Business / Economy

Alibaba taps into language-learning biz

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-02-17 20:59

HANGZHOU - Chinese online shopping business Alibaba on Monday announced it has invested in TutorGroup, a leading online education platform and largest English-language learning institution in the world.

Alibaba, Singapore investment company Temasek and Qiming Venture Partners have invested nearly 100 million U.S. dollars in TutorGroup, Alibaba said in a statement.

Alibaba did not reveal details on its investment or stake in TutorGroup.

TutorGroup said in a separate statement that it plans to use the funding to accelerate further growth across Asia, and also expand its presence in the Americas.

"Our rapid growth in Asia over the last 10 years has confirmed that students prefer to learn on our platform. There is still a massive audience of potential English language learners that have not yet been exposed to VIPABC and TutorABC," said Dr. Eric Yang, CEO of TutorGroup.

"We also plan to better address the growing Chinese language learning market in North and South America by offering students an opportunity to learn on, our Mandarin Chinese education platform," Yang said.

TutorGroup offers online language-learning courses, such as TutorABC and VIPABC, for students in the greater China region. TutorABC Jr. is for English language learning students between the ages of 8 and 18. TutorMing is for Chinese language learners internationally.

TutorGroup, which was launched in 2004, has offices throughout Asia and a R&D team in Silicon Valley. It connects online learners and teachers around the world. With more than 2,000 teachers in 30 countries and 60 cities, it provides real-time interactive language learning through millions of classes annually.

The investment is an indication of Alibaba's interest in the online education sector. It has launched its own online education platform

Through investment and acquisitions, Alibaba has made inroads in various sectors, including microblogging, music, mobile gaming, fund management and digital mapping.

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