Hello, everyone. My name is Arnold, founder & CEO of Hujiang EdTech.I’m so honored to be a juror for the 2017 WISE Awards and so happy to share my story with all of you?here today.
We all know that there is a very famous “river” on the Internet called Amazon,which has changed people’s shopping habits. However,there is also a “river” on China’s Internet,which is changing people’s learning habits – its name is Hujiang,meaning a river from Shanghai, created 16 years ago by chance.
At that time, I was still a student in college. I found that many young people wanted to study online due to a lack of educational resources. So I started Hujiang right in my dormitory.It wasn’t a business, just a charity.
After 5 years of operating, when I graduated from my university, I decided to turn it into a start-up. But nobody believed that it would work. Although it was very difficult,10 years later, the company's valuation reached more than $1.6 billion.Our user number has increased from 200 thousand to 160 million, and most of them are on the mobile end. Now we have more than 100 thousand new users each day.Try to imagine this, if they were in a real offline school, how could the school accommodate so many students？It has gradually become the largest online education platform in the world, a unicorn company.
Let me share with you some interesting data:China has more than 730 million Internet users (including 690 million mobile users), almost as much as the European population.Do you have any idea of the power of this huge population? China has the longest high-speed railway network that runs at 400 KM per hour, Chinese people eat over 7 billion chickens every year, and deliver over 80 million packages every day. There are no bike thieves there because shared bikes are everywhere. Even the beggars wanna be “paid” by Wechat or Alipay.They don’t want cash. People call these the New Four Great Inventions of China.
I remember two years ago, we came across a primary school hidden in the mountains of Sichuan.The school was very small with only ten students, all were left-behind children.They had only one teacher who had to teach all subjects, Chinese and math, but no English, not to mention art or music.
Do you know, in China, there are nearly forty thousand this kind of schools with fewer than 10 students, and 140 thousand schools under 100 students?The problem is, we can't get all these students together by building one big school. Because these schools are scattered around, all over China's rural areas.
How can we solve this problem? Only through the Internet, by sharing courses!
We solved the problem by sending them a second-hand computer,which had a software called CCtalk installed.This is a magic software, which can run on any type of computer or tablet, no matter how old it might be. It only needs 5Kbs of bandwidth.
You know we’ve got no full-time teachers in my company, but we can have all the teachers in the world through the Internet.
We asked those famous school teachers in big cities to donate one hour one week to teach online.But what surprised me was that many were willing to donate one hour or one day all the way until retirement.And those teachers' colleagues also “donated” different subjects after they heard the news.So, the kids’curriculum was fully filled!
Initially, many teachers worried that online teaching was not easy to manage the class order. In fact, all the children listened carefully, and nobody got distracted.The teachers not only teach 10 children in this school, but also teach the same type of students scattered in 10 or even 100 schools at the same time.This is the magic of Internet education: educational resources can be maximized.
This is called the Hu+ Project, which means reciprocal, just like a bridge, to connect the donors and the beneficiaries.In the past two years, the Project has linked more than 3,000 rural schools in China while over 1 million students have benefited from it.
And we also see that many countries around the world have the same problem about the imbalance of educational resources.
In closing,I believe that there are two great days in a person’s life, the day we were born and the day we discover why.
I never wanted to be a billionaire; I simply wanted to change education,co-exist and co-create,learning to live and work together for global Ed-Tech innovation,to make education easier, fairer, and more enjoyable.Thank you.