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Online education is not online shopping: industry insider

By Zhao Xinying | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2016-11-08 20:09

Online education is different from other online industries in terms of consumer needs, according to a CEO of an online education company.

Compared with other Internet Plus industries that meet consumers' standardized needs in shopping, traveling, catering and hailing cars, people's needs for online education are more personalized and result-oriented, said Wei Xiaoliang, CEO of smartstudy.com.

Wei made these remarks on Tuesday in Beijing, when his company celebrated its success in acquiring a B round of financing worth 200 million yuan ($30 million).

The company is an online education brand that helps Chinese students improve on domestic and international English exams including The Test of English as a Foreign Language and College English Tests.

Previously, Baidu and the families of Xu Guozhang, a renowned linguist of China, invested in the company.

"When consuming online education, people are actually not sensitive about prices. Rather, what they really value is to save time and receive good results," Wei said.

Bringing the Internet to education could make education more flexible both in time and place, but the Internet can not change the nature of education. Offline classes and face-to-face communication between teachers and students are still necessary, Wei said.

With such knowledge in online education, Wei explained they had paid equal attention to both online and offline classes and tried to connect the two to achieve effective teaching by offering personalized, tailored courses since the company was founded in 2013.

So far, smartstudy.com has gathered 160 teachers and almost 4 million registered learners, Wei said.

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