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Surge in early English learning

By Cheng Yu | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-11-30 21:51
Xie Shangyi, co-founder and CEO of Jiliguala, a Chinese online education startup, delivers a speech in a press conference in Beijing on Nov 29, 2018. [Photo/chinadaily.com.cn]

Early English learning is gaining traction in China, driven by an increase of parents born after 1980s and 1990s, said an industry report on Thursday.

According to a report by online news portal jiemian.com and online education startup Jiliguala, 76 percent of parents surveyed have children learning English by the age of five.

Parents are willing to pay an average of 2,750 yuan ($396) per year for kids to learn English at an early age. Among them, 27 percent were willing to pay as much as 5,000 yuan.

And more and more parents are choosing online and home tutoring, especially the second-child families.

Online English learning products can spare more time and energy for those families, said the report.

The report came as English tutoring in early childhood gains popularity in the country as more young parents are aware of the importance of learning English as early as possible.

To tap into such demand, Jiliguala, an online English learning platform, is leveraging technologies including artificial intelligence and big data, to help kids aged under 8 in English.

Xie Shangyi, co-founder and CEO of Jiliguala, said the company aims to develop products that are "interesting" and "effective".

"Through high-quality educational resources and innovative technologies, we hope to make kids feel interesting while learning," he said.

Jiliguala, founded in 2014, disclosed earlier this month that it has finished its series B-round of financing. Sequoia Capital and Betafund are among investors.

Latest data from the company showed that by October this year, its registered users have exceeded 20 million with paid users hitting 1.5 million.

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