SHANGHAI, November 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — There has been a surge in the use of foreign language apps accessed by smartphones, according to a survey, with women in particular keen to be taught via their handsets.

The study, carried out jointly by the country’s leading Internet education provider Hujiang.com and the online education platform of Baidu Inc, shows the most popular customers are the female, college students or white-collar workers, under the age of 30 – a profile which accounted for 80 percent of users of the services.

The following figure demonstrates online education’s usage patterns, payment options and purpose of applications: http://t2.qpic.cn/mblogpic/8bca5699a3ed5d0bd63a/460

In a sizeable snapshot of 25,000 users of Internet-based education products, 58.4 percent were women.

“The young people are generally keen to improve themselves through multiple ways and resources,” said Dong Xiaoliang, director of mobile business department of Hujiang.

Some 44.7 percent of mobile education users were based in second-tier cities, 26.5 percent came from first-tier cities, and nearly 30 percent subscribed from third- and fourth-tier cities.

The survey found that laptop or computer-based online education was prevalent in cities throughout the country and included a wider cross-section of society, said Dong.

“Hujiang provides more abundant educational resources not only for first-tier cities, but also for second-, third- or fourth-tier cities.”

Foreign language studies were by far the most popular type of course, with a dominant 89.3 percent of respondents, followed by those accessing courses in lifestyle and hobbies (13.8 percent), and career certification and examination (13.5 percent).

The report also revealed many were not deterred by cost, with nearly one-third of those surveyed saying they would happily spend 500 yuan ($82) or above, while 27.3 percent chose free offerings.

“In recent years people have got into the habit of making more payments for using their smartphones, helped by the increasing popularity of E-commerce apps,” Dong said.

About half of those surveyed said they used their educational apps before they went to bed, with 38.8 percent gaining access to their course riding in an automobile and 37.6 percent during their lunch break.

The average weekly time studying on their mobile device was five hours, the report said.

A 26-year-old woman respondent named Liu Lu was included in the study. She is a senior member of Hujiang.

“Smartphone-based education has made studies more convenient and efficient,” she said.

“For example, I can read English news through my mobile phone when I wait for a bus or take a break from work. And I don’t have to take a book with me every day.”

The innovation of Internet technology and the prevalence of PC and smartphones allow people to learn whenever they want and wherever they are, so mobile Internet education will become more common.

According to the China Online Education Report 2013-14, released by Internet consultancy iResearch Group, the online education market in China was worth around 84 billion yuan in 2013, a 19.9 percent increase on the previous year.

The latest industry estimates suggest the number of online learners is expected to grow to 120 million over the next three years.

(Original article came from China Daily)

Hujiang Company Profile

Hujiang is China’s largest e-learning platform. Hujiang’s products and services include an expansive web platform, a social media network, an online shop, and an online school which offers courses for ten different languages as well as vocational skills and various arts.

Since its inception in 2006, Hujiang’s highly efficient and innovative study services have attracted over 3 million paid users and 70 million registered members, making it the market leader in China’s e-learning industry.

Thousands of new visitors flock to the website every day to download e-learning apps, participate in open classes and try out Hujiang’s user-friendly, interactive social media platform.

The company, which was founded in 2006 by eight people and with 80,000 RMB (approximately 10,000 USD at the time), has enjoyed healthy growth every year, along with frequent press mentions and a range of Chinese awards, such as Shanghai’s Best Website and Best E-Learning Organization.