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Online educational services witness demand surge

2020-2-7 11:35

 

Online education companies across China are seeing a surge in demand for study-at-home products as the novel coronavirus epidemic has hampered normal educational services in the country.

Following the postponement of school semesters, over 80 educational companies have offered free online courses to students in China, a country that boasts nearly 280 million students ranging from kindergarten to universities.

Leading online education startup Zuoyebang has offered free online classes on all major subjects from 8 am to 5:40 pm for students nationwide. Youdao, the education subsidiary of tech giant NetEase Inc, is offering classes via livestreaming for 470,000 students that are enrolled for the company's courses.

Industry experts perceive huge opportunities for the online education industry as the sector is quickly covering and penetrating many corners of the nation during the special period.

Share prices of 20 online education companies have risen to the daily limit of 10 percent in the A-share market as of Wednesday, while market leader TAL Education Group sees its shares rise from $49.9 on Friday to $56.05 on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

"The novel coronavirus outbreak has boosted the awareness and market prospects of online education firms in the country," said Zhang Lijun, an education veteran and partner of Sinovation Ventures, a venture capital firm founded by noted investor Kai-fu Lee.

Zhang said that it would be easier for companies to acquire users at comparatively lower costs than before and the penetration rate of online education will grow by around 10 percent.

Wang Heng, a senior analyst from Duojing Capital, said that lowering the barriers for online lessons will definitely increase the usage of such products and open new growth frontiers for companies.

The surge in demand for online lessons has also seen several educational firms shifting their offline courses partly or wholly to online, thereby opening the door for some third-party technology platforms.

ClassIn, an online classroom service provider of leading educational firm EEO, received nearly 3,000 registrations from various educational institutions in a single day. The company temporarily enlarged the capacity of its system by 20 times but still had to restrict new entries so as to keep its system stable.

At present, most of the educational companies which want to switch to online are choosing free open platforms.

VIPKid, a well-known one-on-one online English tutoring platform in the country, has opened its Weimi livestreaming platform free of cost to schools and institutions nationwide.

The platform is able to support over 200,000 classes of different scale every day. More than 100 schools and institutions have applied to access VIPKid's open platform with dozens of them already in trial.

"In the long run, the outbreak will speed up the convergence of online and offline education. Those who are able to offer sound, stable services will gain a lead," said Zhang from Sinovation Ventures.

However, she said offline education will still be preferred after the epidemic outbreak as many parents value eye protection and traditional learning experiences.

 

随着新型冠状病毒的流行阻碍了国内正常的教育服务,中国各地的在线教育公司发现,对在家学习产品的需求激增。


在学校推迟开学之后,80多家教育公司为中国学生提供了免费的在线课程。中国有近2.8亿学生,从幼儿园到大学都有。


领先的在线教育初创公司左也邦为全国学生提供免费的在线课程,从早上8点到下午5点40分。科技巨头网易旗下的教育子公司有道正在为47万名注册该公司课程的学生提供直播课程。


业内专家认为,在特殊时期,网络教育行业正迅速覆盖和渗透全国的各个角落,这为网络教育行业带来了巨大的机遇。


截至周三,20家在线教育公司在a股市场的股价已升至10%的日涨停,而市场领头羊TAL education Group在纽约证交所的股价将从上周五的49.9美元升至周三的56.05美元。


“新型冠状病毒的爆发提升了中国在线教育公司的认知度和市场前景,”教育行业资深人士、著名投资者李开复创办的创业投资公司创新工场(Sinovation Ventures)合伙人张立军表示。


张表示,公司将更容易以相对较低的成本获得用户,在线教育的普及率将增长10%左右。


多晶资本高级分析师王恒表示,降低网络课程的门槛肯定会增加此类产品的使用,并为企业开辟新的增长领域。


在线课程需求的激增也促使一些教育公司将其线下课程部分或全部转移到网上,从而为一些第三方技术平台打开了大门。


ClassIn是领先的教育公司EEO的在线课堂服务提供商,一天之内就收到了来自各个教育机构的近3000份注册。该公司暂时将其系统的容量扩大了20倍,但为了保持系统稳定,仍不得不限制新的进入。


目前,大多数想要转向网络的教育公司都选择了免费的开放平台。


国内知名的一对一在线英语辅导平台VIPKid免费向全国学校和机构开放了其微米直播平台。


该平台每天能够支持超过20万个不同规模的班级。超过100所学校和机构已经申请了VIPKid的开放平台,其中数十所已经在试验中。


“从长远来看,疫情的爆发将加速线上和线下教育的融合。那些能够提供稳健、稳定服务的企业将获得领先地位。”


然而,她表示,由于许多家长重视眼睛保护和传统的学习经验,在疫情爆发后,线下教育仍将是首选。

 

原作者: Cheng Yu 来自: china daily