“Illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” — futurist Alvin Toffler

Education is considered to be a steady industry, but not the most lucrative one. In recent years, something has changed. Since 2012 (a year nominated by New York Times The Year of the MOOC),  when the capital stepped into online education market,  online education prospered. What’s more, in a developing country like China, where there’s an undersupply of traditional education resources as well as the growing household spending power, where learning offers the opportunity of going up so as to be regarded as a kind of investment. As a new popularity sprouted in 2013, online education has become one of the fastest growing areas.


This led to some interesting changes. One representiative is that of english language learning. The Chinese spend a lot of money each year on English language Training, but the actual effect is not satisfactory enough, among the 44 non-native English-speaking countries , the general English level of Chinese learneres rankes only 29. The traditional school education is not efficient enough, traditional training institutions have helped, yet not alot. The adoption of one-to-one online teaching method, total emergement in a learner-centered language teaching environment and effectiveness.

On most online English education platforms, the courses are through remote video conversations. This led to a sharp rise in the demand for online english language teachers, just on the platform 52Talk, there are more than 7,000 Philippine mother tongue teachers, not to mention many other platforms like this.

The top 20 online platforms voted by netizens. the first three are: Netease open class, Zhihu and Netease Cloud Classroom

The Internet’s influence on the education industry can be summerized in two areas:

1) freeing the high-quality education resources from geographical constraints;

2) freeing the acquirement of  knowledge from geographic limits.

The online education market in 2016 reached 156.06 billion yuan, with an year-on-year increase of 27.3%; the number of online education users reached 90.01 million, with an year-on-year increase of 23%. It is estimated that the online education market will exceed 200 billion yuan by the end of 2018.  As for the types of education, at present, the  academic education, vocational education, language training are three main types, counted respectively for 36.6%, 35.7% and 21%. [1]

At the same time, competition along with saturation emerged. Up to the end of 2016, China has 45,000 online education institutions, and 70% of them are facing loss, 10% of the companies can only manage to survive, only 5% of them can make a profit, and even 15% of the enterprises are on the verge of bankruptcy.

As a fast-changing market nowadys full of competition, some fresh air will blow in. From my point of view, the methods will aim to the reappearance of a real traditional course. For example, the live video will be adopted more frequently to create a learning environment similar to the traditional one, offering personalized and interactive courses. As for the visual experience, the application of VR and AR technology to education will redefine the educational scene and provide a new development opportunity for the situational learning.

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[1] Source: iresearch.com