China's leading online education platform eyes underserved markets

Source:Xinhua Published: 2019/6/15 9:39:58

China Online Education Group, which provides online English language training via the platform 51Talk, is poised to deepen its presence in underserved markets in China.

The company on Friday delivered net revenues of 48.1 million US dollars in the first quarter through March, notching a year-over-year increase of 23 percent.

Meanwhile, its gross billings climbed to 67.4 million dollars for the quarter, representing a 27.4-percent increase as compared to the same period last year.

"Our first quarter results reflect the successful and consistent execution of our strategic initiatives which focus on our flourishing K-12 one-on-one mass-market program in China's lower-tier cities," Huang Jiajia, founder and chief executive officer of 51Talk, said in a statement released by the company on Friday.

"With a solid presence in the largely saturated tier-one cities, we are keenly focused on bringing our programs to China's large and underserved markets in non-tier-one cities," Huang added.

Founded in 2011, the Beijing-headquartered company operates online and mobile education platforms that enable students to take live interactive English lessons with international foreign teachers.

The company said first-quarter gross billings from non-tier-one cities, or medium and small-sized cites, accounted for 72.8 percent of its K-12 mass-market one-on-one offerings, compared with 63 percent a year ago.

"Our goal, as we move through the year, is to continue to make learning accessible throughout China by bringing our educational offerings to underserved markets where we can leverage our existing programs," said Huang.

As for second-quarter guidance, the company, which was listed on New York Stock Exchange in 2016, expects net revenues to book an increase of about 21.4 percent to 23.2 percent from one year ago.

The stock closed 2.3 percent lower on Friday after a short-lived 3 percent advance in morning trading.

China's online education market has grown rapidly in recent years, bolstered by new technologies.

In 2018, the number of users of such services rose 29.7 percent year on year to 201 million, accounting for 24.3 percent of total Internet users, according to a report by the China Internet Network Information Center.

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