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Analysis EO
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Analysis EO
Jul 5, 2020 11:26 pm ·

H1 2020 at a Glance: China's Online Education Industry Boom

Businesses in many physical industries have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the catastrophe has also provided new opportunities for the development of many online industries, as well – one of which is the online education industry. China's online education market has maintained steady growth over the past five years. The COVID-19 epidemic in 2020 has brought new vitality as it boosted demand. It is expected that China's online education users will reach 309 million by the end of 2020. Due to traditional face to face education coming to a halt at the start of the year, online education has witnessed an explosive growth. Students from all over the country started online classes at home. Some of the leading K12 online education firms took the opportunity to announce the provision of free courses during the outbreak, allowing them to gain a maximum number of users.  Talking about K12 online education firms, Yuanfudao set a new record with a staggering USD 1 billion financings in March. Following that, Zuoyuebang, another online education firm, nabbed USD 750 million for its series E round, becoming the second-highest valued edtech unicorn in China.  From celebrity endorsements, naming various popular online variety shows to placing small video ads on Douyin, Zuoyebang, Yuanfudao, Youdao and other head K12 online institutions have been working hard to prepare ample ‘ammunition’ to meet the upcoming summer enrollment season. Other than K12, vocational and quality education tracks saw their popularity increase with Tencent and 58 other firms investing in related companies. Let's use the data to see what was happening in the domestic education venture capital market throughout the first half of the year. According to statistics collected by EqualOcean from ITJuzi, in the first half of 2020, there are 10,640 companies in the field of Education. Of these, 60% had no investment, 28% were invested in and the investment question is not clear about the remaining 12%. In the industry, the angel round stage accounted for the largest proportion of 37%, followed by the A round stage, accounting for 31%. As can be seen, a large number of companies are still in a very early stage, because it is a result-oriented industry. The product's effectiveness needs to be verified and observed over a long period of time.  As 2019 broke, we were all warned of China’s forthcoming ‘capital winter’, only to wake up in Q1 to mega-rounds from Zhangmen (USD 350 million), DaDa (USD 255 million), Andela (USD 100 million) and opening Q2 was Coursera’s USD 103 million Series E. 2H 2019 saw the surge continue with mega-rounds from Knowbox (USD 150 million), ByJu’s (USD 150 million), VIPKid (USD 150 million), Zhihu (USD 434 million), Ruangguru (USD 150 million) and Guild (USD 157 million). Little did we know what 2020 would bring. COVID-19 and way too many video calls later, 1H 2020 has marked a resurgence in mega-rounds, averaging a USD 100 million round per month. In the space of six months, EdTech has it’s very own giant (that didn’t come from China or the US), Yuanfudao has set a new high water-mark with a USD 1 billion round and ‘mainstream’ investors are venturing to learn more about the future of education, the role of technology and the opportunities to participate in that growth. In the first half of 2020, 112 investment events occurred in the Chinese education industry;, the number of transactions fell by 32% month-on-month and 45% year-on-year. The total amount involved was CNY 19.6 billion, an increase of 15% year-on-year. ; The decline in the number of financings in the field is obvious, but the total amount of financing has risen, and the average amount of single financing has also increased by 77% year-on-year to CNY 175 million. Over the past three years, the activity of CNY funds in the field of education investment and financing has been significantly higher than that of USD funds. The number of CNY transactions accounted for more than 90%, and the transaction finance accounted for about 55%~62%; but in the first half of 2020, the total amount of CNY transactions substantially declined and the total amount of USD transactions exceeded CNY transactions for the first time, accounting for 77%. Talking about the amount of funding in the first half of 2020, out of the 112 investment events, the largest number of transactions were in tens of millions of yuan. 19 firms raised more than CNY 100 million, with a total financing amount of CNY 15.7 billion, accounting for 80% of the total financing. Now we should dig deeper into the firms which actually boosted their financings in the first half of 2020. We have short-listed the top 10 education firms with the highest amount of funding raised. These firms are backed by the likes of huge investors such as Tencent, IDG, Sequoia, Temasek etc.  As far as the sub-sectors are concerned, quality education dominated the number of financings with 26, which only totaled CNY 1.3 billion. K12 education showed its dominance, with 18 investment events adding up to CNY 12.4 billion.  As the largest subdivision track in the field, K12 Education has always attracted capital. In the first half of 2020, K12 Education’s financing amount accounted for 60% of the entire industry. Yuanfudao’s new round, worth USD 1 billion, was the main reason behind it. It was followed by the highest single amount of financing in the field; in June, the Zuoyebang completed its E round of financing, worth USD 750 million.  Other than that, listed Chinese edtech companies have shown their strengths as well. NetEase Youdao released its Q1 unaudited financial report which showed the firm has achieved a steady growth for a fifth consecutive quarter. Another US-listed firm, GSX Techedu, has been a hot topic. Its financial results have been found too good to be true for some US research firms. The Chinese online tutoring company has been shorted as many as 10 times in the first half of the year but the stock is showing no signs of weakness – instead, recently it hit the highest ever amount since it was listed.  With Edtech companies such as Yuanfudao (猿辅导), Zuoyebang (作业帮) and Xueba (学霸君) suddenly catching the limelight and seeing this as an opportunity, major Internet companies have stepped up their efforts in the online education track as well.  Alibaba (BABA: NYSE) launched a product called 帮帮答, directly translated to ‘help me answer.’ It is a paid question and answer platform for primary and secondary school students for academic problems. This is the first independent product launched by Alibaba in the field of education. Zhang Yiming, the founder of the world’s most valued unicorn, ByteDance, expressed his intention to consider and plan for a new strategic direction towards education in a letter released on the eighth anniversary of the company. “The online tutoring market has been very hot recently, and many people ask about my company's business progress. In fact, I am not anxious and have patience. I think it is still very early. The education business must have more fundamental innovations, of course, provided we have a deeper understanding. Especially for a company that already has a successful business, starting a new business is not easy. Bold attempts in new fields are an important part of starting a business.” Zhang said. It is evident that the epidemic has created a window of opportunity for huge tech giants to enter the education industry – but at the same time firms which are already are in the business have stepped up to prove the strength and advantages of online education. By providing free online classes, companies such as Yuanfudao, GSX Techedu and Zuoyebang gained millions of users.

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Analysis EO
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Analysis EO
Feb 11, 2020 10:29 pm ·

Overview of the Chinese Children’s Programming Education Industry in 2019

Statistics from the Ministry of Education show that, in 2018, 18.63 million children were enrolled in preschool education in China. The pre-, primary, and middle-school students are the core users of the current programming education curriculum in the digitally ambitious Asian nation. Children's programming education is generally aimed at children in elementary schools and below. Typically learning programming literacy involves studying how to convert an original complex English code language into a graphical language, and is presented through games, animations and building block components in an instructional and modular manner. It aims to cultivate children's multiple abilities such as observation, imagination, creativity, logical thinking, problem-solving, judgmental thinking, sequence and conditions, and debugging operation ability. What made the track flourish? The support for introducing children's programming in China was tepid in the early days, but large waves of capital inflow in 2017 gave birth to many programming education companies. Refined programming courses give users more choices. These include a series of early ‘programming guidance’ courses such as programming games and visual graphics. There are countless mainstream programming courses on the market that can meet such requirements. Parents who do not generally understand the content of children's programming courses cannot differentiate between children's programming and children's coding. This also reflects a certain extent that the current market for children's programming is still in a state of development.  Currently, Lego, Scratch, Python, and C++ are generally referred to as children's programming courses on the market. Most of the children's programming education firms choose Scratch as the main programming teaching tool, and institutions with less exam-oriented systems choose C++ courses.  Lego education is an innovative approach, focused on cultivating an early interest in logical problem-solving. Children can start with normal Lego building blocks and gradually move on to Lego robot programming.  Scratch focuses on the development of children’s programming thinking. It is also the most widely used children's programming software package on the market. It uses a graphical programming module to visualize the programming language, making it easier for children to understand the basic meaning of programming.  As a transition language between Scratch and C ++, Python is relatively suitable for middle school children, and it is often used as an advanced language for children who have already learned Scratch. Policy support has become the primary productive force of the industry. Education has always been deeply influenced by policy adjustments. Provinces with policies supporting programming or IT have developed significantly faster than other regions. Hence policy is one of the main reasons that children's programming is being taken seriously in today's education industry. Today's artificial intelligence development has an increasing demand for digital talents, and the current teaching model finds it difficult to meet the requirements of the times in the development of high-tech industries and talent training. New technologies and new talents are out of touch with the current society as soon as they leave college. With the current technological trends and adjustment of industrial institutions, it is imperative to cultivate new IT talents. The upgrading of the consumer environment. As people born in the 1980s and 1990s enter the stage of getting married and having children, these two generations have become an important driving force for changing consumer habits around child-rearing. The new generation of mothers pays more attention to children's education and training due to their strong consumption habits and higher education level. Spending on children is also rising, with increased incomes allowing these parents to afford expensive, high-quality products. In addition, the new generation of parents have become more international, and are more likely to accept new things, which is also good for the development of children's programming. Capital injection. According to Data collected by EDU INSIGHT at the end of 2019, 70 children's programming firms completed various degrees of investment and financing or listing. Among them, there were a number of children's programming startups such as Walnut education (核桃编程), Jikestar (极客晨星), Codemao (编程猫), etc., which showed the potential future of the track. More challenges, fewer opportunities? The ministry of education and eight other departments recently issued a notice which requires guardians to control the use of electronic products by children. It stated that electronic products for non-learning purposes should not be used more than 15 minutes at a time and not more than an hour in a day. The usage of electronic products for learning purposes should be 30 to 40 minutes per day.  Giving high importance to children’s eyesight protection and incorporating it into policies will have a strong impact on the development of children’s programming education.  With more startups in the market, it is harder to raise investment. According to EDU INSIGHT’s data, among the 210 children's programming companies, 139 have not disclosed any financing records. From the 70 companies that have, few have been able to raise Series B and C. The industry has seen significant firms close down. Companies (especially companies without any disclosure of financing records) cannot polish their business models without stable cash flow and it is very difficult for them to raise money. There are still gaps in the curriculum system and teachers. From the perspective of current programming teaching, the curriculum system promoted by most children's programming companies mainly refers to one of the standards of American children's programming curriculum system.  Compared with other education tracks, the domestic market for children’s programming is still in the early stage; the number and size of players of the industry are small and many companies are still trying different business models. Course and curriculum system is fundamental for the industry to have a sustainable and healthy development, but at present, a relatively uniform standard has not been formed. The market still needs to be educated. Compared with traditional education, the final feedback and evaluation system in children's programming is not standardized. Classroom communication, project reporting, project tracking and self-evaluation between teachers and students is required. The vast majority of parents are not very familiar with the concept of children's programming, and the market still needs to be cultivated. Competition from other industries. The competition within the track is gradually entering a fierce stage. In addition to companies within the track, there are other large-scale enterprises related to education, and other industries such as gaming and hardware, who want to get a slice of the emerging market. Educational giants such as TAL and New Oriental, English language training unicorn VIPkid, drone manufacturers DJI, Tech titan Huawei and various other huge firms have already entered the track. Business models Online and offline. It is worth noting that there are almost no offline-only or online-only children’s programming companies in the lead. Companies such as Codemao (编程猫), Tong Cheng Tong Mei (童程童美), etc., all use both online and offline teaching methods. Walnut education (核桃编程) is the only one which adopts an online-only model. At present, the training courses on the market basically have 1V1, or one-to-many small classes. 1V1 teaching has high efficiency, flexible teaching time, personalized content customization, richer classroom interaction, and it is easier to motivate students to learn. We have also seen a breakthrough in the application of the ‘human-AI dual-teacher interactive learning system.’ At present, the error judgment ability of teachers in programming learning has reached 100%, and we can say that its feedback guidance information has reached about 70 to 80%. With the support of AI data collection and analysis, the system can find a more suitable programming learning method for children, optimize human-computer interaction, and increase the fun to be found in learning. AI teachers can reduce costs to the greatest extent and reduce the burden on users in terms of the price of courses. 2B and 2C. The user base is large, but the market is fragmented, and the cost of acquiring customers is relatively high. Compared to 2C, 2B seems to be still in an early stage of development. 2B's business is now mainly to provide textbooks, teacher training and other content for schools and training institutions. Children's programming education in public schools has not yet become popular, and school programming is gradually introducing children's programming courseware and some related services.  The Capital Compared with 2018, each track declined, but STEAM surpassed K12 and became the most popular education sector of the industry for investors. Compared with a 75% drop in K12 and a 70% drop in preschool education, STEAM is relatively stable with a 25% drop. It can be seen that, despite the calmness of the industry, the STEAM education track has been least affected by the market, and there is huge potential in the future. For the development of enterprises, in addition to policy support, capital injection is also very important. In the context of the recognized capital winter in 2019, there were still 33 investment institutions that would ‘bet money’ on the children's programming track. Some investment institutions have also made multiple capital injections into the same company. The development of children's programming is still in a state of capital leadership, and the industry is developing at a rather decent pace. However, the lack of huge investments has caused the industry to show a downward trend. In order to overcome this, the companies need to let policy and innovation take over the industry instead of allowing capital to become the most solid pillar beneath it. Rather than more and more small companies entering the field of children's programming, we hope to see industry giants continue to make efforts to open up new areas and find new opportunities. Under competitive pressure from other industries and the changing of the market structure, the track is quickly becoming more exciting. 

Analysis EO
Analysis · 2
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Analysis EO
Jan 28, 2020 06:56 pm ·

Why is Codemao Favored by The Capital?

Codemao was founded less than six years ago, since which time the company has received 10 rounds of financing, reaching around CNY 1 billion. The pattern of funding events for this subsector of the education market is continuing. According to the disclosed information, Codemao (编程猫), Subject Code (和码编程) and PipaCoding (核桃编程) each won a deal worth over 100 million RMB respectively last year.  In a broader context, as startups in coding education have been paid particular attention by investors, and as competition is getting increasingly competitive, enterprises winning multiple large investment deals are standing out as having the greatest potential to grow into industry leaders.  In November Codemao (编程猫) announced that it had raised its Series C round of financing, worth CNY 400 million. The founder has revealed that the number of Codemao's students has reached 31.47 million. In June 2019, the monthly income totaled CNY 61.22 million; income in the third quarter of 2019 went beyond CNY 200 million. Behind such high-profile performance, what are the forces driving the rapid development of this likely unicorn-to-be? Regarding this round, Li Tianchi (李天驰), the Founder and CEO of Codemao, said: “After this round, we hope to increase investment in products and continue to upgrade the teaching system. The Octopus system is a crucial step to improve efficiency.” Backed by strong investors such as Hillhouse Capital (高瓴资本), Saif Partners (赛富基金) and Everbright (光大控股), Codemao is already ahead of many programming education institutions. The question is, why does the company get such favor from the capital market?  The company believes that technology is its core competitiveness. It has a research and development team full of graduates from top universities such as of Tsinghua and Peking University, and the other members from famous overseas schools/universities with relevant educational experience. A strong R&D team is the foundation for Codemao to quickly gain a foothold. The core product of Codemao is positioned at the front end, supporting a 9-level teaching system, using a graphical programming language to guide students to learn and create and stimulate user interest. If compared with competitors, Codemao is at the upstream of the industrial chain, with product specialty, a wider customer base for pricing and a position backed up by strong capital.  Another children’s coding company is Miaocode (妙小程), which was founded in 2017. With a total of nearly CNY 100 million in financing, it suspended its services around two months ago. The company recently announced that it had been acquired by 37 Interactive Entertainment (三七互娱). With the tightening of capital in 2019, children's programming followed the trend of children's English and children's thinking training, and ‘fell out of favor’ in the primary market. According to statistics from FirstInsight, in 2019 16 children's programming companies received investment, compared to 34 the year before. Out of the 34 programming institutions that received financing in 2018, 27 companies did not raise any round in 2019, with Miaocode being one of them. Judging from the number of investments and financing transaction events, the field of quality education claimed the top spot. There were 122 financing events throughout the year. On average, a quality education company received financing every 3 days. The children's programming firms WeCode, Codemao, CodePlanet (代码星球), Jikestar (极客晨星), Xigua Chuangke (西瓜创客), XiaoMaWang (小码王), and Walnut education (核桃编程) have been receiving continuous financing in 2018 through 2019. Among them, Codemao is the first one to have raised a C round. We cannot deny that funds are the foundation of such startups, but at the same time channels and businesses are very important components as well. Even if a project is one step behind in financing and relying on channels and businesses to explore sustainable business models, there is still a chance for the firm to survive.  In many cases, favor for a company comes through recognition of its business model and operating channels. After reviewing quite a few children's programming firms that were financed in 2018 and 2019, we found that Codemao first tried to adopt a model of online teaching and offline school collaboration. In addition, with the maturity of its curriculum system and the promulgation of favorable policies related to programming, opening up the channels of public schools has gradually become an important plan. It is reported that Codemao has reached cooperation with more than 11500 schools and educational institutions across the country. Li Tianqi, the founder and CEO of the firm, told EqualOcean in an exclusive interview that he has his eyes on the Indian market and sees it as a huge potential arena for growth. Codemao’s product marketing model mainly uses online one-to-one marketing plus offline public-school cooperation, institutional affiliation, channel dealership and other relationship marketing, which greatly reduces marketing costs, all while using word of mouth marketing and other publicity methods to enlarge publicity effect. It is Codemao that has occupied its place as the leader of the sector and has caught the attention of all parties in the education industry. Their slogan says "educate the creators of the future" an showing their interest in shaping the next generation of digital creatives minds. We will have to wait and see if these words really mean something and the firm becomes a new industry giant.  From the perspective of capital, unlike online children's English, which is one of the most popular tracks, children's programming has not attracted investors such as the BAT companies, although Matrix Partners China and Sequoia Capital China have been quite active. In addition, K12 education giants New Oriental and TAL are also stepping up their positions in the sector. TAL wholly acquired CodeMonkey and has invested in AllDream. New Oriental has invested in Jikestar and Xigua Chuangke.  On the one hand, education investment has become more and more important in family expenditure, and on the other, the younger parent structure has brought about changes in education awareness, from academic achievements to the ability to communicate and critical thinking. As a rising track in the domestic education industry, children's programming has certainly been showing a lively profile in China since 2015.

Analysis EO
Analysis · 2
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Analysis EO
Jan 26, 2020 03:40 pm ·

Development Status of China’s STEAM Education

STEAM education includes five major elements: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics. Here we have an interdisciplinary education concept – specifically, STEAM starts with encouraging students to learn five types of knowledge, emphasizing that students should complete practical projects that are more relevant to their lives, so as to use, understand and further learn a diverse knowledge set during the course of the project.  At present, mainstream domestic STEAM education training service institutions mainly adopt robot education, covering programming, mechanics, mechanical structure, industrial design and other knowledge. This is one of the specific teaching methods of comprehensive STEAM education. China has made many explorations in the process of reforming its exam-oriented education in primary and secondary schools/institutions. In the early stages, the main focus on reform centered on “quality education.” In September 2015, the Ministry of Education issued the “Guidelines on Comprehensive and in-depth Promotion of STEAM Education.” This plan proposed to explore new education modes such as STEAM education and maker education so that students would have a strong sense of information and innovation.  Not only have related policies been implemented, but Beijing has also included open scientific practice activities in comprehensive quality evaluation, which have become an important reference for the entrance examination. In 2017, Zhejiang Province’s new college entrance examination plan included information technology, which includes programming in college entrance examination subjects. In the future, more provinces are expected to follow these measures.  On the one hand, continued policy support has led to a continued increase in awareness of STEAM education in primary and secondary schools. At the same time, the reform of the test-oriented education system is also intensifying, and some provinces and cities have incorporated it into teaching practice. For example, the Beijing Municipal Education Commission uses no less than 10% of the class hours of science subjects for open scientific practice activities to encourage and guide students out of the classroom.  Talking about the market, the middle class is expanding, the parent structure is getting younger; with its popularity increasing people are starting to understand the importance of STEAM education. On the one hand, with the expansion of the middle class, parents are willing and able to invest in education. On the other hand, the number of post-80s and post-90s parents is increasing, and the parent structure of the whole society has become younger. These parents pay more attention to the development of their children's communication skills and hands-on ability. The concept of traditional exam-oriented education centered on pure academic performance has been impacted by the increasing promotion of quality education. The concept of STEAM education has begun to gain popular support, prompting parents to increase investment in STEAM education products. Meanwhile, the penetration rate of the entire STEAM education training industry has begun to speed up.  According to Deloitte the market share of STEAM+K12 will reach 24% in 2020.  Investment and financing remain highly popular. In fact, in 2019 STEAM surpassed K12 and became the most popular education sector of the industry for investors. Compared with a 75% drop in K12 and a 70% drop in preschool education, STEAM remained relatively stable with a 25% drop. It can be seen that, despite the calmness of the industry, the STEAM education track has been least affected by the market, and there is huge potential in the future. It is worth noting that, in recent years, more and more products have used robots, 3D printing and other technologies to allow children to cultivate logical thinking and hands-on skills in gamified learning experiences.  The main target users of STEAM education are primary and secondary school students. In terms of market penetration, from the perspective of an industry survey data in 2018, the penetration rate of STEAM education and training in China was about 1.5%.  The composition of the STEAM education industry chain includes three links: equipment suppliers, course providers and users. Upstream of the industrial chain is the equipment suppliers that mainly provide teaching equipment required for STEAM teaching, including robots, toys and 3D printers. Then come the course providers, that is, various training service organizations, mainly through the independent research and development or introduction of related STEAM education courses. Finally, we find mainly the customer audience of STEAM education, including B-end customers, such as schools and related educational support institutions and C-end customers, covering all types of students from K12 to university.  China's education industry has been highly valued for its significant policies, consumers and capital, and both feared and admired for its expansion phase in terms of industrial-scale and market activity. According to an estimation by Deloitte in August 2018, China's education market will reach CNY 2.68 trillion by the end of 2018 with training organizations, K12 & STEAM education and private kindergartens being the three biggest segments. Last year, in May, EqualOcean compiled a list of the top 30 STEAM education companies in China. We believe that these enterprises represent the STEAM education status quo of the country.  STEAM education in China is mainly focused on programming. From the perspective of market development prospects, children’s programming education will gradually substitute the Mathematical Olympiad. In the intelligent internet era, due to the potential of programming education to the training and shaping of children’s thinking and communication abilities, the penetration of children’s programming will increase significantly. Looking back at 2019, the number of investment events in the education industry did decrease in the context of the capital winter affecting other markets. From the perspective of financing rounds, the decline in financing in the early stages was the steepest, and the number of rounds of financing in the middle and late stages was less affected. STEAM received attention, while traditional K12 education saw a downtrend. Also as the country continues to promote the development of quality educational content in the field of science and art, the market for expanding content education after class is on a roll, something which may continue in 2020.

Analysis EO
Analysis · 2
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Analysis EO
Aug 13, 2019 02:13 pm ·

Operating Modes of China's Programming Education Companies

In the first half of 2019 programming education companies led the number of financings by 12 in the quality education sector. Among which XiaoMa.Wang (小码王) completed a billion yuan B+ round of financing, Codemao (编程猫) completed a new round of financing as well, a few months ago Hetao (核桃编程) announced that it had completed CNY 120 million A+ round of financing. As the number of new-comers in the sector is increasing the competition will get fierce in the near future. But the sector is still in its early stages, and the operating model to survive in this early stage is very important. At present the operating models of thee children’s programming companies in the market include, online (recording and live broadcast), online+offline, offline etc. AllDream (傲梦) and Tongcheng Tongmei (童程童美) use the online+offline model, Sequoia backed Xigua Chuangke (西瓜创客) and Hetao (核桃编程) use the online model. We can see that different institutions have chosen different models to either lead or survive in the industry.  The new generation of parents are starting to understand the importance of programing. They do not want their children lagging behind in the race of technology. Companies like All dream, Editing and learning aka CodePKU (编玩边学) and Codemao use the online operation model.  Founded in March 2014, AllDream is one of the first players from mainland China to break into child programming circuit. At the beginning of the establishment, AllDream adopted the offline training model. However, due to insufficient education level and the high operating cost of the offline store, the company switched to a one-on-one programming in 2016 with the gradual maturity of the online model.  AllDream has raised five financings, of which B round of RMB 120 million financing is led by TAL and IDG Capital. The age of users is 6-18 years old. According to public information, the price of AllDream is CNY 130-160 per session. The frequency of class is one time per week, and the conversion course price is CNY 173-213 per hour, and the class time is 45 minutes. Editing and learning aka CodePKU (编玩边学) is mainly based on online (recording + live broadcast). According to Rhino data the company has also been financed five times. The enrollment age is 7-16 years old, and the frequency for the class is set to 2 times/week. The price is CNY 90/ day, of which the conversion price is CNY 120 / hour. Tongcheng Tongmei (童程童美) operation mode is online + offline. It is necessary to know that in the children's programming track, the operating modes of each company are different. Among them, Tongcheng Tongmei's offline business revenue accounted for 95%, and online business accounted for only 5%. Due to the relative subdivision of the programming track, offline customer acquisition costs are much lower than online. Most of the children's programming companies maintain the frequency of 1-2 times/week. Each class is of around 40 minutes to an hour. For longer courses, according to the course teacher, a short break is arranged in the middle of the course. In terms of price, it is closely related to the teaching method, ranging from CNY 36 per hour to CNY 200 per hour. Compared with the one-on-one online mode, Xigua Chuangke (西瓜创客) and Hetao (核桃编程) adopts the model of recording and broadcasting + real-time online Q&A, which focuses on small profits but quick turnover.  Art education, children's programming, and other fields have received much attention in terms of financing in the first half of 2019. As China continues to incorporate sports, art and other disciplines and comprehensive quality evaluation into performance evaluation standards, and the gradual opening of the after-school service market, 2019 Quality education will continue to attract investments in the second half of the year. Although the total amount of quality education has decreased, it is still a popular track as far as capital attention is concerned. According to the “Implementation Opinions on Regulating Online Training in Schools” “关于规范校外线上培训的实施意见” released by the Ministry of Education and six other departments, quality education is the government’s main support for encouraging development and is still in the policy dividend period. At present, there are more than 200 children's programming entrepreneurial projects and companies on the market. In the field of quality education, the number of outdoor education finances has grown and is set to become a new hot sector of the industry. At the same time, children’s programming education is still on top of the list for capitals, in which as mentioned above Codemao (编程猫), XiaoMa.Wang (小码王) and Hetao (核桃编程) received a large amount of financing of over CNY 100 million.  

Analysis EO
Analysis · 2
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Analysis EO
Jul 29, 2019 04:00 pm ·

Four Most Promising Sectors of the Education Industry

According to data compiled by EO Company as of June 15, 2019, 182 financing transactions took place in the education industry and the amount of financing fell to half as compared to the same period last year. The number of financing events reached 125. At a time when the capital market is tightening, there are still many education startups that are favored by capital, which shows that the education industry is still a very important area of concern.  In combination with policies, technological development, consumption upgrades, and other factors, what sectors of the education industry are most likely to catch the investor’s eye as we enter into the second half of 2019? EO Company (EqualOcean’s parent company) believes that these four sectors of the education industry have a promising future.  Policy-driven Vocational Education  In the 2019 Government Work Report, Premier Li Keqiang (李克强) of the State Council mentioned the need to speed up the development of modern vocational education. He said that China will reform and improve the methods for recruiting students for examinations in higher vocational colleges, expand the coverage of scholarships and grants, raise the standards of subsidies, and accelerate the interface between certificates of academic qualifications and certificates of vocational skills. In May, the State Council also issued the "Occupational Skills Enhancement Action Plan (2019-2021)", which made corresponding plans for the improvement of vocational skills and supported social training institutions to carry out vocational training. “At the GIIS 2018 Education Industry Innovation Summit” hosted by EO Company, HUANG Huiwen (黄慧文), the vice president of Golden Education Market and Brand Center, mentioned that a trillion-dollar market has emerged mainly because of factors such as the national policies, misplacement of talents at both ends of supply and demand, and employment driven by pressure and industrial upgrading. According to the research done by EO Company and data available online, by 2020, China's vocational education market will reach CNY 1.2 trillion, accounting for 37% of the whole education market. In the fields of modern manufacturing, strategic emerging industries, and modern service industries, more than 70% of the newly added employees come from vocational education institutes. The number of financing related to vocational education increased in the first half of this year, and around 30 startups related to the same field managed to raise early financings. By the above facts and figures, the future of vocational education in China seems promising.  Quality Education is still the Hottest Track Although the total amount of quality education has decreased, it is still a popular track as far as capital attention is concerned. According to the “Implementation Opinions on Regulating Online Training in Schools” “关于规范校外线上培训的实施意见” released by the Ministry of Education and six other departments, quality education is the government’s main support for encouraging development and is still in the policy dividend period. In the field of quality education, the number of outdoor education finances has grown and is set to become a new hot sector of the industry. At the same time, children’s programming education is still on top of the list for capitals, in which Codemao (编程猫), XiaoMa.Wang (小码王) and Hetao (核桃编程) received a large amount of financing of over CNY 100 million. Highly Valued Family Education There have been sociologists who believe that the four most influential aspects of a child’s growth are: family, school, peers, and mass media. Family plays the most important role and China’s post-80-90’s parents are aware of how important family education is. Recently, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council also issued the “Opinions on Deepening Educational Reform and Comprehensively Improving the Quality of Compulsory Education.” It stated that the family education legislation should be accelerated and the responsibility of the parents or the guardians should be strengthened. This shows the importance of family education, and the state has begun to actively promote relevant legislation. Companies have already started to emerge in the family education sector such as Qinbaobao (亲宝宝) which raised USD 28.8 million last year from TAL, Dingdangpai (叮当派), Xiaobu (小步在家早教), Nicomama (年糕妈妈) and so on. In addition, some companies that focus on other education sectors are starting to have layouts in family education, Makeblock being one of those companies. China’s leading programming hardware firm for children recently released its product “programming box” targeting family education.  Teachers getting support from AI AI can bring great changes to education. Only by using AI to infuse and change the whole educational industry, and to change the way that human beings learn or acquire knowledge, can we truly start a new era of education.  WANG Qiang (王强), the co-founder of Zhen Fund, spoke about the impact of AI in the field of education at the Zhen Fund Education+AI Salon. It can be seen that WANG Qiang has given a great deal of expectation to the influence of AI in the field of education, In fact, many practitioners in the field of education have such expectations, so many of them heavy-handed AI, and put forward the concept of AI teachers, and relevant products. Squirrel AI’s partner MA Gang (马刚) mentioned in a speech that the idea and goal of the company are to provide all children around the world with a good teacher. This good teacher is Socrates + Da Vinci + Einstein also known as the AI super teacher. In addition, Netease (网易) recently introduced the "Three Masters" model, in which the role of AI teacher is to complete complicated and trivial daily tasks through AI technology and to take on a lot of repetitive teaching tasks. There are other firms such as Liulishuo (流利说), Putao ABC (葡萄智学), Toutiao (今日头条) and other related companies trying to solve the problem of the scarcity of high-quality foreign teachers in children's English learning sector. Although the concept of AI has passed, the application of AI in the field of education has been paid attention to and favored by many people.

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Analysis · 2
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Analysis EO
Jun 28, 2019 10:30 am ·

Codemao, a Real Hardcore Player of Programming Education for Kids

Compared with other K12 areas, programming isn’t widely recognized by Chinese parents, except for some top-tier cities like Beijing and Shanghai. But as the Chinese government has been emphasizing the need for developing programming education for children during the past few years, this sector becomes more and more dynamic. Among numerous players in this field, Codemao (编程猫), a technology-driven startup founded in 2015, is rising above the others. During 2015, the industry is still groping its way. Several companies like Alldream(傲梦) set up around that time mainly started from offline classes, but they faced many problems such as high operating costs of offline institutions, the doubt of parents and so on. Codemao has chosen another way. It decided from the very beginning to develop its own programming language after recognizing the deficiencies of Scratch - the visual programming language developed by the MIT Media Lab. Scratch is until now the most commonly used language in programming education for children, though it is limited on PC. Finally, Codemao released its visual programming application Nemo and visual programming language Kitten in May 2018. With these two powerful tools, programs can be written on mobile phones. Just in the same month, the company closed its Series C round of funding led by CMB International (招银国际), followed by the Beijing News (新京报), Landscape Venture Capital (山水创投), Green Pine Capital Partners (松禾资本) with an amount of CNY 300 million. According to Li Tianchi (李天驰), the founder of Codemao, these two achievements are truly “the future of programming education for children”. Apart from Nemo and Kitten, Codemao has also constructed a comprehensive network of programming education. It has built an online community for children as well as one for teachers, employing the UGC (User-generated Content) to attach customers to its product. Also, the company has designed several games or game-like learning applications to make children practice in an interesting way. Besides, Codemao started first its toB business rather than toC. It provides online courses and hardware services both to private programming training institutions and public schools. According to the company, it cooperates with more than 7000 institutions and schools at present. Private institutions constitute its major source of revenues while public schools can enjoy free services in exchange for data. With the huge amounts of data accumulated this way, Codemao can keep training its AI teacher, whose image is an old cat named Maolaozu (猫老祖), to a very high level. Thus, when Codemao entered the toC market, it could avoid a lot of expenses on the recruitment, payment, and management of teachers. However, like all the other online education platforms, the high CAC remains the sword of Damocles over their heads. Even listed companies like New Oriental (新东方) have such worries as well. LI Tianchi said prudently that the company will probably attain the balance between revenue and expenses in 2019, and that their CAC is merely 30 - 40% of their competitors. Owing to its toB business, Codemao benefits from a widely acknowledged reputation and a relatively stable market share, which guarantees it a healthy expansion mode. As the company has announced, at the end of 2018, Codemao has 3 million domestic toB users and hundreds of thousands of toC users. So far, Codemao has raised nearly CNY 600 million in 7 funding rounds. On January 25 of this year, it closed its strategic round of funding with an amount of at least CNY 100 million. As the only one who has arrived at the strategic funding round in this sector, the company aims high. Early in this year, Zhang Wei (张炜), the CFO of Codemao, has announced that their plan is to go public within 2 years. For the time being, the industry of programming education for children isn’t mature enough. In the domestic market, platforms either adopt the learning standards of the US, either cooperate with overseas institutions and introducing their standards, leading to the disorder of the sector. Additionally, programming isn’t an inelastic demand until now, which results in difficulties in expanding. Besides, teacher resources is a rather severe problem. Facing competitors like IT companies, programming education isn’t very attractive for talents, not to mention the necessity of teaching experience.   Now that leaders of K12 education like Xueersi (学而思) have also entered the industry, it will be vital for startups to preserve talents and technology advantage, otherwise, they could be easily devoured. Therefore, the exploration of Codemao on AI teacher training is a move with foresight.

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Analysis · 2
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Analysis EO
May 18, 2019 08:10 pm ·

'Virtual Coding' Codemao's Next Big Step

The education industry in China is developing rapidly. Companies are constantly adapting to the rapid change in technology. Coding education especially in the past few years has become one of most (if not the most) important components of China’s education industry.  It has been backed by the government and well known investors.In the past few years the Ministry of Education has issued various policies to promote coding education. From launching information literacy assessment of primary and secondary school students to promoting the elaboration of relevant artificial intelligence courses. From a global perspective, almost every developed country is stressing children's programming education, which might explain why China is accelerating the development of its programming education at home. In the first quarter of 2019 alone, coding companies targeting children received huge investments recieved huge investments. The company standing out amongst all was Codemao (编程猫), which completed its latest round of financing worth approximately CNY 600 million in January.  Codemao’s CEO and founder LI Tianchi (李天驰) attended the forum co-organized by EqualOcean and EO company (sister publication of EqualOcean). At the “GIIS2019 China Education Industry Innovation Summit,” LI talked about his company and future plans. After delivering his keynote speech, he sat down with ZHANG Fan (张帆) and Qasim Khan of EqualOcean to share his thoughts in an exclusive interview. The Interview EqualOcean: Codemao is backed by strong investors and its latest valuation is about USD 1 billion. Does Codemao plan to raise more funds before going public and where is the company likely to be listed?    LI Tianchi: We are considering the Science and Technology Innovation board (STIB) although we do have NASDAQ as an option. I believe when the scale of growth starts to decrease that’s the right time for a company to go public. For us, the scale is still growing. In the past seven fiscal quarters we have had a growth rate of 200% in each quarter with an income of CNY 30 million. This growth will continue till the end of this year and after that it will either stop or fall and that’s when we will go public. The surest way  to get listed on the science and technology innovation board (STIB) is to have a yearly income of minimum CNY 300 million, so for us the target is to achieve that number. We think we will generate a revenue of CNY 700 million this year.  EqualOcean: As we speak about growth, could you detail the current number of employees, and the reason behind opening more offices in other cities? LI Tianchi: We currently have about 1600 employees in different cities of China. Most of the employees (around 1000) are in Shenzhen; there are another 300 in Wuhan, 200 in Beijing and the rest are in cities like Shanghai, and Chengdu etc. The reason behind our  expantion to other cities is very simple. We started off from Shenzhen and as the company grew, we realized we wanted our future employees to have strong educational background meaning they should be graduates of top universities. Shenzhen only has one or two top universities. Keeping this in mind, we made a decision to open an office in Wuhan. It worked, we started hiring more and more talents from top tier universities. So we decided to open offices in cities home to lots of good universities. EqualOcean: How have you divided all these employees in different departments? LI Tianchi: Around 300 employees are responsible for product design and development; 300 are working in the content development department; we have about 400 teachers for online tutoring, and approximately 300 in the sales department.  EqualOcean: Talking about business model, Codemao focused on 2B at an early stage and later spent on advertising to attract more consumers. Could you say something about this change of strategy?  LI Tianchi: Actually we switched our strategy back then. Income was not something we were aiming for at that time. We were more focused on increasing the number of consumers, and in order to achieve that we cooperated with a lot of schools. As time went by, we realized that we were getting into a “bad circle,” on one hand the number of consumers was increasing but on the other hand we were not making any income. The more numbers we got, the more resources we spent and the product wasn’t even getting better because we spent more resources on marketing and business development. After this we decided to switch to a “correct circle.” So in 2018 we found another way to generate income and that was to lure paying customers, customers who’d pay thousands of yuan. That is actually what companies like VIPKID, and VIP Pelian do; they advertise through Wechat, Tik Tok and so on. They make customers pay through their mobile phones and ask teachers to serve them and this is a cycle thrrough which you can increase your income. The only problem is that, for VIPKID, their services include one on one online tutoring where the price you pay is high, your income grows but the profit does not. To tackle this problem we introduced the AI assistant teacher “Octopus” which assists teachers in a class consisting of more than one student. EqualOcean: Customers are the core of every education company. Could you update us on the latest number of total customers as well as paying customers.  LI Tianchi: We have around 10 million users right now, out of which 20,000 are pay above CNY 3000. EqualOcean: What suggestions would you offer upcoming startups in this field? Is there any opportunity for them? LI Tianchi: Yes off course, not only in China but also all over the world. I am actually very interested in India because of its huge young population. Even in China I think there are still a lot of chances for such companies. In this era, through online education a company can expand at a very fast rate. As for offline, China has 350,000 schools and we have only cooperated with around 10,000 of them. This shows that there is opportunity for sure. EqualOcean: So is cooperation with schools still part of Codemao’s strategy? LI Tianchi: Off course. I think the easiest way to obtain users in China is through school. It is a very cheap and efficient way. In China if you want the parents to know about a subject, you have to use the examinations held by schools. We’ve held seven big examination with the help of Ministry of Education. EqualOcean: So there are two models, 2B2C and 2C, how do you divide your focus in percentage terms, regarding these two models? LI Tianchi: I think it’s an ongoing progress. In the first few years we focused 100% on 2C and then slowly started to shift towards 2C2B. By the end of this year we will have 40% of our focus on 2B2C and ultimately we want to focus 80% on 2B2C and 20% on 2C. This is because we are looking for long-term cooperation and we can achieve that only by cooperating with schools. EqualOcean: At the conference you talked about iteration of your products. Is the product upgrade a result of consumer experience? Could you tell us experience where you made mistake regarding the product upgrade. LI Tianchi: I can give you a very recent example. We were working on a virtual block which can be switched to java or python. The student can use this block to open a phone or a tablet camera and take pictures. Initially I thought we did a great job. We asked you to use in first class and the response was terrible. When we started this class the retention rate was 15% and it fell to 2%, which in fact was a big failure. In such cases the numbers tell us everything. Though I always insist that a good product manager should test out as many product upgrades as he can. Relying just on an AB test is not what a confident product manager does. For sure AB test is necessary but for a small start up the resources are very limited and AB test costs a lot. EqualOcean: Some of the parents still think coding at an early age is a waste of time. Does coding really teach children anything or is it just for developing their interest? LI Tianchi: I think it is neither. Just as I said at the conference, the most important thing for us is to work on and improve children’s critical thinking. It is the way how we solve problems. For instance, in real life when you face a problem you think about finding a solution, same goes for the digital world. We teach them the way of thinking to solve a problem through coding in a digital world. EqualOcean: There is no denying that you are immensely talented but at the same time you are very young. Do you encounter any problems or difficulties managing such a huge company? LI Tianchi: Well, all the time. We encounter difficulties almost every day. Managing employees proves time and again a challenge for me since the number is always growing. We also faced problems like losing all our laptops and electronic devices to a typhoon in Shenzhen which flooded our office. So yes problems are always there.  EqualOcean: Does Codemao have a company culture? If yes, could you tell us about it?  LI Tianqi: Yes off course we do. We call it “no fun, go die.” That’s because we want children to enjoy education and have fun while learning. If the child enjoys, he learns; it is as simple as that. EqualOcean: As a CEO and founder of a company you must be quite busy. How do you manage your time? LI Tianchi: I dedicate most of my time to work. I use 80% of my time on something I think is the most important. This January I made adjustments in our sales department because I need to scale up to dominate the market and that was the most important thing for me. We had two other companies with the same scale of income and my target was to overtake them within two months and with the adjustments to and the focus on our sales we achieved that gaol. The most important thing for me over next tww months is how to recruit more and more teachers and help them create better content.  EqualOcean: This is the second time you have started a company. What is your motivation behind your entrepreneurial endeavor? LI Tianchi: Actually this is the third time, or he first time officially. The first and second time I was still a student studying in UCLA and in Paris. The motivation behind all this is very interesting. I started learning how to code when I was eight, I had a younger brother who was ten years old. I always looked at him and thought to myself that maybe I could contribute to his education in one way or another. The second reason is when I attended a summit in Dublin, Ireland, I saw students of CoderDojo, aged eight to 10 using iOS, Swift, object C to develop iOS apps with ease. That ignited a spark inside me and right after two months I founded Codemao.  EqualOcean: You also have a website for the overseas market “Code.game.” How is it doing and how much revenue does is generate? LI Tianchi: It works very well in the Southeast Asian markets. The strategy for now is not to focus on income. We still have huge potential in the Chinese market so we won’t venture abroad quickly. The goal we want to achieve through Code.game is to aquire a maximum number of users. EqualOcean: What is the most important thing for Codemao in 2019 and 2020? LI Tianchi: The most important thing for this year is to become the leading player of the coding sector in terms of income. As for 2020, our expected income growth will not be as rapid as now. Instead, we will focus more on efficiency. Right now we have a output/input ratio of 1 to 2, and we want to take this ratio to 1 to 4 by 2020.   EqualOcean: Now as we know about your short-term plans for the next few years, we would like to know what is the next big step for Codemao? LI Tianchi: Well, our aim is to teach coding to billions of children around the world and build a very strong community. We are developing the latest programming tool which is the virtual programing language. I think in the longrun we can build the most popular virtual programming language. We believe Codemao language (kitten language) is like Microsoft Windows 95 while java and python are like docks based on command line. We want to make coding a very easy language to learn. We firmly believe that every child will become a coder with this kind of help in the near future. 

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Analysis EO
May 16, 2019 02:20 pm ·

EO Company Releases List of Top 30 China Education Innovation Enterprises

ZHANG Fan (张帆) , vice president of EO company and co-founder of EqualOcean – the sister publication of iyiou.com – released the list of "Top 30 China Education innovation enterprises" compiled by iyou.com on May 15, 2019 at the Grand Millennium Beijing Hotel. The summit was held under the auspices of iyiou.com with the theme of "GIIS2019 China Education Industry Innovation Summit." It saw an attendance of 1,000 and consisted of 16 keynote speeches and 2 roundtable forums. Based on the theme of "New Innovation," the summit features the agenda to analyze future trends and seeks to better integrate/align the aspects of policy, idea, science, technology and capital in education industry. Members from representative companies, investors, scholars and officials working in fields including K12, STEAM education, early childhood education and vocational training were present among the attendees. They shared their experience, thoughts and suggestions regarding the industry. In light of the market situation, the list highlighted six major trends in early childhood education, STEAM education, K12, foreign language training, vocational training and education service provision. The list also selected five innovative and representative companies for each of the six trends. They are as follows: EO Education evaluated enterprises on the following five dimensions: • New developments in the past year, innovations in technology, product iteration, business model development and so on.  • Growth rate in all dimensions (from the time of its establishment until now), such as the number of employees, user growth rate, performance growth rate, revenue growth and so on. • Brand influence in the form of Baidu search index, WeChat search index and other media dimensions for grading. • Number of financing rounds. Basically Series A round of financing and above plus the amount of financing, and investors. • Founders' backgrounds. Recognized by the industry, with ability to lead industry development, professional background (Internet+Education), educational background and so on Importance of the five dimensions mentioned above is indicated by percentage: 35% for new developments, 30% for growth rate, 20% for brand influence, 10% for financing and 5% for the founders' backgrounds. Iyiou.com has compiled this list over the course of two months by taking into account organization applications, multi-dimensional examinations, expert ratings and assessments and various other criteria.. It was decided at the summit that innovation can drive the development of the industry, from "Internet+ Education" to "AI+ Education." Technology innovation is constantly challenging the traditional teaching methods, promoting more even distribution of educational resources and improving the personalization of education resources. Through innovation can we continue to identify and solve educational problems, promote positive development of education and help education keep up with the pace of social changes in the world. Whenever new technologies leave their mark on the industry, we can see that most leading education institutions and investors would pounce at the opportunity. This shows educational enterprises' thirst, said Fred Zhang. He added that the change that technology brings to education is only one aspect of educational innovation. Innovation is one of the core competencies of educational institutions of this era. It is not a chase of some quick bucks, but a bet on the future, namely, on the next decade. China’s education industry has long been a favorite for capital investment. Companies with viable business models, stable cash flows and strong margins generated by tech-powered, high valued-added new products have turned the industry into a magnet for the capital market. Since 2014, education companies have been on the receiving end of investments to the tune of hundreds of billions. As far as the number of deals is concerned, STEAM education, vocational education and early childhood education were the top three recipients of funding in the first six months of 2018.

Analysis EO
Analysis · 2
Analysis EO
May 2, 2019 04:48 pm ·

China's 30 Leading STEAM Education Enterprises

The so-called STEAM education is actually an abbreviation of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. It has been widely praised by the education community for breaking the boundaries of disciplines and exercising the overall quality of students. STEAM education support students in understanding the world in a disciplined way. Create a world in the form of comprehensive innovation and develop their innovative ability to solve problems. Specifically, STEAM education begins with encouraging students to learn these five types of knowledge, emphasizing that students can complete practical projects that are more relevant to their own lives, so as to apply, understand, and further learn various subject knowledge in the process of the project. At present, the mainstream STEAM education and training service institutions in China mainly adopt robot education, covering the knowledge of programming, mechanics, mechanical structure and industrial design. China's education industry has been highly valued for its significance policies, consumers and capital and under its expansion phase in terms of industrial scale and market activity. According to estimation by Deloitte's in August 2018, China's education market will reach CNY 2.68 trillion by the end of 2018 with training organizations, K12 & STEAM education, and private kindergartens being the three biggest segments. The total scale of private education is expected to reach CNY 3.36 trillion by 2020 and close to CNY 5 trillion by 2025 with a CAGR of 10.8%. EqualOcean has compiled a list of top 30 STEAM education companies in China. These enterprises represent the STEAM education industry of the country.  STEAM education in China is mainly focused on programming. From the perspective of market development prospect, children’s programming education will gradually substitute Mathematical Olympiad. In the intelligent Internet era, due to the prospectiveness of programming education to the training and shaping of children’s thinking and communication abilities, the penetration of children’s programming will increase significantly with the push by young parents born in the 1980s and 1990s. In 2018 there were over 160 children’s programming companies in China. 50 companies disclosed their financing situations. Children’s programming will soon enter into the explosive growth stage in China. The unicorn companies valued at CNY 10 billion are very likely to be born in the next five years. State Policies one of the driving force of STEAM education It is unable to weigh how the Ministry of Education of the PRC’s policy published in 2015 that targeting at integrating STEAM education into K12 liberal education is influential to the market, but it is undeniable that K12 STEAM education institutes founded in groups in 2015. In 2017, the State of Council of the PRC published the announcement “China issues a guideline on artificial intelligence development” and encourages computer science education. The coding education market has been booming ever since while K12 STEAM education industry is developing with speed. Last month, the Ministry of Education issued the "2019 Education Information Networking Security". The main points were the launching of information literacy assessment of primary and secondary school students and promoting the elaboration of relevant artificial intelligence courses, gradually promoting programming education. This caused great effects on society. Places like Chongqing immediately issued educational notices to strengthen the programming of primary and secondary schools. Private companies noticed this and believe that the industry has a promising future. China has made a lot of explorations in the reform process of primary and secondary exam-oriented education. In September 2015, the Ministry of Education issued the “Guiding Opinions on the comprehensive in-depth promotion of the STEAM education” during the 13th Five-Year Plan. In 2017, the Zhejiang New College Entrance Examination Program has incorporated information technology (including programming) into the college entrance examination. It is expected that more provinces will incorporate information technology into the college entrance examination subjects in the future. Education systems and policies are the core elements of STEAM's education industry development, and STEAM education is currently at the forefront of policy support. STEAM education market Middle-class income in China is increasing, with younger parents who are aware of the importance of STEAM education. The concept of traditional test-oriented education on simple academic achievement has been affected by the increasing promotion of STEAM education. People have started to understand the concept of STEAM education, and parents are investing more than ever in STEAM education products. The penetration rate of the entire STEAM education and training industry is climbing up. According to an article written by Iyiou in 2018, if the penetration rate can reach 4%, STEAM education will have a market size of about CNY 52 billion. At the beginning of 2017, the market size of STEAM education was only CNY 9.6 billion. K12 education has developed for a long time in China and has formed a certain scale. With the development of AI technology, more innovative technologies will penetrate into the online education field. Applications such as big data and cloud computing can better address the needs of educated people and provide refined teaching solutions. According to data released by Meituan Dianping (美团点评) Education Department, from 10 April 2018 to 9 April 2019, the courses that users bought most were: Music, Fine Arts, Foreign Languages, Vocational Technology, and K12 STEAM. STEAM has become a new hot spot in education. In 2017, the market space for STEAM education and training was about 22 billion with Primary and secondary school students as the main learners of STEAM education. According to iResearch's report, the current market for children's programming education industry, which comes under STEAM, is between 3 billion and 4 billion. It is still not enough for the 60 billion scales of the English training industry for young children. Nationally, the penetration rate of the children's programming industry is only about 1.5%. The US Department of Education reports that the number of STEM/STEAM jobs in the United States will grow by 14% from 2010 to 2020, growth that the BLS terns as “much faster “ than the national average of 5-8 % across all job sectors. Computer programming and IT jobs top the list of the hardest to fill jobs, according to a study done by McKinsey in 2016. Despite this, the most popular college majors are not STEAM related. China needs to learn from STEAM education in order to improve the literacy of its citizens. With the integration of Chinese culture, STEAM education could help China reform and transform the dilemma regarding its innovative talents. In an effort to integrate STEAM education with Chinese culture, many Chinese scholars have conducted a lot of research and exploration. In 2019, many children's programming companies raised funds. The children's programming brand, Xiaomawang (小码王) completed a CNY 100 million B+ round of financing, and the children's programming platform, Codemao (编程猫) completed a new round of financing worth approximately CNY 600 million. Pipa coding (核桃编程) also officially announced that it completed CNY 120 million of A+ round financing a few months ago. At present, there are more than 200 children's programming entrepreneurial projects and companies on the market. According to an estimation by Deloitte (2018), in 2020 STEAM education will have a 24% share in the education market of China, followed by sectors like personal training and private kindergarten. As mentioned above in this article, the total scale of private education is expected to reach CNY 3.36 trillion by 2020 and close to CNY 5 trillion by 2025 with a CAGR of 10.8% with STEAM education being one of the biggest sectors. With parents nowadays paying more and more attention to the children's overall quality, and the Ministry of education encouraging steam education, which is slowly moving into schools as part of the school curriculum, the development of STEAM education in China will hasten in the near future.  Programming education which seems to be the main sector STEAM education in China, for now, is an ever-growing sector. Many developed countries have already added coding as a compulsory course in schools, colleges, and universities. China still lags behind but is at least on its way. The Problem in the industry other than the trust of parents has been the lack of talents. More and more changes at the higher education level by the ministry of education will play an important role in producing such talent.

Analysis EO
Analysis · 2
Analysis EO
Apr 29, 2019 02:19 pm ·

Is Coding as Important as Learning English for Children in China?

Tianchi LI the founder of China's leading children's coding company, Codemao, talks about the Coding industry in an interview with iAsk Media recently.  He started off with talking about his mentors, like many other entrepreneurs, his inspiration has been Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. People often talk about how he "abandoned his degree and started a business in China", but he doesn't consider himself a drop out or someone who gave up his studies, instead He said: "I think it's just matter of timing. I am not always proud of this. At that time, I had finished writing my thesis and learning the coursework. I didn't really need a paper diploma to prove myself. I think I could make the choice." He paid his tribute to his role models with actions. Codemao has raised more than USD 65 million in total. As reported earlier by EqualOcean  LI Tianchi (李天驰) told iyiou.com that since 2017Q4, Codemao had been doubling revenue every quarter. Dated the end of 2018, Codemao’ realized revenue was 10 times the number in 2017 and made a single-day revenue record of tens of millions. Codemao a company that focuses on giving children programming lessons was founded as early as 2015. The time when the majority of Chinese parents had very little to no idea about coding, that too for children. The industry was in its early stages and the future didn’t seem very promising. Codemao took the initiative and set off on the journey of cultivating the programming mentality in Chinese children. Some parents even thought of it as a “trap” and did not to spend extra money on something they didn’t know about. Debates arose throughout the country about the industry. The conflicts between the degree of acceptance of programming for children and the professionalism of graphical programming were difficult to reconcile, along with constant doubts from the public. On this Tianchi LI said, "From the social point of view, I can understand their concerns, since it takes time for everyone to accept it. However, I believe that programming is essentially a social need and a backward demand for education.” Just a few years after, the government stepped in and started to promote the industry and a number of policies released. The development of technology started to grow at an even more accelerated pace. The era of artificial intelligence started to take shape and the internet of Things became increasingly known by parents. The impression of the coding education changed in the eyes of parents and soon a huge amount of capital started to flow into the industry with new players emerging. The current market size is of around CNY 3 to 4 billion with a customer base of around 15.5 million. According to iResearch the size is expected to grow to CNY 30 billion in the next 5 years. When asked about the changes the children might experience through coding, Li replied, “I think no matter whether it's programming, computing mentality, or the skill to grasp information, the key is for them to see a bigger a world. At such an age, they have the possibility to do a lot of things. I believe that it's breaking through their previous life circle and boundaries.”  He believes information technology will change the lives of people, hence the focus on programming education. He said just like the payment methods changed from cash to pay by scanning QR codes through Wechat or Alipay. In the future, AI will actually bring greater changes to our lives and work. During this process, I believe that programming will become a new essential quality. According to LI, early in the 1990s or 1980s, if you had English speaking/writing/listening skills, you might have different resources and opportunities in an economically globalized society. Therefore, in the future AI society, grasping the language between people and the machine is actually a very significant resource. LI further talked about that the model is similar to the English training industry with three steps: firstly economic globalization, secondly global talent needs, and thirdly fundamental disciplines. He said the coding industry right now is in the first phase, and will immediately move on to the second phase, followed by the third phase.  Speaking of his experience learning programming from the age of 8, he said he was fortunate enough to be exposed to programming in an age when everyone was only concerned with learning foreign languages. He thanked his parents for their education and respect. He believes in education and he has the ambition to bring changes to future children. Programming education is an ever-growing sector of the education industry. Many developed counties have already added coding as a compulsory course in schools, colleges, and universities. China still lags behind but is at least on its way. The Problem in the industry other than the trust of parents has been the lack of talents. More and more changes at the higher education level by the ministry of education will play an important role in producing such talent.  In 2018, there have been more than 160 children's programming companies, of which about 50 have been publicly financed. As mentioned above well-known investment institutes have been active in the industry.

Analysis EO
Analysis · 2
Analysis EO
Apr 25, 2019 07:56 pm ·

The Trend of STEAM in China’s Education Industry 

China's education industry has been highly valued for its significance policies, consumers and capital and under its expansion phase in terms of industrial scale and market activity. According to estimation by Deloitte's in August 2018, China's education market will reach CNY 2.68 trillion by the end of 2018 with training organizations, K12 & STEAM education, and private kindergartens being the three biggest segments. The total scale of private education is expected to reach CNY 3.36 trillion by 2020 and close to CNY 5 trillion by 2025 with a CAGR of 10.8%. In recent years, China has introduced the STEAM concept to cultivate and integrate innovative talents and has gradually become a fashion. The survey data shows that STEAM education has a more efficient performance in terms of creativity and participation in literacy. K12 education has developed for a long time in China and has formed a certain scale. With the development of AI technology, more innovative technologies will penetrate into the online education field. Applications such as big data and cloud computing can better address the needs of educated people and provide refined teaching solutions. In recent years, some segmentation circuits have been hatched in children's education, which is not only favored by parents but also attracts the large-scale entry of capital. Among them, STEAM has become a popular choice. As early as 2016, the Core Quality of Chinese Students Development put forward the idea of gaokao reform. The University entrance exam will pay more and more attention to the overall skills of students, not just the scores. According to data released by Meituan Dianping (美团点评) Education Department, from 10 April 2018 to 9 April 2019, the courses that users bought most were: Music, Fine Arts, Foreign Languages, Vocational Technology, and K12 STEAM. STEAM has become a new hot spot in education. Educational Giants promoting STEAM  TAL (好未来) As early as 2012, TAL education laid out its study plan which included STEAM, board games, etc. TAL’s STEAM sector currently includes companies such as FirstLeap, focusing on mathematics, science and English, Mobby, Iqidao, Xueersi, which teaching programming to children, and ABCtime. In the past, it has invested in STEAM education institutes such as Drosophilia academy, 61draw, a fine arts institute and Aomeng another institute which focuses on coding lessons for children. New Oriental (新东方)   As another giant in the education industry of China, New Oriental also established a brand of quality education and a development strategy for 3 to 12 years old back in in 2015. It has since cooperated with other institutes promoting STEAM education. Baixuehui, a brand established by New Oriental for the growth of STEAM education, has laid out 5 education complexes in Beijing according to relevant reports. VIPKID Although VIPKID focuses on English teaching but has cooperated with SSAT (a standardized verbal, mathematics and reading skills test used by admission officers to access the abilities of students seeking to enroll in an independent school). Zhangmen (掌门一对一) Al the end of last year this K12 focused 1 on 1 teaching mastermind also declared itself STEAM oriented Technology Company and released a sub-brand of STEAM oriented education. In terms of investment, many well-known investment institutions such as Zhen fund, Sequoia Capital, BlueRun Ventures, etc. are very active in the field of STEAM education. Many startups related to STEAM education have received huge investments.  STEAM previously known as STEM without the integration of arts stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics, has a relatively mature development system in many countries. The USA has launched the “Hour of code” campaign to show that anybody can learn the basics of coding. With a slogan of “Do not just play on your phone, program it.” The development of the AI field, the popularity of the programming industry, the shortage of social human resources, and other multiple factors have become the main driving force for the cultivation of technically advanced talents. One of the distinguishing features of STEAM education from traditional education is the application of high technology. Different from the traditional offline classes, parents in first and second-tier cities prefer to choose such an education.  At present, the more popular open source programming tool Scratch and the first domestic children's programming language Kitten have become new toys for many children. With the development of mobile internet, programming learning is not limited to the PC, but now can be done on mobile phones, tablets, etc. For example, Lego's “WeDo” suite has further developed robotics courses. As Compared with Traditional Education, STEAM pays more attention to children's thinking education and quality education, which can arouse children's learning curiosity and sense of achievement from more levels, stimulate children's potentialities in science education and cultivate their thinking ability. Children's training usually consists of three sections: content, teachers, and community. What the enterprise ultimately delivers to the user is a complete set of products and service programs. At present, the industry has not been formed completely, and various companies are also in the stage of polishing products and enriching customer experience. The official market battle has not yet officially begun. STEAM is still in the early stage of development in China, and the industry scale is close to CNY 10 billion. The children's programming market is about CNY 3 to 4 billion with a user scale of 15.5 million, and a penetration rate of about 1.5%. iResearch predicts that the market for children's programming will grow to CNY 30 billion in the next five years, achieving a tenfold increase. As a growing sector of China’s education industry STEAM education is expected to exceed the scale of the CNY 100 billion markets in the future. The shortage of high-end talents has promoted the rapid penetration of STEAM education Taking the information technology industry as an example, the total amount of talent resources in the information industry in China has reached 10.5 million. Among them, the electronic information industry is 9.13 million and the telecommunications industry is 1.37 million. There are 790 employees in the information technology industry per 100,000 population. According to international experience, a reasonable software talent structure should be a pyramid shape with blue-collar technicians at the base, software engineers in the middle and high-end software structural analyst on the top and a ratio of 6:3:1. The proportion of talent structure in China's IT industry is about 7.2:2.4:0.4. The proportion of middle and low-level talents is too large. The high-end talents are still short, which limits the expansion of the industry and the overall level. In 2018, China's overall market size of artificial intelligence reached CNY 33 billion. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology predicts that by 2020, China's artificial intelligence will drive the related industries to exceed CNY 1 trillion. Some industry analysts believe that a personalized teaching model based on big data and artificial intelligence will become the most potential area for future education. In addition to policy orientation and talent demand, capital empowerment also provides good support for the development of the STEAM industry. The education giants follow the trend and actively expand their business scope. They have gathered a large number of high-quality education enterprises at home and abroad, and have laid out STEAM education from the early stage. In 2018, there have been more than 160 children's programming companies, of which about 50 have been publicly financed. As mentioned above well-known investment institutes have been active in the industry.  According to ITJUZI, there are currently over 200 children's programming startup projects and companies on the market as of 2018. Post 90’s parents have become the driving force of STEAM education Due to the relatively late start of domestic STEAM education, the audience is relatively young. The parents mainly post 80-90’s, and the opening of the second child policy has promoted the development of STEAM education from the other side. The education concept of parents in the new era is forward-looking and pays more attention to STEAM education. In China, there is a natural correlation between education level and consumption ability of the parents. Under the macro background of consumption upgrading, the current parents' willingness to invest in education has increased with the increase in income. Quality education is expected to usher in the consumption dividend period.  Nowadays, there are so many kinds of STEAM toys on the market. Many parents can't help cutting off their hands when they see the word "STEAM". They think they can cultivate their children's scientific thinking if they buy it back home. With the opening of the second-child policy, the growth of the population of the age-appropriate population has also promoted the development of children's science education to a certain extent. STEAM education, which is the comprehensive ability of children, will also usher in development opportunities. At present, there are fewer STEAM courses in the school, which are caused by several reasons, the professional teachers are not enough, and the traditional courses are saturated. Policies promoting STEAM education The in-depth implementation of STEAM education requires the participation of all social forces. Governments, enterprises, universities, research institutions, schools, and social groups all contribute from different perspectives to build a collaborative and innovative science education ecosystem. In the past two years, STEM education has been incorporated into the national strategic development policy. The 2016 National Science Literacy Action Plan Outline Implementation Plan (2016-2020), which is issued by the State Council, emphasizes that in the high school stage, it is necessary to encourage the exploration and development of scientific innovation and technical practice. In 2017, the Ministry of Education issued the Compulsory Education Elementary Science Curriculum Standards, advocating interdisciplinary learning methods, and suggested that teachers can try STEM education in teaching practice. In the compulsory education stage, there are strict regulations on investment in teaching and research and development. Relatively speaking, the process of promoting STEAM in schools (mainly public schools) is relatively slow, mainly driven by policies. At present, STEAM education is mainly based on off-campus education. More and more parents are beginning to realize the importance of STEAM education. With the offline education industry getting mature by each day, the systemization of off-campus training is gradually improving. The role of University/college entry examinations At the end of 2017, Zhejiang has clearly included the information technology discipline (including programming) into the examination subjects of the college entrance examination, followed by Beijing, Shandong and other major provinces and cities. Nanjing Education Bureau has also included programming in the scope of the University Entrance Examination. All of this indicates that the outbreak of the programming industry seems to be only a matter of time. According to reports, in the past year, at least 33 children's programming investment and financing events occurred, in which Codemao (编程猫) raised CNY 300 million in its C round of financing and CNY 120 million raised by Ao meng coding (奥梦编程) in its round B. There are still many problems in the industry that need to be solved urgently. Many restrictive development factors are still in the exploration stage. STEAM education may need to wait for a suitable opportunity.  Though familiar with the concept, parents in China have no idea what STEAM education exactly means. They are fully aware of the importance of comprehensive ability for their children, but living in a society of exam-oriented education, few parents can balance the exam-oriented education and STEAM education.  For STEAM education in China, the only role that society plays is public opinion. There is no linkage between the communities and enterprises as in other countries. At present in China, scenarios of STEAM education are only at school and at home. Children from lower-tier cities with their parents having less income have only one chance to make it big which is to pass the gaokao (university entrance exam) and get into the best universities. They would want to spend more time and energy to prepare for the courses related to gaokao. With parents nowadays paying more and more attention to the children's overall quality, and the Ministry of education encouraging steam education, which is slowly moving into schools as part of the school curriculum, the development of STEAM education in China will hasten in the near future. 

Analysis EO
Analysis · 2
Analysis EO
Apr 22, 2019 04:01 pm ·

Opportunities Exist but Difficulties Remain in Children's Coding

Last month, the Ministry of Education issued the "2019 Education Information Networking Security". The main points were the launching of information literacy assessment of primary and secondary school students and promoting the elaboration of relevant artificial intelligence courses, gradually promoting programming education. This caused great effects on society. Places like Chongqing immediately issued educational notices to strengthen the programming of primary and secondary schools. Private companies noticed this and believe that the industry has a promising future.  In the global perspective, almost every developed country is stressing on children's programming education, which is a reasonable explanation of why China is accelerating the layout of programming education, and more clearly conveys that other countries already have programming courses as a compulsory part of children's education. These courses, on one hand, cultivate the student’s critical thinking ability, and on the other hand, the process of programming itself is a process of analyzing problems and solving them. In 2019, many children's programming companies raised funds. The children's programming brand, Xiaomawang (小码王) completed a CNY 100 million B+ round of financing, and the children's programming platform, Codemao (编程猫) completed a new round of financing worth approximately CNY 600 million. Pipa coding (核桃编程) also officially announced that it completed CNY 120 million of A+ round financing a few months ago. At present, there are more than 200 children's programming entrepreneurial projects and companies on the market. Capital betting on the children's programming sector is driven by the policies of the government. In July 2017, the State Council issued the "New Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan", encouraging the implementation of the National Intelligence Education Program, and set up artificial intelligence related courses in the primary and secondary schools to gradually promote programming education. The education department of Zhejiang and Chongqing as mentioned above has made programming as a required subject.  In the future, the impact of artificial intelligence will become greater with the years, and it will replace much human work. The support behind this is tens of thousands of talents. The emergence of future talents is in line with the existing quality education reform. Artificial intelligence is the trend of the times. In the future, all industries will be upgraded and transformed with artificial intelligence, and more industries and business models will come into existence.  Major Obstacles  However, the Coding sector has its limitations and currently, there are many problems. Compared with children's English learning market, the biggest problem is the lack of professional teachers. In 2016, there was a set of data that the average number of teachers engaged in computer teaching in each primary school in China was only 0.8%. Even the traditional computer education faculty is still far below the English-speaking staff. This means that the current children's programming education is still in a state of extensive development, without the formation of quantitative standards and high-quality teacher teaching standards, which also makes it difficult to obtain parental recognition at the level of teaching results. Even if one can recruit programmers, it is not the same as educators. Because professional-level programmers don't come to the children's programming industry, and if they do come, programmers can only write code to teach and it's completely different from teaching children. Some practitioners claim that most of the programmers in this industry are incompetent: they don't understand children's psychology, and they don't get along with each other, which leads to chaos in the industry. Parents in first- and second-tier cities have a preliminary understanding of children's programming, but the concept of children's programming in the third and fourth-tier cities is still relatively unpopular. The unified language of children's programming institutions is basically: AI is the trend of the times, learning programming early can cultivate children's program module awareness, concentration, learning strategies, logical thinking skills, etc., but under the pressure of the college entrance examination, parents prefer projects related to teaching within the system. The cost of programming hardware teaching aids for children is relatively high. For higher gross profit margins, many educational players choose to use less expensive software for teaching, which will lead to a significant reduction in teaching effectiveness. Children's programming has just emerged in China. At present, there is no established and recognized textbook system. There is no authoritative and unified evaluation system. Educational institutions have not done a good job in curriculum design. According to industry insiders, in China, many companies have prepared more than 20 class hours to sell, and in many cases, they are selling and developing R&D courses. They are typical market-driven content models, but they bring a lot of teaching failures. Are parents more anxious about their children's future English ability or programming skills? Of course, in the context of the future of talks about "artificial intelligence", learning programming to some extent is also suitable for parents. But the child's energy and time are limited, it needs parents to make choices. However, in the two cases, the tutoring of children's English and other subjects are more visualized to be more important and feasible. The teachers and teaching standards are more mature, and the children's English sector is the choice of more parents. Therefore, the outbreak of children's programming requires a market education in the parent group. It is necessary to “make high-awareness and high-loyalty parents” to spread word-of-mouth. Online education has developed for many years, but online programming is a new category that has emerged in the past two years. Although the industry is in its infancy, there has not been a clear situation in which head companies occupy most of the market. Its opportunity lies in the potential demand for education upgrades in first- and second-tier cities and the children's programming is precisely the potential demand in the context of education upgrade. Although the children's programming project has been developed abroad for many years, it is still a new track in China. Now, the mode of a large number of players in the online programming industry is generally rough. Despite all the above facts and reasons, with a total of CNY 782 million being raised by educational companies in 2018, coding training companies attracted 44.4% of total education investment deals last year, according to The Blue Paper of Education 2018.  Based on the current development of the children's programming market and related objective factors, we conclude that the direction of the entire market in the future will be divided into the following aspects: First: specialization, this differentiated market will concentrate resources on the exploration and cultivation of programming talents, and its role is to supplement the system of programming education. Second: socialization, the age of this differentiated market audience is relatively small, the purpose is to form a learning atmosphere of programming education in the society, and then supplement the professional programming education, including talents and resources.  

Analysis EO
Analysis · 2
Analysis EO
Apr 7, 2019 11:16 pm ·

MOE Shaping the Future of China With Major Adjustments in Undergraduate Programs

A few days ago, the Ministry of Education issued a notice announcing the results of the undergraduate professional filing and examination, also approving 2018 general higher education institutions, and confirmed he list of professional records, state-controlled layout specialty and additional specialties outside the catalogue.  The "Notice" requires that all local colleges and universities should take the economic and social development needs as the guide, reasonably control the enrollment scale, adjust and optimize the personnel training structure; based on the national standards of undergraduate professional teaching quality, continuously improve the professional connotation, highlight professional characteristics, strengthen professional Certification, to ensure the quality of personnel training, and to improve the economic and social development capabilities of education services. Let us have a look at; what changes has been made to your major this year, which major is the hot topic and what degrees or professions have been revoked.  Major additions to big data, artificial intelligence, etc. With the rapid development of information technology such as big data and artificial intelligence in recent years, major universities have opened related majors, hoping to train more talents in these areas. According to the statistics of Cingta, the newly added undergraduate majors are data science and big data technology. This time, a total of 196 colleges and universities have been added in the list 101 colleges and universities for robot engineering. In addition, intelligent science and technology, intelligent manufacturing engineering, network and new media, digital media art, preschool education, business English, big data management and applications are also very popular.     Among the newly approved majors, there are 35 cyberspace professions and 25 cyberspace security professions. Accounting, aviation service art and management, information security and other majors are also famous.  From the results of the records and examinations of undergraduate majors in ordinary colleges and universities in 2018, a total of 85 universities and colleges have added more than 5 majors with Beijing Sports University topping the list (10 majors added).  The revoked majors are also related to information technology.  The majors that have been revoked by major universities are also mainly information technology. Specifically, there are 17 majors in clothing and apparel design, 13 in education technology, 12 in information and computing science, and 11 in product design and information management. According to the data, the most professional schools cancelled this year are the Communication University of China and the Yangtze River College of Donghua University of Technology, each with 15 majors. China will open around 400 majors related to big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics in universities in 2019, China's Ministry of Education (MOE) announced. Another 612 new engineering research projects will also be implemented in universities. "AI and big data are newly established majors and will be taught in some directions like computer application technology, information and communication, control science and engineering," Fan Hailin, a deputy director of MOE's Department of Higher Education, told the Global Times in an interview. China has set the target becoming a major center for AI innovation and world leader in AI technology and applications by 2030, the Xinhua News Agency reported. Beijing Foreign Studies University and Shanghai International Studies University, China's  two leading language universities, have added 11 less commonly taught language majors including Kurdish, Maori, Tongan, Samoan and Comorian, and Uzbek major respectively to undergraduates in 2018. Most of them were languages of countries participating in the initiative. The ministry also vowed to continue promoting online courses (MOOC) in 2019. Specifically, MOE said it will help train at least 10,000 science teachers through the platform. Currently, the ministry has announced 1,291 MOOCs. The universities and colleges that opened online courses included top-notch Peking University and vocational schools like the Nanjing Institute of Industry Technology. China has built the world's largest higher education system. The number of undergraduate colleges has reached 1,245 and the total number of undergraduate students is 28.31 million. The gross enrollment rate of higher education has reached 48 percent, according to this conference held in Feb 2019. The effect of such policies on the coding education industry Many parents are already pushing their kids to this tech revolution. CGTN's Zheng Chunying reports. Spinning slowly to capture and create a 3D picture. Learning to build a robot that could complete complex tasks. Tongcheng & Tongmei, a private learning center in Beijing, offers coding classes for children aged 6 to 18. Education companies completed a total of 629 fundraising rounds last year, 167 fewer than in 2017, according to The Blue Paper of Education 2018. With a total of CNY 782 million (USD 116 million) raised, coding training companies attracted 44.4% of total education investment deals last year, the report found. The online coding training market will grow much more rapidly than the currently burgeoning online English language tutoring sector in the coming years, predicted Tang Liang, founder and CEO of VIPCODE, an online coding training startup. Government policies are a major driver of the sector's booming development, said market consultancy iResearch. Opportunities and challenges for children’s Coding education In the last decade, 29 countries have adopted mandatory K-12 Computer Science (CS) teaching. The curriculum is designed to make students comfortable with coding at an early age. Students getting coding lessons at a younger age will help them with learning it at university level.  Millions of children are learning key coding concepts while creating cool software programs they can share with friends and family. But the situation is quite different in China. With less than one percent of K-12 students studying programming currently, China is a laggard in all these areas and now wants to catch up. As interest shifts toward tech-related skills, private companies are already emerging to fill the demand for coding courses for children. The question is: in China, can the K-12 school system adapt to teach coding skills or will the private sector dominate as has been the case with English? Since 2014, over 100 companies have been formed to teach computer programming to kids including giants like Shenzhen's Codemao and Hangzhou's Ultrabear. In 2014, the UK was among the first countries to add coding to the compulsory curriculum for elementary and middle school students in 2014. In 2016, the U.S. government announced USD 4 billion in funding to promote coding education. As China hurries to formulate a strategy, there is still room for improvement. In China, coding is becoming the "new English", but unlike English, good coding teachers cost money. Currently, the programming industry suffers from a lack of qualified teachers. Experienced programmers might earn CNY 30,000 per month in first-tier cities, but most elementary school teachers not even make a third of that amount. Leading player in China’s coding industry  Recently, as reported by EqualOcean, Codemao was listed in the Industry-University Cooperation project, which is a hint towards the importance of Coding at higher levels by the ministry of education.   With the help of companies like Codemao, Universities and colleges will be able to better understand the method of teaching Coding and produce teachers who will be able to teach Coding to the younger generation.  Based in Shenzhen, the startup focuses on teaching coding to school children, and develops its own image-based coding systems to better visualize the process. It also works with Chinese schools and robotic education startups to provide coding lessons, where students are taught to make games or interactive videos using Codemao's coding languages. In 2017, the company raised USD 18 million in its series B round of financing led by Chinese investment firm Hillhouse Capital. According to a report by Deloitte, the investment in Chinese startups in STEM education has made a 15-fold increase from 2014 to 2017. More and more private-education providers are eyeing the market. China has been pushing innovation as part of its long-term goal to shift from low-cost manufacturing and become a knowledge-based economy that produces high-value-added goods in recent years. Aware of the significance of learning to code, in July 2017, China's State Council gave coding education a big boost when it issued a statement endorsing AI curriculum development in primary and secondary schools. Though for children in low-income households or less developed cities with limited access to computers, any such innovative class is a luxury. Hetao coding, launched in 2017, the startup provides online computer programming courses for children. This platform has enrolled hundreds of thousands of paid users all across China generating a monthly revenue of over CNY 15 million. Statistics show that over 80 registered companies currently offer computer programming lessons for children and most of these were founded in or after 2014. The rapid development of the coding education industry means these companies are attracting huge amounts of capital. Chinese universities and AI inventions. Chinese universities’ strong showing A new study by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Geneva, Switzerland, has documented “a massive recent surge” in artificial intelligence-based inventions, with China-based universities making a strong showing as top higher education and scientific research institutions in this field, which is generally dominated by United States and Japanese companies. Chinese organizations make up 17 of the top 20 academic players for AI patents and 10 of the top 20 in AI-related scientific publications.  Chinese organizations are particularly strong in the emerging technique of deep learning, with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) on top with more than 2,500 patent families and more than 20,000 scientific papers published on AI, the report said. Moreover, CAS has the largest deep learning portfolio, with 235 patent families. Song Hefa, deputy dean of the Intellectual Property School at CAS, said one of the major reasons for CAS’s success in AI patents has been “vigorously carrying out IP [intellectual property] training and information. Since 2008, 16,000 people have been trained and at the end of 2016, CAS had 1,891 people engaged in IP management, transfer and service.”  Overall, “Chinese organizations are consolidating their lead, with patent filings having grown on average by more than 20% per year from 2013 to 2016, matching or beating the growth rates of organizations from most other countries,” the WIPO report said.  Boi Faltings, professor of AI at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, said: “Since AI-related innovations are enabled by data, the organizations that generate the most AI-related patents are often the ones that own the most data.” This explained “in particular the surprisingly strong position of China”, he added. Faltings noted in the report that there are “far fewer obstacles to collecting vast amounts of data in China than in other countries” and “China has the best training data collections for speech recognition, human behavior modelling and medical data”.

Analysis EO
Analysis · 2
Analysis EO
Mar 17, 2019 01:03 am ·

Preparing the Future Generation with Early age Coding Courses

According to media reports, more and more capital started to bet online on children programming sector. 10 years ago from now, coding wasn’t famous at all among the Chinese parents, but now even preschoolers are taking coding courses. Since 2015 China has been trying to push the STEM education system via policies and plans. Just last year China state council issued artificial intelligence development plan which encouraged more schools and entrepreneurs to experiment in the area.  According to Deloitte, the investment in the Chinese STEM education startups has increased 15 folds from 2014 to 2017. Codemao is an online education company founded in 2015, which provides online coding lessons to children aged 7 to 16. Children can design their work through programming using games and animations. It also provides hardware specially designed for children which can be identified as a modernized version of Lego. With the use of coding, Children can design and construct various items. Codemao says, its purpose is not to sell hardware but rather provide tools for learning how to code at all stages.  A cursory look on the Chinese search engine TianYanCha returns more than 80 registered companies offering computer programming classes for kids, including Beijing’s VIPCODE, Hangzhou’s Ultrabear, and Shenzhen’s Codemao. Statistics show that most such companies were founded in or after 2014, and several have attracted vast amounts of financing. Codemao received an investment of CNY300 million (USD45 million) in May after getting its hands on CNY 120 million earlier in 2017.  iResearch reported that children coding training revenue is around CNY 3-4 billion in China in recent years with around 15.5 million learners. In the future with more favorable policies coming out the revenue is estimated to reach CNY30 billion in the next 5 years.    YANG Xu an education analyst said that the industry is going through a promising change. In Zhejiang and Chongqing, programming is a required subject. Though if we consider the whole market the structure is still unclear. Pressreader reports, In 2016 US government announced USD 4 billion in funding to promote coding education. The same year Australia listed coding as a compulsory course for children above 10 years old. If seen from this prospective China lags behind. According to Jingdata, an analysis company, only 1% of Chinese students are learning to code. Countries like the United Kingdom’s education system has ensured 100% coverage of programming for children.   Difficulties and competition within the industry  The biggest problem right now for the system or for the companies using the STEM system is professional teachers. To teach children English the requirements is mostly to belong to an English speaking country, but it is not that simple for programming.  The programming education for children is still in the development stage. There aren’t many high-quality teachers. Most of the programmers have no idea about children’s education, they might be good teaching college or universities students but when it comes to children they do don’t understand their phycology. Another challenge comes in tier 3 and 4 cities, where programming and artificial intelligence technology is relatively new. Programming at an early stage can cultivate the child’s learning strategy, logical thinking, concentration etc., but college entrance exam pressure is too high and the parents prefer project related teachings which are within the curriculum. Some parents even mentioned that they don’t want to be fooled by such companies and would want their children to study what they need to study.  Another challenge is the cost since these companies spend a lot of money developing their AI they have to keep the cost high in order to make a stay in the race, but the prices are high for parents living in smaller cities.     English teaching companies are the biggest competition for programming teaching companies. What should the parents be more anxious about, their children learning how to speak English or learning how to do programming? Well especially in this era of artificial intelligence they should more focus on their children’s programming skills but that’s not the case. Children’s energy and time are limited and parents have to make the choice. Usually, parents choose to invest in teaching their children English or other curriculum-related subjects. The reason behind that is that programming teaching is not as mature as compared to the English teaching market. To outbreak the children’s programming teaching market, the parents need to be educated. Creating “high awareness of loyal parents” is a necessity.   

Analysis EO
Analysis · 2
Analysis EO
Jan 1, 2019 11:52 pm ·

Codemao Leads The Way of Coding Education in China

Accompanying the process of China's education industrialization, more and more startups and capitals entered this field, with the help of new technologies. After “Internet + Education” and “AI + Education”, venture capitals in China has also started to pay more attention to the “Coding Education”, a field could help to train talents for the digital world. Some of them believed, that Coding Education will be more important in the future. With huge development of technologies, human civilization begins to enter the new era of Fourth Industrial Revolution from the Third Industrial Revolution. According to Wikipedia, The Fourth Industrial Revolution is marked by emerging technology breakthroughs in fields including robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, quantum computing, biotechnology, The Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing and autonomous vehicles. Facing such a future, “85 percent of jobs in 2030 haven’t been invented yet” estimated by Dell and the Institute for the Future (IFTF) in the report “Realizing 2030”. And McKinsey, the leading global management consulting firm, predicted that 800 million jobs could be replaced by robots by 2030. Coding itself could help human beings to cooperate with the robots, to control or at least understand it the much more digital world. Computer language also could be a necessity for jobs in the future. Codemao leads the way in Coding Education in China Shenzhen-based Codemao (编程猫), a Chinese online education platform, was founded by LI Tianchi (李天驰) and SUN Yue (孙悦) in 2015. The company focuses on teaching programming to school children, with its own image-based coding systems to better visualize the process. Codemao’s business structure comprises “Online Course” to teach coding, “Creative Community” to encourage communication between users, “Campus/Education” to provide a systematic solution to teach coding, “Coding Game” to achieve the idea of edutainment. The company provides a series of products and tools to serve its young customers from 3 years old to 16 years old. However the main target users of the company are children over 7 years old, with words cognitive ability, for instance, the online courses are only available for children over 7 years old. According to information on Codemao’s Chinese website, the company has already served 2 million customers from China and other 11 countries, cooperated with over 3000 schools and education institutions. So far, according to public information, EqualOcean estimates Codemao had raised over CNY 460 million in the last four years, valued at CNY 2 billion, which is the highest among 48 coding education startups in China, excluding hardware-driven coding education companies like robot company UBTECH, etc. The key to one's success could also be one's limitation Students are who use the education products, while the parents are the ones who actually pay. Parents’ choices of education products are still often affected by the teachers in schools and oriented towards exams and entering higher school. For coding education, middle schools and primary schools are where most target consumers of coding education could be touched. All these conditions determined that “to B”, mainly “to schools”, would be the best market strategy of most of the coding education companies, comparing “to C”. In China, although the industrialization of education is being promoted, the biggest and most important part of the Chinese education system is still under the control of the state. Schools are institutional organizations, lack of marketization, thus private education institutions need to build good relationships and connections with the state-owned system, to win the opportunities to cooperate. Codemao, according to its official website, so far had already cooperated with over 1000 middle and primary schools, this is definitely a leading position in the coding education field in China. The education system connections and “in-system” backgrounds of Codemao might come with the company’s investors: Ziniu Caipital, two managing partners of which are Cheetahmobile (猎豹移动) CEO FU Sheng (傅盛), and former CCTV (中央电视台) journalist ZHANG Quanling (张泉灵); MOOC-CN Education, a wholly-owned subsidiary funded by Tsinghua Holdings Co., Ltd. (清华控股), which belongs to the state-owned Tsinghua University (清华大学). Other investors like The Beijing News, CMB International could also give a lot of help to better connect Codemao and the “in-system” units. However, too much reliance on the school system is not necessarily a good thing. Firstly the company would be much affected by the state-owned education system, any negative policy might lead to disaster caus most of its business relies on the system. Secondly, the protection from the cooperation with schools may let the company's guard down, and maybe neglect the real consumer demands from the market. Fortunately, Codemao did not forget to acquire consumers by itself directly from the market. On the Double 11 Festival of 2018, Codemao claimed to sell over CNY 10 million in this day. - Author: ZHANG Fan; Write to ZHANG Fan at ZhangFan@EqualOcean.com

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