TikTok owner ByteDance is upping the ante by increasing its presence in China’s highly competitive online educational market. The tech giant is creating a standalone brand that will take over all of its education products, as demand for e-learning has soared amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Chen Lin, former head of ByteDance’s news aggregation platform Jinri Toutiao, is the CEO of the newly established unit named Dali Education, which already employs more than 10,000 people, according to a ByteDance spokesperson.
The new brand’s launch comes as a number of leading Chinese online tutoring startups such as Zuoyebang and Yuanfudao have sought to raise new funds to finance their business expansion.
At a press conference on Thursday, Chen also put forth future development directions for his newly born unit, including exploring ways to help quality education content creators reach more audiences on ByteDance’s platforms, according to a WeChat post that did not provide specifics.
“Our exploration of the education industry is still in the early stage … and the brand independence of Dali Education is just the beginning of a long journey,” said ByteDance founder and CEO Zhang Yiming, who in March emphasized education as a strategic new business direction for his company.
ByteDance entered the education sector in 2016 by acquiring smaller rivals such as online course live-streaming platform Qingbei and adult-targeted English learning platform Open Language, and by launching its own products like one-on-one English tutoring app GoGoKid.
ByteDance has operated nine education products since 2018, according to Chen. Chen had previously unveiled plans to invest “a huge amount” of capital in the company’s nascent education business in the next three years regardless of possible losses and the market’s saturation level.
Contact reporter Ding Yi (firstname.lastname@example.org)