Private capital investment in online education has been slow as well. Before 2010, few online-education companies received investments in China. Since 2011, with the explosion of the U.S. online-education market, about 10 Chinese online-education companies have received angel investments.
Another reason is China´s education system itself. The country´s focus on tests means there is less need for interactive learning than in the U.S. system, which cultivates a wide range of interests and often seeks to accommodate different learning styles.
In China, traditional programs that help with exams and job searches are still the most popular. However, unlike in the U.S., a clear business model hasn´t emerged in China´s online education.
Changing views of education in China make a shift to more online education inevitable. Chinese students are becoming less fixated on tests. Parents are increasingly sending their children to English-immersion camps abroad rather than classrooms. Today´s children are more comfortable with e-learning.
Although Chinese consumers are often reluctant to pay for things on the Internet, there appears to be a higher willingness to pay for tools, education and efficiency-improvement apps, judging by the top 100 apps in the paid categories for the iPhone and iPad.