TikTok owner ByteDance to invest in EduTech business

TikTok

An executive at ByteDance has said the company plans to invest “a huge amount” into its newly-established education technology business but warned that the unit will be unlikely to see profit in the next three years.

KEY POINTS:

  • An executive at ByteDance says the company will invest big numbers into its nely established EduTech business unit
  • The company currently operates one-on-one English tutoring app GoGoKid and online course livestreaming app Qingbei

ByteDance has made education tech one of its top priorities alongside its wildly popular video app TikTok, which is facing scrutiny in Washington and around the world over privacy and the suspicion that China could force the company to turn over user data to them.

Chen Lin, an SVP at ByteDance, said in an internal speech that the company entered the education technology sector in 2016 via investments and trying out various projects, according to a transcript published by the company on social media.

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The China-based business operates one-on-one English tutoring app GoGoKid and online course livestreaming app Qingbei.

Eight-year-old ByteDance’s revenue mainly comes from its Chinese short video app Douyin and news aggregator Jinri Toutiao. The company is a late entrant to China’s education technology (EduTech) market, as the two major leaders in the sector Yuanfudao and Zuoyebang were founded in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

The industry was one of a few sectors that saw its fortunes shine during the coronavirus pandemic as widespread COVID-19 lockdowns in China and school closures forced students to take classes online from home for many months.

Via our content partners at Reuters. Reporting by Yingzhi Yang in Beijing and Brenda Goh in Shanghai. Editing by Louise Heavens.

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