In a country with the world’s largest population of English learners, education is a serious business. There are roughly about 300 million people learning English in China today, with 50 million of them learning it in schools. This number is set to soar in the near future as China’s government has already implemented compulsory second language education in schools since 2001 under the ‘3+X’ gaokao system.

As staggering as these numbers are, the Chinese English-language market is just a snapshot of the whole education industry as a whole. With the total average student population at 260 million, served by about 15 million teachers, coupled with a heavy cultural emphasis on education, the market is set for an explosion that has both technology startups and venture capitalists sit up and taking notes alike.

China in recent years have aggressively pushed various educational initiatives and reforms such as the abovementioned revamped gaokao system, and also improving literacy rates amongst children and developing rural schools. One such initiative deserves special mention: the change in direction to focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine (STEM) content, as well as the method of delivery: Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). In light of these changes, progress and uptake in education technology (edtech) in China has been highly successful with no lack of local and international players in the highly competitive landscape.

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Jeriel Tan

Marketing Manager at Technode.com, and occasional scribe. Contact me at jeriel@technode.com