Pearson, Nokia form English teaching JV in China

By : |January 31, 2010 0

LONDON, UK:  Publishing group Pearson and phone maker Nokia have formed a joint venture to deliver English-language learning materials to mobile phone users in China, the two companies said on Monday.

China, which has more English learners than in any other country, is playing an increasingly important role for UK-based Pearson, which owns the world’s largest education publishing business as well as the Financial Times and Penguin books.

Last year, it bought Wall Street English for $145 million in cash, giving it a leading position in China’s English-language teaching market.

The new joint venture, named Beijing Mobiledu Technologies, builds on a service that Nokia launched in 2007, providing content from a variety of publishers, which so far has about 20 million subscribers and 1.5 million active users each month.

Customers can access the content through an application preloaded on new Nokia handsets, or by visiting the service’s mobile website.

Mobile phones are crucial for access to information in China, which has at least 720 million mobile subscribers, double the amount of Internet users it has.

Nokia, the world’s biggest handset maker, sold almost 18 million phones in China last quarter, 36 percent more than a year earlier.

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