Alibaba Group Invests $27.6 Million into Education Startup, Zhejiang Jingzhunxue

Alibaba - AI Education

Alibaba Group Holding has recently injected approximately 200 million yuan (US$27.6 million) into the artificial intelligence (AI) education startup Zhejiang Jingzhunxue, underscoring the Chinese e-commerce behemoth’s significant commitment to the AI sector.

Based in Hangzhou, Jingzhunxue announced on Wednesday that it had secured support from Alibaba to advance the development and dissemination of its AI-driven educational device, Bong. Notably, Alibaba holds ownership of the South China Morning Post.

Bong, powered by Alibaba’s Qwen model in conjunction with Jingzhunxue’s internally developed large language model (LLM), is an interactive instructional tool tailored for students.

It delivers AI-generated video lessons conducted by virtual instructors, as outlined in the startup’s announcement. The product is slated for launch in June.

Alibaba – AI Education

Yang Renbin, CEO of Jingzhunxue and formerly a technology director at Alibaba, emphasized the critical role of AI in addressing the scarcity of educators amidst China’s vast student populace.

He asserted, “AI is expected to completely resolve the challenge of achieving personalized teaching on a large scale.”

This investment mirrors broader trends in the Chinese tech world, where companies, both established giants and emerging startups, are actively leveraging generative AI technologies across diverse sectors. Jingzhunxue’s focus on education aligns with this trajectory.

Alibaba’s strategic positioning in the AI domain extends beyond external investments. The company has been nurturing its Qwen series of large AI models, integrated into various services like the workplace collaboration platform DingTalk.

Alibaba – AI Education

In this increasingly competitive space, Alibaba stands out as a major player, backing not only Moonshot AI but also other prominent AI startups like Baichuan, Zhipu AI, and MiniMax, collectively dubbed China’s “four new AI tigers.”

This substantial investment portfolio underscores Alibaba’s significant role as one of the country’s foremost venture investors in the AI sector.

Moreover, China’s generative AI service market is witnessing heightened competition, with major tech giants engaging in an LLM price war.

Alibaba, Tencent Holdings, and ByteDance are among the key players vying for dominance, offering aggressive discounts to attract users to their respective platforms, thereby intensifying pressure on smaller startups.

Ethan Johnson
Ethan's journey into journalism began with a deep curiosity about how businesses operate and evolve in today's dynamic markets. Armed with a degree in Journalism from a prestigious university, he embarked on his career, initially covering local business developments before expanding his scope to national and international commerce news.