Summary of Lessons Learned from Chinese Education Startups

Lessons Learned from Chinese Education Startups summary

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The Western model for education doesn’t do much to encourage life-long learning. The state pays for general schooling up to grade 12, then you can borrow money for further education, which is supposed to set you up for a life-long career. Things are different in China, where adults prioritize – and will pay for – extra education. The cultural demand for lifelong learning has led to sophisticated mobile learning platforms. Consumer tech expert Connie Chan and AI afficionado Frank Chen are partners at Andreessen Horowitz and well-positioned to discuss the future of learning in this A16Z podcast.

About the Podcast

The A16Z podcast discusses tech and culture trends, featuring industry experts, business leaders, and other interesting thinkers from around the world. Frank Chen and Connie Chan are both partners at Andreessen Horowitz.


The US education model begins with kindergarten and ends with college. Perhaps people receive some on-the-job training, but for the most part, their years of formal learning end roughly at the age of 22. The current job market requires people to continue learning throughout their careers, and online programs like Udacity and MasterClass are rushing to fill that gap. Still, there are barriers – cultural, technological and incentive-based – to the kind of lifelong learning that will be required in the future.

China’s advanced mobile-centric, AI-enhanced learning platforms lead the way. Language apps for Western learners often take a “flashcard...

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