Consumer Discretionary Author: Siyuan Yao Editor: Tao Ni Apr 10, 2022 07:12 PM (GMT+8)

NetEase Youdao launched a Smart Lamp as gadgets meant for learning purposes lately become a new area of opportunity for Chinese Edtech firms struggling under the Double Reduction Policy

Youdao Lamp

Youdao Inc (DAO: NYSE), the education technology unit under Chinese internet giant NetEase, launched Youdao Smart Lamp on the evening of April 7. This is another learning product released by Youdao after a series of its smart devices gained popularity, such as Dictionary Pen, Pocket Printer and Listening Pod.

Zhou Feng, CEO of Youdao, said that the company has acquired extensive experience in the area of smart device, and that it is confident in turning the lamp into a flagship product in 2022. 

Using AI technology, the Youdao lamp enables user to look up new words in a split second and aids desktop study while protecting the eyesight of children, according to the company.

This device, which went on sale on April 7 at CNY 1,999 (USD 314), is part of Youdao’s new product and service mix as it pivots to new revenue streams after the country’s crackdown on for-profit tutoring since last year.

Youdao’s current main businesses include education digital solutions and business-to-business education big data services. The company generates in-depth analytics for students and schools and customizes learning services by converting homework into a digital format. 

During the Q3 2021 earnings conference call, Youdao executives replied to investor enquiries that learning devices, STEAM courses, adult education and education digitalization solutions are the four core pillars for Youdao's future growth. 

Therefore, Youdao continued to expand the suite of learning products and launched Youdao Listening Pod at the end of Q3 as scheduled, which is a smart gadget making full use of AI technology to more efficiently train the user’s listening and speaking ability. Zhou, CEO of Youdao, also said that there was little competition before in the area of smart device, but this year the competition became more intense.

According to Youdao's financial report for Q4 2021, net revenues from learning products reached CNY 318 million (USD 49.96 million), up 33.9% from the same period in 2020. This is driven by the substantial increase in sales volume of Youdao Dictionary Pen which has shipped 500,000. The company believes that smart devices will sustain the momentum for its revenue to grow at a relatively high pace in 2022.

Owing to the Double Reduction Policy, aimed to lighten the academic burden for Chinese students receiving compulsory education, many other Chinese Edtech firms started to seek new business growth trajectories, such as ByteDance, TAL Education, Zuoyebang (Chineses: 作业帮) and Yuanfudao (Chinese: 猿辅导).

NeteaseZhou FengProduct competitivenessZhu Xian