Want to see the world? Talk first!

By Zhang Xingjian | | Updated: 2017-11-16 10:10

Want to see the world? Talk first!

Huang Jiajia, founder and CEO of 51Talk [Photo provided to]

Mute English, a phenomenon where people can read and understand English as a second language but cannot speak it well, is an eternal issue for Chinese children and their parents.

From the traditional phonetic notation method to the latest one-to-one online learning style, English learners in China have undergone tremendous changes in the "talking issue".

According to the 2017 H1 China K12 Online English Education Market Research Report released by iResearch Global, the online English education market boasted 221.8 billion yuan ($33.4 billion) in revenue in 2016 and is expected to reach over 300 billion yuan in 2018 in China.

51Talk, one of the leading online English training platforms in China, has witnessed the rise of this trend.

From starting empty-handed to becoming a listed company

Huang Jiajia, founder and CEO of 51Talk, attributes the success of 51Talk to entrepreneurial passion and a firm belief in the potential of the Chinese online education market.

Born in Nantong city, East China's Jiangsu province, Huang graduated from Tsinghua University in 2007.

Since then, Huang always observed the dynamics of the Chinese English learning market. In 2011, Huang made up his mind to start 51Talk but was short of investments.

To make his dream come true, he was determined to see Xu Xiaoping, co-founder of the Chinese education brand giant New Oriental School. Finally, one night at Peking University, he saw a talent scout and sent the business proposal to him.

After the proposal was put forward, it simply remained a dead letter. However, Huang did not give up.

Thanks to his persistence and wit, Huang managed to persuade Xu, receiving the first round of investment that allowed him to set up 51Talk in July 2011.

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