UPDATE 1-RYB Education aware of complaints at other schools, shares drop

(Adds Hebei officials’ comment, paragraphs 6,7; updates share price; paragraph 9)

SINGAPORE/SHANGHAI, Nov 29 (Reuters) - RYB Education Inc , whose kindergarten in Beijing is under investigation over allegations of child abuse, said on Wednesday it was aware of more complaints by parents at some of its schools elsewhere in China.

RYB’s comments came a day after police said they had detained a teacher suspected of using sewing needles to discipline children in the kindergarten in the Chinese capital, though they added that some other claims of child abuse were unfounded.

“RYB is deeply saddened to learn about the latest findings in the follow-up report,” the New York-listed company said in a statement after the police report.

Since then, other reports online have detailed similar allegations in the northern province of Hebei close to Beijing.

“The company also understands that there have been additional parent complaints regarding other RYB-branded kindergartens and will continue to cooperate fully with the police and other authorities in this matter,” RYB said.

Authorities in Hebei are investigating an allegation of child abuse and have “temporarily closed” an RYB kindergarten, they said in a statement on their official WeChat account late on Wednesday.

RYB says it has more than 1,300 play-and-learn centres and nearly 500 kindergartens in about 300 cities in China. Most are run on a franchise model.

The official Xinhua news agency said authorities in the Chaoyang district of Beijing had also formed an investigation team to look into whether there was any negligence by local education officials.

RYB’s shares fell 8.4 percent in Wednesday trading in New York, following last Friday’s fall of nearly 40 percent, although they had recovered some ground earlier this week. (Reporting by Lee Chyen Yee in SINGAPORE and Adam Jourdan in SHANGHAI; Editing by Alexander Smith and Clarence Fernandez)