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Caixin

ByteDance pushes into education, talks on investing in India

TikTok owner reportedly in discussions with Mumbai-based Lido Learning

Students use tablet PCs as they have a lesson in the classroom at a primary school in Langfang city, south China's Hebei province.   © Imaginechina/AP Images

ByteDance is reportedly in talks with Indian edtech startup Lido Learning for a potential investment opportunity, as the TikTok owner carves out an expansion plan for its fledging education business for the coming years.

The move comes as coronavirus-induced lockdowns have led to a surge in global demand for online tutoring services.

Beijing-based ByteDance has held several rounds of discussions with Mumbai-based Lido Learning, but whether talks will end up in a deal remains uncertain, Indian media outlet, The Economic Times, reported Friday, citing three sources.

Founded in 2019, Lido Learning provides live and custom-designed tutoring services to students in the K-10 segment and claims to have over 5,000 students studying on its website and mobile app.

The news comes just two weeks after ByteDance Senior Vice President Chen Lin unveiled a plan to invest "a huge amount" of capital in its newly-established education business in the next three years regardless of possible losses and the saturation level of the market.

The attempt to invest in Lido Learning could also be seen as part of ByteDance's broader strategy of finding promising tech companies to buy into, as the Chinese company's primary money-making app TikTok is banned in India, one of the key overseas markets for the wildly popular short video service.

ByteDance is a late entrant to the education sector, operating one-on-one English tutoring app GoGoKid and online course livestreaming app Qingbei.

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Caixinglobal.com is the English-language online news portal of Chinese financial and business news media group Caixin. Nikkei recently agreed with the company to exchange articles in English.

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