Udemy bullish on corporate training in China
China Daily

Udemy, a global online learning and teaching platform, is looking to "build up its muscles" in the Chinese market to help improve people's lives through education, with the country's rising demand for digital talents.

Richard Qiu

"China's training market is still in its early stages of development in terms of both consumer and corporate training, thus leaving huge opportunities for companies to develop," said Richard Qiu, president of new ventures at Udemy.

Digitalization has become a key focus of the country's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), during which China aims to push forward the digitalization of a raft of industries, including education, manufacturing and healthcare.

"The country already stands at the forefront globally in areas like artificial intelligence and digitalization. Companies thereby generate huge demand for such talents to create innovations and make more breakthroughs," Qiu said.

"It is especially the case when the country is promoting the development of the vocational market and the government wants to make sure people gain an abundance of skills," he added.

China has released a series of guidelines to promote the high-quality development of modern vocational education. The country aims to build a modern vocational education system by 2025. By 2035, its vocational education is forecast to be ranked among the best in the world.

Listed companies and leading enterprises in related sectors are being encouraged to develop vocational education. Vocational schools are also encouraged to work with private businesses to develop infrastructure and training centers together in the country.

According to Qiu, tech courses, including machine learning, design and cloud computing as well as skill courses that can help employees adapt to the digitalization process, are the most popular courses in China.

"To this end, Udemy is bullish on the corporate training market in China, as we are able to bring our technical know-how and expertise to help improve people's lives through learning," he said.

Founded in 2010, Udemy is an online learning and teaching marketplace with over 213,000 courses, including programming, marketing and data science, as well as 57 million students globally.

The United States company just entered the China market at the beginning of this year and quickly gained over 40 corporate clients. Its Mandarin courses were also boosted from 400 to over 800 while the consumption of courses soared three times over the past six months, Qiu disclosed.

As Udemy continues to expand in the Chinese market, Qiu noted that more domestic companies with global strategies also want to work with them.

"More Chinese companies want their employees to learn how to do business outside of China during their process of going global," he added.

Looking ahead, Qiu, who is also responsible for markets in countries such as Japan and South Korea, said that the company aims to get "substantial business" in the Chinese market with a goal of 2,000 clients over the next two or three years.