Online education in China – market overview

Education is hugely important in China. Parents are willing to spend huge amounts of money to send their children to the best schools, even if this means sending them abroad. With internet technology constantly developing, online education has begun to develop and grow in popularity. It is now becoming possible to access a range of educational materials via the internet, and the Chinese people are always hungry for more.

Why education is so important in China

Of course, education is important in every country. In China, education has a cultural meaning, as well as being vital for getting a good start in life. China is a Masculine society, meaning that it measures success is terms of achievements, rather than who is enjoying their life and work the most. Because of this, getting good grades is vital to demonstrating that you are not a failure. Education can also affect something we’ve been talking about a lot recently – Mianzi, or Face. A child getting low grades will cause their parents to lose face. In China, doing poorly in your education has negative consequences for others as well as yourself.

Online education in China

Compared to the US, online education has had a slow development in China. In the last few years, ten Chinese online education providers have been granted angel investment and have listed their stocks in the US marketplace. While this is a good start, the total invested in them pales in comparison to their US counterparts, who collectively received more than $1billion in investments (source: Wall Street Journal).

Shanghai leading the way in online education development

Shanghai is one of the cities that is openly embracing the possibilities of online education to supplement traditional methods of learning. In April this year, over 1,500 textbooks will be made available to pupils studying at primary schools, middle schools, and high schools in ebook format. This is partly a response to the way in which tablet computers are superseding laptops in the classroom, and is an attempt to reduce the amount of heavy learning materials that students need to bring to school with them. Also currently in development is a cloud computing system, which will provide teachers and students with downloads of required textbooks.

The project, known as the e-schoolbag programme, is being trialled in several cities, but should be available in all public schools by 2015 (source: China Education Center).

The attractiveness of online education in the China market

Entering online education in China now gives you a chance to gain a foothold in this developing market. Chinese people are hungry for educational courses without an agenda, and the chance to study things not taught in China. The success of a translated series of lectures on death by Yale professor Shelly Kagan is just one great example (source: News China Magazine).

Contact Market Me China today to discuss how to reap the rewards of the growing online education market.

(Image source: “Global Computer Network” |