On a recent online-education event in Beijing, staff from Taobao revealed the plan of  an independent education channel. Wow. Now the e-commerce tycoon comes to the heated online education and training market.

Accordingly this new vertical platform will be launched this year as a sub-channel “Taobao Classmates” (not official translation). This channel will aggregate online education sources, and class videos covering courses from exams tutoring to vocational training programs.

Currently education products such as training programs or related textbooks on Taobao fall into the channel of local life and already enjoy the daily turnover of millions yuan. Director of the Alibaba Local Life BU Dao Zheng said that, “If things go right, we will see one billion yuan in transaction within a year. This number might sound good among e-comm online-education peers, but it actually accounts for only less than 1% of the whole education training market in China. ”

Sources said that Taobao Classmates would take a 2B+2C hybrid model: for training organizations they provide the live broadcast education contents; while for the audience any user with something to teach can publish courses on the platform or apply for a broadcasting permission. This platform is more than an online education platform but also an O2O attempt from Taobao.

image credit: wincn.com

动点科技驻湾区记者. Charlie is an entrepreneur based in San Francisco and Hong Kong who calls herself the undefeated caffeine champion. You can reach her at charlie.sheng (at) technode.com

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