The coronavirus outbreak has been hitting China’s economy hard as many businesses have had to temporarily shut down their operations amid tight quarantine rules. But measures to stop the spread of the illness have led to an unexpected boom for at least one industry: online education.
Online education, a sector on the rise
The market share for online education in China’s 463 billion yuan ($66 billion) after-school tutoring business was just 6.5% in 2018. That figure is expected to jump to 35.7% by 2023, according to business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan.
Some two million Chinese students have enrolled in online classes in the short-term due to the coronavirus, Citigroup analyst Mark Li said in a note this month.
What is impressive is the capacity to respond so fast to an urgent situation in innovation and pragmatic creativity.
The biggest winner appears to be TAL Education’s Zhang Bangxin, who saw his wealth increase by $1.7 billion, giving him a current net worth of at least $10 billion. His New York-listed company rallied 20% last month on expectations of strong growth.
But you can see also many startups creating new apps and becoming viral because they simply are useful, educational and creative.
Liulishuo is an English AI teacher application based on deep learning which provides personalized and adaptive learning paths to help every learner better improve the learning efficiency.
It provides amazing comprehensive high-quality content lessons covering a wide range of settings including everyday life business academic and travel. Format range from leveled games audio and video podcasts to free talk conversations powered by its speech recognition voice technology.
Approximately 3 million paying users purchased the companies’ courses and services. 153+ million registered users in 384 cities in China. Amazing figures. The app uses auto scoring engine equipped with real time speech recognition technology. It can evaluate one speech based on several criteria including pronunciation vocabulary grammar, fluency and pragmatic, and can also locate errors, provide suggestions for improvement. This is one of the most significant development in the area of auto scoring of the past 20 years.
In 2019, 746 learners studied English with Liulishuo app AI teacher for an average of 36.88 hours. 40% of the learners have progressed at least to the next level. 72% of the learners improved their scores.
Two other rising online learning services
Among several types of services such as practicing TOEFL and officials’ exams or improving traveling Business languages, two mini-services are standing out for their efficiency and easy-to-use.
The first one is “The News”, the app proposes everyday one English or US newspaper article about a trendy subject. The user reads it out loud in a head phone and the AI teacher corrects the pronunciation mistakes and gives advice on grammar rules. The AI teacher also asks several questions to check if the user understood the text and corrects instantly.
How can this app provide such a service? It has accumulated overtime the biggest database of Chinese people speaking English, based on the app’s daily users community, enabling it to predict the main mistakes and pieces of advice.
The second one is “The Dub”, a funny and entertaining service. The app offers mini extracts of less than 1mn30s of popular TV Series such as Friends or Animations for kids, which the user can dub. The dub is automatically registered and compared with the ones made by the community on the same sequence. The AI gives then a score and recommendations. It can also focus on a word or a sentence that the user did not pronounce well and check if he/she correctly understood the meaning.