Zhihu Launches Adult and Vocational Education App

Zhihu, a popular Chinese question-and-answer website, recently launched its first adult education and vocational training app called “Zhixuetang” (知学堂 Zhīxuétáng), Xinyan Finance reported on Monday.

The app is a learning platform positioned to provide knowledge products for adults. Users can choose categories for online learning, such as for postgraduate entrance examinations and workplace skills. In addition to the smartphone version, it is also available on iPads. At present, the platform is still in beta testing, and more functions may be developed and released in the future.

Currently, the courses in the app are mainly taught by the online education division of Zhihu, Papa Education and individuals. After paying, users can enter the study process. The courses provided in the app are mainly live broadcasting and recorded videos, and the learning achievements are consolidated through online homework.

As an important part of its exploration of commercial monetization, the education arm of Zhihu may become the key to breaking the firm’s increasing annual losses. According to its financial report, the revenue of other businesses focusing on online education services of vocational training and professional courses in 2021 was 156 million yuan ($24.5 million), an increase of 196% compared with that of 2020. Zhihu education is gradually increasing its share of the firm’s overall revenue.

The development of Zhihu‘s education business began in 2021. In March of that year, the platform launched a vocational education app called “Product Trainee.” This product was positioned as a high-quality vocational education platform for people in the internet industry. This was the first time that it has explored the development model of independent education products outside of the Zhihu app.

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In August, 2021, Zhihu invested in two platforms within the adult education field. First, it invested in Shanghai Pzacademy, which is an online training platform for financial accounting professionals. Zhihu has become the largest shareholder of the platform. Then, in October of the same year, the company took a stake in Papa Education as a major shareholder, which is a one-stop service platform focusing on online education for study-abroad exam training and applications.