which operates 80 kindergartens is under fire after parents say children at one of the company’s kindergartens in Beijing were “molested, jabbed with needles, fed pills and forced to stand naked by staff members,” a report said.
The firm at the center of the child abuse allegations, RYB Education, Inc., is a publicly traded company which “has links to powerful Chinese officials and a board of directors that includes a former Clinton Foundation executive,” according to a Nov. 28 report for the Washington Free Beacon.
RYB, which stands for red, yellow, and blue, announced on Nov. 25 that it had fired the director of one kindergarten and a 22-year-old female teacher, Reuters reported from Beijing.
Authorities are investigating the abuse allegations while censors have moved in to curb information about the case and the company in state-controlled news outlets and social media, the report said.
RYB’s sole American board member is Joel A. Getz, former director of development for the Clinton Foundation and current official at Yale University. Getz is listed on the RYB website as an independent director who has been on the board since September, and serves on the board’s audit committee.
Several people have been arrested for “spreading rumors” about the case, including that RYB Education is tied to former Public Security Minister Meng Jianzhu, who until recently headed the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) powerful political and legal affairs commission.
Meng Jianzhu and his family are reportedly stakeholders in RYB, and the dissident Chinese publication Mingjing News reported that one of RYB’s largest shareholders is close to Meng Jianzhu. The Chinese language news outlet also said that Meng Jianzhu’s elder sister is an adviser to RYB.
The South China Morning Post, quoting a report on the company website, reported that Meng Jianzhu spoke in November at a RYB event.
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) also issued a public denial that PLA officers were members of an alleged predatory pedophile ring at the kindergarten in Beijing, according to the Free Beacon report.
RYB’s chairman and co-founder, Chao Chimin is a graduate of the PLA Second Artillery Corps engineering school and owns a 23.6 percent stake in the company. At least two other PLA retirees are said to hold senior leadership positions in RYB.
RYB made its initial public offering in September, raising $102 million through 5.5 million shares at $18.50 apiece. Stock share prices for RYB dropped 38.4 percent following reports of the sex abuse.
RYB operates 80 kindergartens and has franchised 175 others in 130 cities and towns in China.