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Online English education sector records 168% growth but ch

nline English-language courses for children saw an explosive growth in 20

18, according to a report released by data-monitoring firm Trustdata on Tuesday.

The report on China’s online English education market for children s

hows that the market had more than 15 million users last year, up 168.3 percent year-on-ye

ar. It’s expected that the market size would surpass 50 billion yuan ($7.3 billion) in 2019.

The market pattern of one-on-one teaching has been gradually for

med and the top brands have secured the lion’s share of the market, as per the report.

Market size doubles in one year

The market size of online English-language education for childre

n was 21.3 billion yuan in 2018, an increase of 104 percent year-on-year, with one-on-one teaching taking

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Fertility rates, meanwhile, remain astonishingly high in

n some countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. In a few of the poorest-Niger, Mali and th

e Democratic Republic of Congo-the rate is 6-7 children per woman. The resulting flood of new ent

rants to the labor market is far outstripping the number of jobs available.

Empowering women key to meeting challenge

No known growth model can accommodate or keep up with this k

ind of demographic surge. Even sustained economic growth of around 7 percent per year

won’t be enough. And although fertility tends to decline as incomes rise, that does not happen immediately. Em

powering women, therefore, may be the most effective way of starting to address the challenge.

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competitors. This was the policy followed by the US in the

 in the 19th century and by Western Europe, Japan, and South Korea in the years after World War II.

China is no longer a poor country. It can no longer compete by using l

ow-wage labor. Fortunately, it has now developed world-class companies that are incr

easingly developing new products and services that can compete successfully in many foreign markets.

Now that it has reached middle-income status, China’s economic strategy will focus on creating a highly competitive dom

estic market that forces companies to produce high-value goods so they can pay high wages to highly skilled people.

Because of its long experience in manufacturing, much of th

at push will be focused on higher value-added production, using the new technologies of rob

otics, artificial intelligence, the internet of things and 5G. This is the only way to avoid the middle-income trap.

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China has also recently announced a strengthened reg

gime of intellectual property rights protection. Again, this is what foreign negotiat

ors are seeking, but also is important for China’s own economy as it transitions to being a technology leader.

Trade agreements can affect the types of goods being traded and they can redirect trade toward one c

ountry, away from others. They cannot directly affect any country’s worldwide current account bal

ance. A country that saves less than it invests will have to borrow foreign funds to import foreign goods to make up that difference.

There are two ways to reduce the US trade deficit. A serious recession would reduce investme

nt, but nobody advocates that as a strategy. The only other path is to change the US financial and gov

ernment system to encourage increased savings. China has almost nothing to do with it.

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Wu Zhongliang, director of the administration’s Institu

itute of Earthquake Forecasting, said the experimental site will help form a

“united front” at the national and international level to work on earthquake forecasting.

Referring to earthquake forecasting as a hard nut to crack, Wu said t

he work cannot see marked progress just in a few days, but forecasting capability will be imp

roved as technology develops. “If it’s a war between humans and earthquakes, it’s us that will finally win,” he said.

Paul Tapponnier, a distinguished research professor a

t the administration’s Institute of Crustal Dynamics, said he “wholeheartedly” wel

comes the project. China boasts unique conditions to carry out the experiment as most of its earthquakes oc

cur “inside the land under the feet of the people” rather than in the ocean, and there are many active faults in the country.

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US soy farmers call for cool-down of trade tensions

US soy farmers have urged Washington to work for a positive solution to the current tarif

f dispute with the world’s top oilseed buyer China, and avoid further escalation of trade tensions.

In a statement released late Tuesday, the American Soybean Association (ASA) described the t

hreat by US President Donald Trump’s administration to increase the tariff rate from 10 percent to 25 p

ercent on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods as the “worst case” for US soybean growers.

“This is a predicament for soy growers,” said Davie Stephens, ASA president and a soybean farmer from Kentucky.

“With depressed (soybean) prices and unsold stocks fo

recast to double before the 2019 harvest begins in September, we nee

d the China market reopened to US soybean exports within weeks, not months or longer,” he added.

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Sales of Saky products in the lower-tier market only accou

unt for about 20 percent of the total, but they have quadrupled in the past two years.

“If you can prove to small-town youths that the products are useful, they are willing to pay,” Lan said. “Some inno

vative Saky products have also seen rapid growth in lower-tier markets, including one that removes stains from teeth.”

Chen, from Roland Berger, said that while small-town youths are narrowing the gap with their count

erparts in bigger cities in many ways, they still have many distinct demands. If companies want to win t

hem over, it is important for them to have a deep understanding of lower-tier markets and to draw up strategies acc

ordingly, whether in building brand awareness, or providing specialized products and distribution channels.

For example, while helping a jewelry company to access lower-tier markets, he found tha

t jade inlaid with gold is very popular, although it is considered unfashionable by consumers in large cities.

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r kids’ footprints have been left on hundreds of desti

“Products that just scratch the surface, like simple tours of famous universities, have fallen out of favor with the market,” Zhang says.

Language training, NASA’s space camp, computer programming, homes

tays, wild animal care and desert and museum experiences are among the most popular options.

“Certain volunteering and public-welfare routes have seen a particularly fast increase in bookings,” Zhang says.

During the recent winter vacation in February, study-t

rip bookings surged by 80 percent compared with the same period of last year.

Domestic trips cost roughly 4,500 yuan ($663) per capita on ave

rage, while expenditures hit 21,000 yuan for outbound experiences, the agency reports.

Parents from Shanghai, Beijing and Guangdong province’s Guangz

hou and Shenzhen are the most willing to spend, according to Ctrip’s data.

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Our program features opportunities for students to exp

xperience what is it like in real satellite development projects,” Cui said.

“We will ask the students to set up a project team to simulate research and development of an imaginary satellite, and e

ach of them will be designated a role ranging from chief designer to subsystem manager,” Cui added.

“We also offer opportunities to the students to visit satellite research-related institu

tes and satellite users to see satellites’ assembly, testing and experiments,” Cui said.

“They will be able to get personal understanding of spacecraft research and development and obtain some know-how.”

He said space training providers in other countries will not take foreign students to design or production sites.

Cui said most of the lecturers in the program are senior researchers and chief desi

gners at Chinese space institutes and provide the foreign students with the latest expertise.

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In addition, the institute will invite foreign experts

to give lectures to the students to provide access to new developments in the international space sector.

“We want to make sure that they will be able to design satellites when they complete their study here and go back to their countries,” Cui said.

He added that compared with their Chinese peers, the foreign

students are more active in class and are better at asking questions and sharing their thoughts.

The foreign students will choose either remote sensing or comm

unications satellites as the topic for individual research at the Shenzhou Institute, Cui s

aid, adding that their choice will depend on what they will do in their homeland after the program.

Wang Jie, the mentor of the eight-student class, said that in addition to professional knowledge

and on-site tours, the institute also arranges lectures on Chinese language and culture for the foreign s

tudents and takes them to such historical sites as the Forbidden City and Summer Palace.

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