The write stuff on an app

Updated: 2014-10-16 08:13

By Xu Lin(China Daily)

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The write stuff on an app

Social networking application WeChat has taken smartphone users in China by the storm. [Photo/Agencies]

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People use social networking tools such as WeChat for communication, entertainment and information, but many don't realize that they can actually have classes via an app.

Du Hongjun, a product manager for an IT company at the time, organized a playwriting course on WeChat in August, conducted by two influential screenwriters, Chen Qiuping and Yu Fei. About 120 people participated and they were divided into four classes. The training ended last month and a new session is ongoing.

"It breaks the limit of space. You can listen to the audio chat logs and you don't have to rent a place for classes," says the 32-year-old Du from Beijing, who established the public account Bianjubang (group of screenwriters) in April as a platform for playwrights to connect with one another. He founded Beijing Xiaobangzhichun Culture Media Company to operate the WeChat account.

He says there are more than 20,000 screenwriters in China. The number of TV series produced every year is about 400 or 500, but only 300 will be broadcast, and fewer than 150 are profitable.

"The market has potential but the competition is fierce, and young playwrights need training. We tried to organize training classes but it's not easy to coordinate the schedules of the teachers and the students. Some students are not even in Beijing," says Du, who studied screenwriting in university.

He was in the IT industry previously, so he thought: Why not combine playwriting with IT?

Many students are in their 20s and 30s, and have a foundation in playwriting. Some are screenwriters or work in related fields. Participants can sign up on the Bianjubang's account and have a two-hour class every week. The four-week course costs 1,000 yuan ($163).

After the class assistant or monitor announces the beginning of the session, the teacher will take over the WeChat group with audio and photos. Nobody can interrupt until the teacher says it's time for questions.

Students send their homework and questions to the assistant, who will forward them to the teacher.

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