Education giant expands in China, grabbing growing training market share
Published: Apr 05, 2023 01:44 PM

A visitor tries a digital learning service at the first Global Digital Trade Expo in Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province, Dec. 11, 2022.

The 4-day expo kicked off here on Sunday. Around 800 leading digital trade companies from China and abroad will showcase their new products and technologies during the expo. (Xinhua/Xu Yu)

A visitor tries a digital learning service at the first Global Digital Trade Expo in Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang Province, Dec. 11, 2022. (Xinhua/Xu Yu)

The growing corporate training market in China has attracted attention from several global players, with one US giant vowing to expand to enrolling 2,000 corporate customers within three years.

China is a huge market as the country may be the country with the highest concentration of multinational companies in the world. "We are aiming to increase our presence with corporate customers in China to 2,000 in three years by 2025", Rich Qiu, who oversees the Chinese market for Udemy told the Global Times in a recent interview. 

Founded in 2010, Udemy was listed on Nasdaq in 2021 and currently has a market capitalization of $1.25 billion. Its platform offers teaching and learning, connecting learners to the skills they need. It currently has 200,000 courses, and since the pandemic it offers hundreds to thousands free courses through the Free Resource Center on its online learning platform.

Currently, Udemy's corporate training courses cover content focused on technology and management subjects. It has cooperated with more than 50 percent of the Fortune 100 companies and 60 percent of the companies in Nikkei 225, with the firm partnering with nearly 14,000 firms worldwide, Qiu said.

Ahead of expanding to the Chinese market, Qiu had visited China more than ten times and met executives from a good number of education companies between 2018 and 2019. In August of 2022, Udemy entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with local training company Sanjieke.

Qiu attributed the cooperation to the fact that Sanjieke has a mature operation in the market, with a complete training system and a strong supporting tech team. In view of the firm's long-term approach, Udemy has become a member of the board of directors of Sanjieke through investment.

The Chinese market is really huge. For example, the market size of the auto industry in China may equal to the entire economy of another country, Qiu said. 

Currently, there are around quite a lot of companies already cooperating with Udemy, and how the company may localize the content is one of the priorities while "deciding our marketing strategy", Qiu added. 

China's corporate training industry has evolved from a period of explosive growth to a more mature development stage after more than 20 years of continuous development. Data from iResearch showed that the market size of China's enterprise training industry reached 164.4 billion yuan ($23.9 billion) in 2021. 

Xinhua reported on Monday that online education platform Smart Education of China, has provided abundant and diversified training programs for Chinese teachers and helped improve overall teaching levels across the industry.

Global Times