Business / Companies

New Oriental-backed Internet education firm listed on China's New Third Board

By Meng Jing ( Updated: 2015-12-17 16:47

Arivoc Education International, an Internet education firm, made its debut on Wednesday on China's New Third Board, the pilot national share transfer system for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Arivoc Education International, which is backed by China's largest private educational chain New Oriental Education & Technology Group, provides a software system that helps students in the country train their English listening and speaking skills.

The United States-listed New Oriental invested in Arivoc Education in March along with venture capital firms SB China Capital and Lang Ma Feng VC. Yu Minhong, chairman of the board with the Beijing-based New Oriental, serves as an executive of Arivoc Education International after its listing.

Unlike the majority of Internet-enabled education firms, Arivoc Education International, which was founded four years ago, claimed that they've being profitable for three years.

Zhu Qifeng, founder and chairman of the board of Arivoc Education International, said their software system is expected to cover 6,000 schools and 5 million users in China by the end of this year.

"The goal is to provide our training software to 30,000 schools, covering 25 million users by 2018," he said at a press conference in Beijing on Thursday.

Yu Minhong, head of New Oriental, has high hopes for Arivoc Education International, which targets users from kindergarten through to twelfth grade.

Yu, whose New Oriental has 3 million students every year, said the education market from kindergarten through the twelfth grade consists of 200 million users.

Yu said that traditional education in which teachers deliver lessons to students in brick-and-mortar schools may never disappear despite the revolution brought by Internet technology.

"But I do think it is important to help students get high-quality education in an efficient way wherever they are," he said.

"There is a huge education gap between developed urban areas and underdeveloped rural areas in China, especially when it comes to the learning of spoken English," he said, adding many of the rural English teachers don't have good pronunciation themselves.

"The software can help improve the spoken English skills of rural students, even if their teachers don't have good pronunciation," he said.

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