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Taobao launches online education marketplace

Updated: 2013-12-04 21:13

Taobao, an online marketplace owned by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, officially launched an online education channel to help training organizations in China sell live-broadcast education content.

Taobao opened a vertical site named Tongxue, which means classmates in English, on Wednesday. The site is set to aggregate online education sources, and class videos covering courses from exams tutoring, vocational training programs to bakery lessons and makeup tips.

According to a news release from the company, as many as 150 training organizations in China, such as Sunland Career, have started to sell online video programs on taobao.

“After months of testing and serious consideration, Taobao Tongxue is going to focus on online education. The sales of offline education have been integrated into another channel for now,” said Pei Binfeng, who is in charge of the newly launched channel.

Education products such as offline training programs and related textbooks on Taobao fall into the “local life” channel and enjoyed sales of 330 million yuan ($54.13 million) in 2012. About 200 million yuan came from the sales of offline education programs, which means people can purchase the programs online but participate in the training at brick-and-mortar schools.

Sales in the Internet education market in China reached 72.3 billion yuan in 2012. It is estimated that sales will more than double to 174.5 billion yuan by 2015.