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CHINA BRIEF | ByteDance releases AI-based English learning app for kids under eight

The new app goes head-to-head with Tencent-backed edtech startup Yuanfudao.

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ByteDance, the entertainment giant best known for its app TikTok, has launched Guagua Long English, an AI-powered English tutoring app for kids ages two through eight years old, competing with Zebra AI, owned by Chinese edtech unicorn Yuanfudao, local media outlet 36Kr reported on Wednesday.

Guagua Long was released one month ago to the iOS app store and provides AI-tailored curriculums and interactive courses taught by native speakers. The company’s representative, Ding Huayong, is the head of ByteDance’s user experience design department.

The 36Kr report compares Guagua Long to Yuanfudao’s Zebra AI, which is the current market leader in its vertical, reportedly generating RMB 300 million (USD 42.6 million) in March alone with 500,000 students. Tencent-backed Yuanfudao raised USD 1 billion in its Series G at a post-money valuation of USD 7.8 billion last month.

This article is part of KrASIA’s “China Brief” section, where KrASIA’s reporters will provide quick daily updates about the tech ecosystem in China.