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Global Times Spotlights NetDragon's Growing Global Education Tech Impact

In a recent full-page feature article titled Education Technology Companies Expanding Overseas, New Technologies Bring New Momentum, hosted by the People's Daily's international news publication, the Global Times, NetDragon, along with Tencent Education, NetEase Youdao, and Xueersi, took the spotlight, shedding light on the emerging trends and driving forces behind education technology companies' global expansion.

NetDragon's pioneering efforts in overseas markets, coupled with its focus on leveraging AI to revolutionize education, have captured the media's keen interest. The article showcased captivating visuals of NetDragon conducting live Chinese language classes in Egypt, underscoring the company's remarkable achievements in Africa. While many domestic education enterprises are still testing the waters in the African market, NetDragon has successfully filled the void, leaving a significant impact.

 
Full-page coverage in the Global Times.
 

Here's an excerpt from the article:

Education Technology Companies Expanding Overseas: New Technologies Bring New Momentum
 

Editor's Note: As China's domestic online education market matures, numerous Chinese education technology companies are setting their sights on the global stage. However, operating in diverse international markets while localization presents challenges. In recent years, as large-scale artificial intelligence (AI) educational models emerge in China, propelled by generative AI, this provides fresh momentum for these companies' overseas expansion.

 
 
Enormous Potential in International Education Markets
 

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Chinese education technology companies first entered foreign markets over a decade ago, with scale rapidly growing since mid-2021 "double reduction" policy changes. Initially focusing on technology, NetDragon acquired UK interactive display manufacturer Promethean in 2015 to expand sales networks spanning over 150 countries and regions.

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International education facilities are well-developed in Europe and America, forming highly competitive markets. Education in Latin America and Africa is still emerging. Southeast Asia proves the hottest destination, with immense potential in Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia—key focus areas with urgent demand for quality resources.

Taking Indonesia as an example, estimates show its education technology revenue will reach $1.18 billion by 2023. Quality varies across regions, with some lacking teaching standards while many students seek alternative learning channels, driving continuous platform demand growth. Rising incomes and more education investment amid economic development opens vast prospects. The pandemic further boosted online education, and Chinese companies leverage domestic advantages in this vast Southeast Asian market.

 
 

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According to a report by data platform Statista, the global online education market will reach $370 billion by 2026, exhibiting over 20% compound annual growth. This paints an optimistic roadmap for Chinese companies committed to international expansion.

 
Tailoring Customized Solutions
 

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In comments to Global Times, NetDragon Vice Chairman and Mynd.ai Chairman Liang Nianjian noted countries differ significantly in terms of national conditions, cultural backgrounds, and education development stages. "We cannot apply a standardized solution to all markets. Adapting and customizing solutions to local conditions is the most challenging and crucial part".

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Education industry insider Shi Jianrong told Global Times that China's education market is defined by its diversity, intense competition, large scale, and rapid changes. While China's marketization history is relatively short compared to others, enterprises emerging from high-intensity competition are competent and highly adaptable to different international markets. Experiencing occasional setbacks, they promptly adjust and continue progress.

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Regarding the impact of education technology companies' global expansion on Chinese and overseas markets, Shi Jianrong said having more venturing abroad to explore new opportunities while bringing innovative ideas back benefits economic vitality. Chinese culture is about "self-improvement rather than suppression of others", so there is no need to exaggerate competitive influences.

 
AI Transforming the Traditional Landscape of Global Expansion
 

The inherent interactivity of education is ideally suited for AI, especially AI-powered generative capabilities, becoming a new driver of Chinese edtech companies' overseas growth.

Analyst Li Muhua believes as AI computation, perception and cognition significantly advance under generative AI, AI-based education applications will culminate AI technology by fulfilling education's complexity across listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Insider Shi Jianrong told reporters informatization previously transformed education while today's intelligentization further transforms knowledge production, processing and presentation. Different AI types enable richer, more vivid and flexible learning experiences - in other words, better products. This empowers companies to unleash greater imagination in their offerings, relying more on understanding educational tools and context than technical development capabilities. Using tools costs far less than developing them, greatly lowering global expansion's cost.

After ChatGPT's late-2022 release, AIGC gained significant attention from educational companies worldwide, and the integration with AI became a new blue ocean.

At year-end 2023, NetDragon announced its overseas education business spin-off and New York Stock Exchange listing as Mynd.ai. Chairman Liang Nianjian stated, "The name shows NetDragon's determination to develop digital education using AI. AI will greatly transform education ecosystems. Traditional models are often limited but AI can break through constraints to deliver personalized, efficient experiences".

Shi Jianrong mentioned large-scale models can generate products tailored to diverse market demands, transforming the traditional landscape of edtech overseas growth while significantly reducing high human and financial resource costs when entering new markets. This enhances Chinese leaders' capabilities to compete globally with AI-powered offerings, precisely how Chinese companies have continuously expanded their international presence in recent years.

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