Before Taobao Taobao Tongxue, a market for selling online courses or other educational services launched last year, a lot of Taobao stores had been set up for selling educational materials or offline classes.

Visitors to those stores were 81 million in 2013, as Taobao disclosed yesterday, while the number was only 15 million in 2011. 6.9 million, 9% of the total visitors, bought products or services from those stores in 2013; the number in 2011 was 830,000.

A total of 1.053 billion yuan ($172mn) were paid through Alipay for educational goods in 2013. Of that 43.1% were for online courses, 23.5% for offline classes and 33.3% for other materials.

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Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com