How to Enter China’s Growing Training Market?

China is evolving from an industry-based economy to a service-based economy. Technology already has changed the way people live, and in the next future, the passage to an even more technological nation will mean new demand for required skills. How the Training Market will be in 10 years? Will China be able to train its numerous inhabitants in order to face the new market needs?


  • A service-based economy needs a new working force
  • Urbanization cannot be the only driver of China’s GDP growth
  • Digital skills must be included in the training market programs
  • What aspect should China consider before reinventing its training market?
  • How should be the ideal Chinese training market?
  • The training market transformation needs the creation of projects
  • Only a systemic approach can drive China transformation
  • Why should foreign companies participate in China’s training market transformation?

A service-based economy needs a new working force

It is esteemed that one-third of the world’s occupational transitions will occur in China due to the enormous market and the high number of citizens. This aspect implies that China should understand how to manage this transition even more than other countries. The government, obviously, aware of this important challenge the country is going to meet, has started to rethink the current training system. A successful strategy will be important not only for the future of the Chinese economy but also for that all the other nations.

Let’s cross the fingers with China for the realization of one of the most important systemic transformations.

Urbanization cannot be the only driver of China’s GDP growth

China aspires to have the 70% of the per capita GDP of all world’s developed economies by 2050. According to Statista,

As of 2019, China was among the leading countries with the largest gross domestic product worldwide, second only to the United States which had a GDP volume of almost 21.5 trillion U.S. dollars. The Chinese GDP has shown remarkable growth over the past years.

Currently, it has around ten times as many cities accommodating more than 60% of the population. As China’s economy continues to progress, projections estimate the urbanization rate to reach 70% by 2035. To put this in perspective, Asia’s most urbanized country is Japan at around 92%.

Up to now, the increase of GDP and per capita income have been driven by urbanization, a continuous flow of people moving from rural areas to cities has helped China become a more industrialized country.

However, the one-child policy started to create problems: the aging population is making debts and costs grow. Only innovation and new skills can sustain China’s growth.

Digital skills must be included in training market programs

The increasing influence of digitalization in any aspect of life is becoming more and more visible in western countries but in China, such a strong influence is even more evident. Everything is digital in any part of China, from shopping to entertainment, from a simple service to a complex one.

Even working skills are changing and will change even more soon for the increasing role of automation with a resulting elimination of numerous kinds of job. Chinese people will need to concentrate the learning time on training courses program that talks about digitization if wants to be ready for the new work environment.

What aspect should China consider before reinventing its training market?

The designers of a new root for the Chinese GDP growth will probably take into consideration some of the following comments.

A great part of China’s society (and of the whole world) will need to look for a new job. According to a survey, only in China, this amount will reach 220 million in 2030. Automation can kill many kinds of jobs and has been already visible during the pandemic. Roles that can be automated include 73% of food services, 41% of entertainment and recreation, and 44% of wholesale trade. Sectors less exposed to COVID also have high automation potential, including construction (47%), personal care (49%), and manufacturing (60%).

The great part of the Chinese population that will suffer this epochal change seems to be new urban coming from rural areas. Due to Chinese policy, these people cannot access healthcare, education, and training services, so the Chinese government must have a plan to offer a decent life to so many people. China’s household registration system needs an overhaul.

How does the ideal Chinese training market look like?

Till now, the education system in China has been enough good to prepare the workforce of an industrial economy. Now, with the arrival of a new kind of economy, built on the pillars of innovation, consumption, and services, the parameters to create a new working force are completely different.

The training market must involve the Chinese population as a whole

In order to increase the GDP and per capita income, the first thing to do is include the total population as the target of the training system.

A more inclusive and, at the same time, efficient system can give the possibility to Chinese society to be prepared before the transformation. So, the training program must focus on the relevant subjects for the working environment and give the possibility of being trained to every citizen.

Encourage private institutions and employers to be part of this new way of thinking education and training is the unique solution to increase the number of educators the society will need to change. Only operating in this way there will be a sufficient education force that can serve students to learn even after the hour of school or a worker wherever he can thank a more flexible timetable.

Only 3 million workers on a total of 291 million attended a vocational or technical program in 2019!

Knowing this is the current situation in China sounds strange if we think at the enormous technological capabilities the country has available. A system already based on technology and innovative tools cannot forget to use such important instruments to reinforce its society, which the government must sustain with new policies and incentives.

Training program must teach practical skills

According to a 2018 survey, 62% of graduates said to not feel satisfied with the topics learn during hours at school and the expertise of their teachers. They also claim for the lack of a sufficient number of internships and the not connection between skills learned and skills necessary to the world of work. Not by chance, wealthy families are used to sending their sons and daughters abroad to learn in well-known universities because they think foreign important colleges have higher quality standards than Chinese universities. Another factor that shows this distrust in the way of teaching at standard schools is the new phenomenon of online education courses.

What are the required skills for the new work market?

Among the most required skills for being competitive in the next future there are:

  • high cognitive skills (decision making, critical thinking, …)
  • social and emotional skills (public relations and leadership, …)
  • technical skills (advanced data analysis, …)

To teach such important skills in an effective way it will be necessary to include new teaching methods, such as case studies and hands-on projects, participatory learning, and experiential training.

The Chinese training market transformation needs the creation of projects

The best way to drive China’s transformation without suffering interruptions and losses in wrong investment is to enact small-scale pilots around the Chinese territory. According to a survey, these pilots can be enacted with the help of the following main ingredients:

  • Online education
  • Cooperation between public institutions and private companies
  • Career orientation and incentives

Online education always growing in China

First, China needs to innovate its traditional education system. Schools and training are both based on traditional teaching materials, such as textbooks that do not contain practical content.

So, it’s time to use a new kind of teaching inclusive of a more engaging multi-channel teaching system. Technology with all its products must be delivered: virtual reality, gamification, personalized digital platforms, and augmented reality are all exceptional attracting materials.

There are many online education platforms that permit its users to learn and teach via mobile by creating video clips and opening online classes. It is tipped to be a great solution for training rural students.

Not to mention live streaming and social commerce, both an example innovation technology very popular in China, and that can be useful in the educational field.

The educational market growth is driven by high tech companies

Chinese tech giants have understood the importance of human resources development and liability, so are already offering educational programs that have the aim to prepare the working force to the market demands. Not by chance, the 56% of global venture-capital investment in education technology was in China in 2019.

Also, thanks to the participation of tech companies, the education and training market in China have grown by 16% a year since 2014 and, in 2019, reached a value of 3 trillion.

These would be incredible positive data if not only the 14% of this growing market was vocational-related training.

Cooperation between public institutions and private companies

Considering the infinite number of companies in China, the government should enhance the collaboration between schools and enterprises.

There are already many entities that are going in that direction, among these, for example, there is the Taobao university.

These kinds of schools also need a new way of teaching and consequently a new type of educators. The prerequisite to teaching in these schools should be to have had experience in the school subjects-related industry. A prerequisite that is already the norm, for example, in vocational schools in Germany.

By 2030, it will be an important prerequisite in China too, in fact, more than 80% of professors teaching in specialized courses will be required industry expertise.

Career orientation and incentives

Everyone wants to find a job and have the economic possibility to be trained. Financial incentives, vouchers, and grants are all necessary to help low-income people to attend the courses they cannot otherwise afford.

So, an improved system that includes information about possible careers available in certain areas together with the economical supports provided in multiple forms can drive more homogeneous income growth.

Not only government subsidies but also companies’ investments should be relevant to proceed in such an effective way. In fact, if companies invest more in training and provide their employees with the new required knowledge, the benefit will be easier to be reached and society will develop faster.

Only a systemic approach can drive the transformation of the training market in China

The government, institutions, companies must all be involved in this epochal change. To be reinvented China needs the participation of all relevant economic subjects.

The strategy must be inclusive and focus on three main points, which are:

  • Setting up a leading group of representatives prevenient from different environments, such as multiple ministries, vocational institutions, educational institutions, and employers.
  • Adapt the plan to local dynamics. Through monitoring performances in the various areas and dialoguing with people of each context, the leading group can better understand how to implement the strategy.
  • Enhance the participation of companies in this process. Asking for an innovative way of operating in order to stimulate the evolution of the working force. For instance, rewarding employees that truly enhance their skills at the end of courses with promotion and the increase of salaries.

Why should foreign companies participate in China’s training market transformation?

China is aware of the lack of an appropriate educational system and it is already planning its evolution. As we have always seen, China has been able to reach the prefix objectives more than the majority of other countries. This means that the training market will become bigger and more and more inclusive.

Technologic and scientific know-how, as well as programs that stimulate entrepreneurial drive, social relations, and creative skills, will be highly needed.

And not only, since the success of the evolution of the Chinese wide educational system can be an important example to look at, to participate at this big challenge can be the occasion to be a player in the innovation of the whole world training market innovation.

Do you want to be part of such a big plan?

You need a digital marketing agency that can help you to enter the market through the actual most efficient way in China, the online market.

To be competitive in the huge Chinese environment, you need to find your target and be able to reach it through digital tools.

Any company that wants to enter the training market in China needs to consider investing in:

  1. The setting up of a Chinese website hosted in China and adapted to Chinese culture
  2. Doing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Advertising (SEA)
  3. Creative campaigns that involve different Chinese platform
  4. leverage new trends and keep up with the times
  5. Monitoring results and competitors’ strategies

Setting up of a Chinese website

This step indicates the need for a company to have its own place where can be found by the consumers. Having a website surely can demonstrate to be more relevant and reliable. However, companies cannot pretend to translate the western version of the website just through translation. The website also needs to be hosted in China so that users can load it rapidly, and to be adapted to Chinese taste and culture.

Symbols and storytelling must be adapted to Chinese culture and the quality of images must be high. Never forget these aspects for your content creation.

To enter the Chinese Training Market you need Baidu SEO and SEA

When we talk about Search Engines in China, the first word that comes to mind is BAIDU.

Baidu is the most famous search engine in the country. Any company that wants to be found online needs a strategy that allows it to rank in the first positions of Baidu results, according to the most important keywords of the moment for the industry-related sector.

SEO is always a good option to have more cost-effective results in the long term, but if you want to speed up the process of your visibility, you need also to do SEA. Investment in pay-per-click and banners can help your company to be visible.

Creative campaigns that involve different Chinese platform

Creativity is always the key driver of any branding strategy. If your strategy is original and beautiful to look has more chance to be successful. Chinese are continuously hit by different marketing campaigns, you need to find the right way to be noticed.

In addition, a successful campaign should involve different digital tools. Social media, for example, must be taken into consideration. Weibo, WeChat, and Douyin are all useful platforms in which to invest, they are among the most used social media in China and each of them can be used for a particular objective (to nurture your audience, to do branding, to create trust)

Bilibili is another interesting social media for the educational sector. This app is a video-sharing app that the Chinese appreciate using to learn about many topics. You can leverage this tool with free lessons for example.

Leverage new trends and keep up with the times

When we talk about new marketing tools in China, live streaming and KOLs cannot be missed. Maybe are not so recent ingredients of the Chinese marketing strategy, but nowadays are the most effective way to have ROI. If you want to be popular you need the most loved ambassador by your potential target (KOL), the right moment to show this collaboration (a popular Chinese event), the most favorite tool the Chinese consumers use to watch their idols (live streaming) and the more coherent digital platform for the whole process.

Monitoring results and competitors’ strategies

There are no successful investments that no required systematic monitoring of all the marketing activities. It’s essential to monitor the trend of all activities in order to adjust the budgets and allocates the right portions of it in the right places.

Do you need a digital marketing agency?

Gentlemen Marketing Agency, also known as GMA, is a Digital Marketing Agency that is an expert in helping foreign companies to establish or strengthen their position in China.

If you want to know more on “the education and training market in China, read also:

Leave the first comment