A flock of homework help apps have surfaced in China in recent years. Demand for such apps surges as summer vacation starts, for teachers and peer-help are absent during the break. Among the 20 students who got interviewed by a Chinese newspaper at a local library in Hebei Province, 7 out of 20 students have used homework help apps; 9 never used one but knew about them; only 4 have never heard of these apps.

Operating on the same simple goal to help students finish their assignments, these homework helpers come in slight variations. For example, Zuoye Shenqi is a search engine for problem sets. Its location-based interface lets students see what keywords others nearby are searching.

Others, like Wenzuoye, Wenta and Zuoyebang, let users snap and post a photo of their problem, doing away the hassle of typing it out. Some also have a social platform for students to share thoughts and photos. Wenta even sells virtual products and lets contributors earn virtual points.

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Rita Liao

Telling the uncommon China stories through tech. I can be reached at ritacyliao [at] gmail [dot] com.