Over the past 10 years, China had the most rapid development of the EdTech industry and by 2019, it took the second place in the world, just after the United States.
Over the past 10 years, China had the most rapid development of the EdTech industry and by 2019, it took the second place in the world, just after the United States. According to the rough estimates of experts, the market of educational technologies of the country is confidently approaching the mark of $300 billion, and this figure exponentially increases every year. The corporate blog of Eurasia Development Limited states that from the world’s 30 largest educational companies, 9 are Chinese, and from the 10 global EdTech unicorns, 7 are also registered in China.
In China, as in other Asian countries, the number of gadgets per person far exceeds the rest of the world. With the spread of Internet technology in the most remote corners of the Chinese state, this factor provides ideal conditions for the introduction of educational technologies.
Features of the economy, financial and social systems of China are directly related to the process of formation of its EdTech industry. Experts note many aspects that significantly distinguish it from the American or European counterparts. Let`s talk about this right now.
Features of the Target Audience
Unlike the average American or European, a resident of China is much more motivated to get a really good higher education. This can be explained in a very simple way: in the country, there are no pensions or social assistance programs, so children need to think of where to get money for their old parents. For this reason, obtaining a well-paid position in conditions of catastrophically high competition is the main goal for any Chinese.
In general, the potential consumer of EdTech services in China has the following features:
- K-12 or college student, who plans to continue his studies under the guidance of highly qualified teachers;
- The family consciously allocates up to 30% of their total budget for a child to receive a secondary and/or higher education;
- Actively uses Chinese instant messengers and social networks – WeChat, Weibo, Baidu and others;
- Is one of the nearly 285 million potential consumers of EdTech services companies (for example, in the US, there are only 77 million people);
- Has the greatest need for knowledge of the English language;
- Recognizes Chinese celebrities as main opinion leaders, and all other celebrities are not priority;
- Needs high-quality educational content, necessarily adapted to the Chinese worldview.
It seems that there is a unified approach to education in the world; still, the Asian region is very different in approaches and methods of introducing these technologies. And this factor must be considered when building an EdTech product marketing strategy for the Chinese market.
The Main Direction of Study is English.
The Chinese education system is fully focused on Western standards. The International consulting company, L.E.K., in its prediction for the EdTech industry in 2019, states that more than 870,000 Chinese students study in foreign universities annually and their main goal is to get a Western-style diploma and perfect knowledge of English. Modern educational technologies provide an opportunity to solve this problem on the spot, without leaving the country.
Here are some of the Chinese EdTech companies that have already achieved high goals in implementing English language projects:
- VIPKID (Beijing) – individual video English lessons for Chinese children aged 4-12 years from American teachers. Total funding is about $ 825 million.
- DaDaABC (Shanghai) – an interactive English course with teachers from the United States for children aged 5-16 years. Total funding is about $ 864 million.
- 17zuoye (Beijing) – an online English and math learning platform for K-12 students, as well as teachers and parents. Total funding is about $ 585 million.
And the important thing is that the flow of potential consumers of this EdTech business in China is almost inexhaustible. For every upcoming generation, there is an even greater desire to get closer to the international standards of education through the perfect knowledge of English – for work, career, and traveling.
With the opening of Internet communication channels, China has started receiving information about world achievements in the field of EdTech much faster using technological breakthroughs, such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, the Internet of things, virtual and augmented reality.
Asia has always been fast in introducing new technologies. According to experts from the analytical agency, Global Market Insights, the use of artificial intelligence in the EdTech market in the Asia-Pacific region will increase annually by an average of 51% until 2024.
Strong State Support
The Chinese government is aware of the importance of transitioning the national education sector to digital. Many actions with an impressive level of funding were made in the last five years:
- Creation and implementation of the “13th five-year plan” (2016–2020), the goal of which is to modernize education, provide more opportunities for lifelong learning for citizens of all social categories, and improve the quality of education in all aspects.
- Encouraging investment in the EdTech industry, opening up opportunities for investors to publish e-books, keep digital notes, and develop educational software and other cloud services.
- Providing open access to the Internet for all, even in the most remote corners of China.
- Supporting the construction and operation of the 22-story China EdTech startup space, Zhongguancun MOOC Times Building in the Haidian District, Beijing. This is a full-fledged business center and EdTech incubator for startups with an area of more than 70,000 square meters. It has a valuable network of resources across all sectors and positions itself as an “aggregator of the online education industry”, “provider of online education industry services” and “a leader in the online education industry”.
Actual plans and indicators of progress for these and other ambitious projects of the Chinese government were demonstrated at the recent JMDedu Global Educational Technology Summit in Beijing, in November 2018. There are lots of significant global changes.
Everything that is happening in the educational sphere of China can be called the “ideal tsunami” with the most positive consequences for all residents of the country and abroad. EdTech global experts expect domestically developed solutions to be soon exported to Asian neighbors who face similar challenges in educating their citizens. As a result, new methods will have far-reaching consequences throughout the world, not only in the field of children’s education but also in a corporate training.