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Online ability-oriented training booming

By Cheng Yu | China Daily | Updated: 2019-01-22 09:55
A student practices piano under the guidance of teachers from VIP Peilian, a Chinese online piano learning platform. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Music, art-related courses offer new growth drivers for Chinese mainland's burgeoning internet education sector

Ability-oriented training has become a new frontier for China's skyrocketing online education sector, even though the segment has seen stricter regulations implemented recently.

In the past year, China's education authorities have rolled out policies covering after-school academic education both online and offline, aiming to reduce students' burden.

But, the policies leave much room for the ability-oriented education segment to grow, said experts.

The segment is expected to grow to 115.3 billion yuan ($17 billion) in market scale in 2018, up from 91 billion yuan the previous year, and could reach 171.7 billion yuan by 2020, according to a report by education investment firm Duojing Capital.

Benefiting from this momentum, Chinese startups, such as online music tutoring platform VIP Peilian, are helping more users to access one-on-one tuition while playing musical instruments including the piano, violin and guqin, a traditional Chinese stringed instrument.

Like Uber, which links passengers with drivers, VIP Peilian is enabling its 700,000 users to link with piano teachers. This also frees up parents, who can save the time and energy previously spent accompanying their children to lessons.

"Through AI-enabled technologies, we hope to improve convenience for both kids and parents, to make every practice count," said Ge Jiaqi, founder and CEO of VIP Peilian.

He noted that the market potential could be huge given there are 20 million to 30 million children in China practicing the piano, and that number is growing at 10 percent every year.

His words echoed the company's growth momentum, as its revenue grew sixfold last year compared with 2017, with its users covering 71 countries and regions.

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