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UPDATE 1-Beijing market regulator fines 3 private tutoring firms -state media

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(Updates to add company rics, background)

By Brenda Goh and Sophie Yu

SHANGHAI, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Beijing's market regulator has fined three private tutoring firms for acts such as false advertising, running unlicensed schools and illegal pricing, state media reported on Monday.

The three schools - Xueda Education, ABC Foreign Language School and 51talk - were fined a total of 1.92 million yuan ($297,000), the Beijing Youth Daily newspaper reported. 51talk is also known as China Online Education Group.

Xueda, ABC Foreign Language School and 51talk did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

China last month took aim at its $120 billion private tutoring sector by issuing sweeping rules that bar for-profit after-school tutoring in core school subjects, in an effort to boost the birth rate by lowering family living costs.

The new rules threaten to decimate the industry and triggered a heavy sell off in the shares of tutoring companies when they were first announced.

The newspaper also said that Beijing's market regulators have to date inspected 956 online education and training institutions, filed 528 cases and punished 139 of these.

($1 = 6.4645 yuan)

(Reporting by Brenda Goh in Shanghai and Sophie Yu in Beijing; Editing by Tom Hogue)