If
you’re looking for momentum in edtech innovation, look no further than China.

Driving
the substantial growth in the edtech industry, China already generates $300 billion
in an industry that demands quality education products and services. In 2018,
most of this effort was targeted for early childhood and K-12 education, but
vocational and test prep transactions came close to matching the need in the
first two sectors combined. In addition, the white-collar vocational education
market has witnessed 12.6% growth in a single year.

The
implication is clear: edtech in China is an ever-expanding business.

Where the unicorns are

Edtech
unicorns are those privately held companies with more than one billion dollars
in revenue. (Decahorns have ten times that kind of revenue).The best place to
find these mythical startups is in Beijing, which has been called the world’s largest
edtech ecosystem
.

There
are 3,000 edtech startups in Beijing and 1000 in Shanghai. Obviously, not all
of them are unicorns, but these two cities are good places to begin, especially
because of the universities in each city. Both foster a climate conducive to edtech
innovation, and many edtech companies have grown out of this synergy.

How China fuels edtech

China’s
focus on learning has created optimal conditions for the development of edtech
as a solution to the growing need for instruction. Two factors, in particular, determine
the growth of edtech in China: parent demand and government focus.

Parent demand

Parents
in China not only recognize the importance of investing in their children’s
education; they do something about it. Chinese parents put nearly 20% of their
income toward afterschool classes and tutoring opportunities, even though the
public schools are free.

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The
only way to meet this demand is through edtech solutions that can scale up
quickly. 

Government focus

China’s
bold moves in education reform have come from what Chinese
deputy director general of basic education, Wang Dinghua, calls a
shift “from a nation with large human resources
to a nation with strong human
resources.”

If all goes
according to plan, schools will be automated learning centers by the year 2030.

Networking at edtech conferences
in China

To
maximize your time in China, coordinate your visit with these edtech summits.

Edtech Asia
– This conference brings together educators and entrepreneurs to empower
leaders and share expertise. The next summit takes place in August 2019. Edtech
Asia also hosts meetups and workshops.

GET China – Called the “gateway to the
Chinese education market,” the GET summit is the largest of its kind in China.
In fact, it’s so big that it has its own product portal, Xiaoyu. Don’t think
that the work stays in China. The summit goal is to connect you with the rest
of the world.

GES – Edtech innovation and
collaboration are leading themes at this conference. Don’t pack your bags for
this summit until you’re invited; it’s invitation only, and this year’s attendees
haven’t been notified yet.

Traditionally,
locations like Silicon Valley and Europe have caught the attention of edtech
entrepreneurs, investors, and angels. Some of the best incubation is taking
place in China, where meeting education need is the driving force behind
innovation.



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