EDUCATION REMAINS A HIGH PRIORITY, BUT SHIFTS ONLINE
China’s competitive, test-focused education system continued to drive demand for education services. Language training, test preparatory courses, and after-school tutoring attracted students, as adults sought to improve their prospects in the domestic and global economies, and parents prepared their children to succeed.
Even after the extreme fluctuations of China’s stock market, education remained a priority for many Chinese, according to BrandZTM research. But as more consumers pursue education online rather than in physical classrooms, the category is undergoing structural challenge.
Education providers reduced the size of physical classrooms, slowed their growth and accelerated online activity. The move to smaller class sizes can lower profit margins, while the increase in online services requires investment. Two brands, New Oriental and Xueersi, again appear in the BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Chinese Brands, but the category increased only 3 percent after a 57 percent rise a year ago.
New Oriental specializes foreign language training and test preparation. Enrollment is near three million students. While operating around 725 physical locations in 50 cities, New Oriental also invested in expanding online options and coordinating them with options. Almost 11 million users are registered for the brand’s 4,400 online courses. New Oriental brand value declined 2 percent.
Xueersi primarily o ers tutoring programs for students in kindergarten through grade 12, and maintains 300 physical location in 19 major cities, although much of the enrollment, especially for overseas test preparation, is concentrated in Beijing and Shanghai. Total enrollment is about 1.5 million students. Brand value increased 33 percent.