Liu Yachao, a maths teacher in China who went on to become the CEO of TAL Education Group, has this year become the company’s second billionaire. The Beijing-based company, which provides core academic tuition for Chinese students, has had an incredibly successful year, with its stock more than doubling.
The reason behind the company's growth couldn't be clearer: a study by HSBC Holidngs PLC found that 93% of Chinese parents pay for private tuition, with their total annual average spend on education being around $42,892. This investment in education has largely contributed to TAL’s meteoric rise in market value, which now stands at a staggering 46% higher than its main competitor, New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc.
Liu’s success story is just as impressive. From starting out as a maths teacher, he went on to rise through the ranks whilst working in a middle-school division, and later went on training teachers in schools, before moving into his position at TAL. Liu now shares his billionaire status with the company’s founder, Zhang Bangxin. With TAL’s American depositary receipts on the rise as well, the success of TAL and its associates shows no sign of slowing down.
With China’s strong focus on education and social mobility, it's clear to see why private tuition in the country is such a prized and, in Liu’s case, lucrative profession.
Image source: Brian Yap