Founded in 2001, Hujiang is one of the few Chinese e-learning sites that have turned profits. Xu Hua, VP of Hujiang shared his thoughts on the trend of online education in China in a recent interview. (in Chinese)
He thinks there are three monetization approaches for online education — the same with those for any online services, paid products (lessons), advertising and value-added services.“But most online education services are at an early stage.” “It’s not that there isn’t a clear business model but lack of execution. Most of them are at an early stage with no good products, big user base or no way to monetize traffic, so it’s hard to make a profit”, he says.
Xu Hua explained users and quality content are the keys to profitability. “Users come first. Hujiang is 12 years old now with accumulated 20 million registered users. The same with the Internet sector in general, users and traffic are the basis of profitability. To realize sustainable development, generating high-quality courses is a must. Education is rigid demand anywhere, especially in 2-tier and 3-tier cities.”
“In big cities like Beijing, reliable educational resources like New Oriental School or EF are widely available while in smaller cities resources are much scarce. Online educational courses break geographic boundaries. As long as you have a computer, you can enjoy the same courses. The relatively low price of online education is favorable and competitive. Now the physical educational institutes are still in disorderly competition. Once the high-quality educational resources brought over by the Internet come in flood, it must disrupt local markets.
image credit: hudong.com