Is It Necessary To Have Your EdTech Platform On A Chinese Server?

Is it Necessary to Have Your EdTech Platform on a Chinese Server

Ever since the surge of the pandemic, education has been at the forefront of issues, sparking talks about lesser student attendance and compromised school transports.

Fortunately, the problem brought forth a solution: a hub for massive open online courses (MOOC)s and EdTech platforms which aid in bringing traditional courses over the web.

The issue of these online educational platforms is whether or not they need to consider China as part of their market. With China as the world’s most populous country, it’s no surprise how global industries shape their products and services to influence China’s purchasing power.

Do foreign server-based platforms work in China?

Let’s take a look at foreign-based servers that tried to make it work in China’s EdTech industry. Included in gearing up for online education is Coursera, an American-based MOOC that’s worked with universities around the world in bringing certifications, degrees, and other specialties online.

For Coursera to operate in China, it needed to cross the language barrier. Partnering up with Chinese social media giant Guokr, this led Coursera to venture into Chinese territory. To date, Guokr has more than 45 platforms which ultimately means, more MOOCs gaining entry to the Chinese EdTech industry.

Advantages of being in a Chinese server

It’s important for investors to note how big of a market China is. Seeing as lockdown and quarantine regulations are being set out by government authorities, it’s crucial to note that around $53 billion will be the global reach of online teaching in China. With this, investors must figure out an intricate strategy to broaden their market scope and branch out to the Internet’s biggest market.

Here are three reasons why Chinese servers are important for your next EdTech platform:

1. China is the most active when it comes to EdTech around the world

China is beating every country on the planet when it comes to the EdTech industry, having a breakthrough of 97 EdTech unicorn (privately-held firms) companies breaching 2018, each valued at US$1B as its measure of success. Taking advantage of the market of students and online educators in China will ultimately help your foreign server-based platform to go high.

2. The competition is in China

It’s tight, for sure. Numerous companies with large capital capacities in China can outrank almost the majority of the world’s MOOCs or EdTech startups. While Udemy and other MOOCs compete in the Western hemisphere, China has six out of ten companies ruling all over the world – and that’s on strategic thinking.

3. Expand networks with a Chinese partnership = more chances of a profitable investment

Just like what Coursera did, platforms should design an investment deal that will benefit both parties. Utilize the barriers that hinder online education from those who are willing to consume it, and ultimately create a solution that will solve both of your concerns.

Will China still allow EdTech companies from foreign servers?

The goal of China is to make their EdTech firms go global, part of which they have successfully done so. It’s crucial to ask this particular question because of competition in an economy that’s nearing monopoly.

The right answer is this: as long as foreign server based EdTech firms and startups value forming investment deals that will ultimately create a long-lasting relationship, then China will hold its doors open for such platforms.

How to build a platform based in China

It all boils down to this. If you’re interested in entering China for your EdTech startup or firm, then you have to plan a strategic deal that will provide a transparent competitive key advantage over your competitors. Perform feasibility studies that will allow you to choose between two options.
The first one, involves collaborating with a local partner. To do so successfully, ensure you can build a report on mutual goals, financing, and proper risk management.

Second option move your platform on a Chinese based server with providers such as Alibaba Could or Amazon Web Services. AWS actually partnered with two local companies, Beijing Sinnet Technology and Ningxia Western Cloud Data Technology, to provide their services. This will allow your EdTech company to better distribute your learning content and do so independently.

Seeing as all businesses consider a good strategic plan, this is no exception. Including China in your plan to boost the EdTech industry is clearly a crucial yet important thing to note.

About the Author
Author: Rafik Fellal
Rafik Fellal Rafik Fellal is the Deputy VP of Sales at Kognity, the Online Learning & Teaching Platform for the IBDP and Cambridge IGCSE. Having worked previously as a teacher in Switzerland, he is passionate about EdTech and being able to work with schools to improve learning across all continents. He has a Masters in Socio-Economics from the University of Geneva/Universidad Complutense Madrid and studied Political Science at the University of Lausanne/San Diego State University. He recently moved out of Bangkok and now resides in Stockholm and is working towards increasing Kognity's presence in the world.

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