Cracking into the alluring but formidable Chinese market has never been easy. Despite great successes elsewhere, a number of the world’s most powerful tech giants including Google and Uber have fallen out of favor in China. Various reasons contribute to their fiascos, but there’s one common factor behind them: the failure to realize how different China can be.

Udacity, the US online education company that provides nanodegree courses including topics such as tech entrepreneurship, full stack development, and data analysis, is among the foreign tech firms that are geared up for China expansion.

After more than a year of effort, the Udacity team has gone through the initial doubts and pains in penetrating China and started to record an uptick in performance. It’s still too early to say that they are proving successful here, but what they have experienced could provide some useful lessons for those aiming for the same thing.

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.