The coronavirus outbreak has been a bonanza for Asian online education companies as hundreds of millions of students have been prevented from attending school, reported the Financial Times.
Demand has been so intense that one Chinese provider, Yuanfudao, suffered a two-hour system crash last month after 5 million people took up its offer of free live courses, the company said.
Shares in GSX, a Nasdaq-listed Chinese online education provider, have jumped 92% since the start of the year. Last month, the company reported a 15 million increase in student enrolments for free online courses. This compared with 2.7 million in paid enrolments at the end of 2019, itself a three-fold increase on the year earlier, said Sandy Qin, GSX head of investor relations.
“Online education is an irresistible trend,” said Claudia Wang, a partner at Oliver Wyman, the consultancy. “There is a lot of online tutoring, and we expect the paid user base to double or triple in 2020 . . . and customer acquisition costs should fall drastically in the short term.”