Why invest in a New Horizons English Language training center in China?

China is an ideal place to open an English Language training center because of its booming industry where millions of Chinese look for opportunities to attend universities, open or expand their careers in China, and clinch international jobs abroad. Due to globalization and rapid economic development, the demand for learning English is skyrocketing in urban areas.

The country has achieved extraordinary growth in the last decade, making it the world’s second largest economy. Specifically, the market for English language training was worth USD $5 billion in 2013, and is expected to grow to reach a CAGR of 19% over the period of 2015 t0 2019. This means that there will be a huge rise in demand for English learning and more room for new private training centers in the Chinese market.

Government Investment in Education

The People’s Republic of China spends 4% of the total GDP on education. According to China’s Ministry of Finance, government investment in compulsory education has grown at an annual rate of 19.4% over the past decade. With the country’s rapid economic growth in the last decade, the increased investment has accelerated growth in education.

Education is compulsory for 9 years for every citizen. This period is funded by the government and the public budget was 1.1993 trillion Yuan in 2014 as compared to a mere 243.2 billion Yuan in 2005.  This shows that the government is serious and committed to improving its education system in the long term. There has been an immense growth in education due to the government’s efforts to prioritize education, high economic growth, and globalization.

This continued drive and investment in education will further increase the need for English language amongst students, as it is the language of the world for travellers, business people, and large multi-national corporations. As students expand their intellect, English is an obvious second language to learn.

English Learning across China

Currently, there are more than 300 million learners of English in China. This is about a quarter of the country’s population. English is seen as a foreign language that is necessary for college education and career growth. It is the most popular foreign language to learn as opposed to other languages such as Russian and Japanese. According to researchers, English is expected to retain this status in the future.

There are an estimated 45,000 private organizations and companies offering private English classes in China. One key example is New Oriental, who has seen tremendous growth in revenue in the past few years. Their shares are now worth at least 4 times more when they first debuted in 2006.

The China English Learning Market & Growth in Major Chinese Cities

The top 3 major cities in China with highest urban population and GDP per capita are, of course, Shanghai, Beijing, and Tianjin.

These cities attract the most people to private foreign language learning schools. Modern facilities, urban population, high GDP, and opportunities for growth contribute to making these cities high centers of English learning.

  1. Shanghai

Shanghai is the largest, wealthiest and most populous city in China. It is a global financial center with developed infrastructure. This cosmopolitan city’s demand for English teachers is inexhaustible due to the unusually high demand.

Population: 24.1 million (as of 2015)

GDP: US$384 billion (2014)

2014 Growth rate: 6.9%

  1. Beijing

Beijing is the second largest city in China by urban population. It ranked second in GDP per capita in 2015. Being the capital with modern infrastructure and urban population, Beijing is a top destination for English learning and teaching.

Population: 21.5 million (as of 2015)

GDP: US$ 343.38 billion (2014)

2014 Growth rate: 7.3%

  1. Tianjin

Tianjin ranked first in GDP per capita in 2015. It is a famous tourist city. There are a number of reputed universities in Tianjin namely Tianjin University, Civil Aviation University of China, and Nankai University.

Population: 15.4 million (as of 2015)

GDP: US$255.95 billion

2013 Growth rate: 12.6%

Setting up an English language training business in these cities, and many others, will be worthwhile and profitable since many Chinese students and professionals are looking for an extra edge in finding a job or getting accepted by a university.

Going Global

In an effort to compete on a global scale, China’s Ministry of Education made English compulsory for all primary schools. This resulted in an increasing number of parents sending their children to private English training centers to give their child a head start and an advantage over their peers. “The growing middle class in China recognizes the importance of English as China’s economy internationalizes,” according to a study by EF Education First, a subsidiary of the global group Education First. It is safe to say that as an international language, English is here to stay in China with its growing interaction with the rest of the world.

When you open a New Horizons English Language center, you are investing in years of proven systems, track records and a recognized brand name. With China’s desire to learn English, along with their rapid growing economy, it is a lucrative place to open an English language training center. If you are keen to expand your business or find out more about opening a New Horizons English franchise, click on our homepage for more details.


*Rining Wei and Jinzhi Su (2012). The statistics of English in China. English Today,28, pp 10­14 doi:10.1017/S0266078412000235