Beijing-based technology company ByteDance, which operates content platforms like TikTok to entertain, educate and inspire people globally, has launched two educational apps—GuaGuaLong English and GuaGuaLong Mind—last month, as reported by AbacusNews.
The former has been launched with the aim to teach 2-8 year old kids English and the latter to teach 3-6 year olds Mathematics in China.
The artificial intelligence-powered educator, GuaGuaLong, is in the form of an animated cartoon dragon, which interacts with children and guides them while studying. The online classrooms with an AI tutor is a creative way to nurture students. According to a ByteDance spokeswoman, GuaGuaLong apps are only available in China.
According to a tech news platform 36kr, GuaGuaLong English is said to share some similarities with Zebra AI Classes by Yuanfudao, which recently raised a whopping US $1bn in an investment round led by Hillhouse Capital and Tencent Holdings.
Both GuaGuaLong and Yuanfudao apps are targeting kids aged 2-8 years, both have similar monthly and annual pricing plans, and both have animated characters as educators.
Other educational apps by ByteDance are Qingbei, an online app for K-12 kids to learn various subjects and Gogokid and Open Language, English-learning online apps.
ByteDance was founded by Zhang Yiming in March 2012 with the mission to ‘Inspire creativity, enrich life’. Some of the major entertaining and influencing social media platforms of the company are TikTok, Toutiao, Douyin, Xigua Video, Vigo Video, Helo, Lark and BaBe.
TikTok, the video-sharing platform, is globally renowned and is available in 40 languages. In 2018 and 2019, it was the most downloaded app on the App Store . Helo is one of the most widely used apps in India and is available in 15 languages including Hindi, Malayalam, Telugu, etc.
In China, there is a surge of 46% in the number of daily active users on educational apps, i.e., from 87 million to 127 million, and daily active users of K-12 education platforms have grown by 23 million during the Corona pandemic, according to QuestMobile. Prospects for online academics in China seem promising with recent growth in the usage of online educational apps.