Digital Media for K-12 Students in China

Source: Unsplash

The school system in China is so competitive that vast majority of Chinese parents spend thousands of USD per year on after-school tutoring for their children, and a quarter of them even spend six digits, even more than the average American parents do. Meanwhile, only about 10% of the students will get into the four-year bachelor degree program in China, compared to one third in the US. The education in China, especially among K-12 period (aka. prior to college) , is very exam-focused. Everything is about getting higher scores in the college entrance examinations.

K-12 education includes interest courses, offline/online tutoring classes, AI tutoring tools and Two-teacher Classroom. You probably can guess that, after-class tutoring is the most profitable segment in this industry. It is so difficult for students to rise to the top that many of them have to take extra lessons. Mandatory courses including English, Math and Chinese Language steal almost all the thunder among the others.

Online education has been growing significantly during the epidemic. Genshuixue, an online tutoring company valued at 5 billion USD has adopted 15 million new users during the pandemic, five times more than last year. Some other online education institutions also changed paid courses to free to attract new users. Traditional onsite schools were temporarily closed due to Covid-19, but students had to continue their studies.

On the other hand, online education brings after school tutoring to less developed areas in China, where the teaching resources are scarce compared to bigger cities. One celebrity teacher can tutor thousands of students at one time regardless the location, resulting in more accessible and affordable education, which costs only about 50% of the traditional tutoring.

Chinese parents spend 75 billion USD a year on K-12 and vocational learning for their kids, but only 10% classes are taken online currently. The potential market is huge but remains unclear, considering almost all of the online education institutions are spending more money than earning, and the retention rate is much lower than traditional tutoring institutions. But at least, tutoring resources are being distributed more evenly and affordably through the live-streaming technology.

Source: K12 Online Curriculums Tutoring Market Report; K12 to B Report, by Zhiniao Education; Chinese K12 English EdTech: VIPKid and How Learning is Earning; Getting educated on China K-12 tutoring edtech

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