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  • Chinese MOOC-market rising

    - The Chinese market of online education may be unknown, but it is a thriving business. For the first time, ReportStack has mapped its latest trends. Online education companies are picking up mobile devices while new teaching models are further improved.

    The summary of the report can be found down here

    “The Chinese online education market attracted the inrush of huge capital in 2013-2014, as Internet firms, offline education training institutions, investment companies and startups continued their expansion in online education. In 2014, China online education industry is characterized as follows:

    1. Online education is still an investment hot spot.

    In 2013, 51 investment events took place in China online education industry, 44 of which were venture investments. And the figure rose to 54 during January-August, 2014, 10 of which (including acquisitions) occurred in August 2014 alone, equaling total investment of over RMB 1 billion.

    2. Education and teaching models are further improved.

    Koolearn’s live classroom channel went online in Feb. 2014; Hujiang.com introduced mobile live classroom “CCTalk” in August 2014; Super Class introduces teaching elements like film & TV, recreation and sports and game & animation, and adopts teaching model of “Flipped Classroom”.

    3. Technologies like multimedia-based information processing, big data, visualization, gamification, business intelligence, AR, 3D and situational interaction further integrates with education products and services.

    As far as content of courses is concerned, students’ enthusiasm is stimulated by course gamification and situational interaction. Meanwhile, learning management system, through big data analytics with mass data gathered during teaching process, provides learners with interactional education and anytime, anywhere tailored learning experience, and keeps track of their progress.

    At present, online education companies employing technologies like big data, visualization and business intelligence include Super Class, Hujiang.com, 17zuoye.com, etc. In July 2014, kaikeba.com, an IT online education platform under Uniquedu, cooperated with IBM, applying IBM’s big data and analytic techniques to develop series courses on the platform.

    4. Education institutions and IT companies endeavor to make layout in open education platform.

    Open platforms can not only charge tenant fees from course providers, share revenue after the courses are sold, and make profit from value-added services, presenting a bright lucrative prospects. Various education institutions, IT companies and startups have introduced open online education platforms.

    By virtue of their web traffic advantage, IT firms have launched open online education platforms in succession. For example, in July 2013, Alibaba introduced its education channel --Taobao Tongxue; In April 2014, Tencent and Netease’s Youdao released Tencent Classroom and Youdao Open Education Platform respectively; In August 2014, Baidu purchased Chuanke.com for USD 30 million. To attract the settlement of education institutions (teachers), these platforms now don’t charge tenant fees, nor share the gains from transactions.

    5. Mobile devices capture attention of online education companies.

    Compared with page learning, mobile products, integrating interest and gameplay, are easier to become popular among learners, be promoted and grab users.

    In January 2014, Baidu Knows introduced the APP named Zuoyebang (a platform for students to discuss schoolwork and exchange views on different topics), which was upgraded to 3.0 version in September 2014; In May 2014, Alibaba rolled out the APP Shisheng (a product for communication and interaction between parents and kindergartens, primary schools and junior/senior high school); In July 2014, Tencent made layout in mobile product by establishing joint venture with New Oriental; Xingshuai Teach is developing a new APP, which is expected to be launched by the end of 2014.

    6. New business models (O2O, MOOC, online interaction among teachers, students and parents) are mushrooming, but some profit models are unclear.

    Currently, many education institutions are making layout in O2O, like New Oriental, which launched “New Oriental TV Classroom” though BesTV’s IPTV in May, 2014, and Hujiang, which opened online education experience store “HJ Class Experience Center” in June 2014. With regard to MOOC model, Tsinghua University launched xuetangX.com in October 2013, and CnMooc under Shanghai Jiaotong University went live in April 2014.

    Among online education companies, Hujiang has a relatively mature business model and profit model. For the former, Hujiang has a fairly complete business model covering C2C+B2C+B2B2C, and for the latter, it earns profits from advertisement, E-commerce, online class and platform. By contrast, 17zuoye, an online platform for interaction and communications among teachers, students and parents, now provides all services for free, with working capital coming from financing and profit model being explored.”


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