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Bridging Language Barriers: Connecting With Chinese Students on OpenTok

This article was published on August 3, 2021

When I was a kid, the encyclopedia was the entry point for learning about any topic.

Now with Wikipedia, the world’s knowledge is available for anyone anywhere in the world with an internet connection. This is great for learning about a great many topics. But what about learning a new language where conversation practice is critical? And what if you want a native speaking tutor? Enter Education Technology (EdTech) live video solutions powered by the OpenTok global infrastructure.

Global EdTech Expansion

The global education technology (EdTech) market will grow by 17% per year to $252 billion by 2020. Additionally, according to research as part of our Live Video Maturity study, analyzing responses from three surveys conducted by TokBox in 2012, 2015 and 2017, 59% of people surveyed in 2017 are likely to use live video to speak with a tutor remotely through a language app or education platform.

Nowhere is this more prominent than in China which has the largest student population in the world with 43 million pre-school students and 260 million K16 students. One standout aspect of the Chinese EdTech market is the demand for English language tutoring services. English language training for 4-12 year-olds is becoming increasingly popular and native English speakers are in high demand. However, since most English language tutors live outside of China, how do we make it easy for students to connect with tutors? By building on the global OpenTok platform, innovative EdTech companies like Cambly have the answer.

Learn to Speak Like a Native with Cambly

Cambly provides students from all over the world with instant access to native English speakers using live video chat. It is a two-sided platform that connects students with tutors from anywhere for tutoring sessions. Students of all levels can practice conversation and pronunciation with qualified tutors using mobile devices or desktop browsers. In addition, the sessions can be recorded and students can rewatch them to reinforce the learnings and practice.  

“China has the largest and fastest growing market for online English tutoring. We’ve continued to grow as we’ve made improvements to our China infrastructure.”

– Cambly co-founder and CTO Kevin Law

Connecting with Chinese Students on OpenTok

China is quickly becoming a huge market for Cambly, as there is an increase in demand for students seeking online English tutoring from a native speaker. However, China has notoriously unreliable internet connectivity both inside China and when accessing internet services located outside of China. This is obviously a problem if you have a scheduled session with your English language tutor. To solve this problem TokBox has partnered with Alibaba and deployed our China Relay service to Alibaba data centers in China. This infrastructure seamlessly connects to the rest of the global OpenTok platform, providing great video chat experience for both students and tutors.

For Cambly, China Relay is incredibly critical in order to reach their growing Chinese user base and improve the experience for students and tutors alike. As Kevin Law puts it, “Many foreign websites are slow or inaccessible in China. The behavior often varies from user to user. The only way to make sure your service works well in China to run your own servers in China and partner with services, like TokBox, that run their own servers.” Since implementing China Relay, Cambly has seen a significant improvement in connectivity for users in China.

Learn more about the live video opportunity in China and how TokBox customers like Cambly are improving reach and connectivity with global users in our new white paper.

Download Guide

Interested in China Relay? Contact Us

Our mission at TokBox is to power developer creativity and bring people together using live video. With a high quality global infrastructure and creative partners like Cambly, anything is possible. If you’re interested in learning more about our China Relay feature, please apply through contacting our sales team here or reach out to [email protected].*

*Please note: China Relay is a select feature reserved for commercial use cases, such as Telemedicine, Tutoring, Online Classes, Financial Services and Customer Support.

Written by Vonage Staff

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