Nielsen and Sina did a survey on online education in China in November 2013. Of the little fewer than 3000 participates, 39% had consumed online courses while 47% consumed offline courses.

About 76.8% consumers spent less than RMB500 (about US$80) for the online courses they had purchased. —  In China offline courses charge several hundred yuan to tens of thousand yuan.

The most popular category is technical and vocational training, the second is English learning and the third K-12 education.

Of all that had consumed online educational services, 61% consumed services through online education platforms, who aggregate third-party content and share revenues with content providers. 13% were through mobile apps.

Online vs. Offline Education Consumption as a Percentage (Source: Nielsen&Sina Report)

The most popular services are not only from the newly emerged online educational service providers such as YY (a real-time video broadcasting software developer), Hujiang (an online English-learning site) but also online services provided by conventional offline class providers such as New Oriental and old educational software providers such as Youdao and Kingsoft (both are dictionary software providers).

When it comes to the reasons why the 61% surveyees hadn’t consumed any online educational services, 33.8% said it was because they didn’t know about the format of online courses and 15.1% said they didn’t like the format. 28.4% said they were not properly equipped for consuming online educational services.

53.7% surveyees said they’d consume online educational products in the future.

Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at

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