NEW YORK, Dec. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- For most industries, the impact of lockdowns and social-distancing measures imposed over the course of the year by governments around the world to contain the pandemic has been financially devastating. Yet, for video-streaming services and online video content in general, this year's crisis has been an opportunity. Online video viewer growth rates showed no sign of slowing down even before the pandemic. After it started, growth rates accelerated. Video streaming companies are now coming up with new solutions to the isolation problem. For instance, Netflix launched a Google Chrome browser extension named Netflix Party, which allows users to access content in groups. Meanwhile, Zoom recently announced that it will allow unlimited time on video calls over Christmas and New Year's, so families and friends can spend more virtual time together for the holidays. Meten EdtechX Education Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: METX), Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM), RingCentral, Inc. (NYSE: RNG), K12 Inc. (NYSE: LRN), GSX Techedu Inc. (NYSE: GSX)
Besides the spike in entertainment consumption, video communication through the internet is now more relevant than ever before. As such, both work and education now heavily depend on online video conferences, video meetings, recorded lectures or tutorials as well as live lessons. As a result of social distancing and quarantine measures, video conferencing platforms such as Zoom and WebEx are now at peek popularity, as are learning management systems like Instructure's Canvas, Blackboard and Google Classroom. "Americans are getting creative as they use tech devices and services to stay connected," states Lesley Rohrbaugh, Director of Research for the Consumer Technology Association. "Not only are more Americans using video conference call platforms, they're using the platforms socially too, with a surge in virtual birthday parties, happy hours and game nights."
Meten EdtechX Education Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: METX) announced breaking news last week that, "the latest business development of its exam preparatory product segments, demonstrating that the performance of the "BiGao" exam preparatory product ("BiGao") for middle school students has exhibited strong growth since launch in July 2019. Meanwhile, with the launch of the "YunFan", the exam preparatory product ("YunFan") for college students, in December 2020, the competitiveness of Meten EdtechX in the market of exam preparatory products in China has been further strengthened.
With the core goal of improving students' exam performance, "BiGao" provides a comprehensive VIP learning program for mid-to-high net worth families in China, covering various subjects, including English and mathematics ranging from the junior high school to the college entrance examination. Relying on the improving results from exam scores and good experiences, the cumulative gross billing generated from "BiGao" for the five months ended November 30, 2020 has been approximately RMB20 million, and has increased significantly by more than 360% compared to the same periods last year. It is worth noting that a significant number of the Company's students from both online and offline ELT business segments are customers of "BiGao", which enables "BiGao" to expand its customer base efficiently.
"YunFan" exam preparatory product was officially launched on December 22, 2020. Unlike "BiGao", "Yunfan" is an exam preparatory product mainly designed to assist college students with their exam preparation, including high-level exams such as national English levels 4 and 6 and postgraduate entrance exams. The launch of "YunFan" enables the Company to expand its domestic exam preparatory product segments to different age groups and complete the close-loop of its business from ELT and domestic exam preparatory services in China to overseas exam preparation, which can effectively improve the conversion rate of the students of Meten EdtechX among different product lines and the user stickiness of the Company."
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Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM) announced back in October its new end-to-end encryption (E2EE) is now available to users globally, free and paid, for meetings with up to 200 participants. This feature is available immediately as a technical preview, meaning that the company is proactively soliciting feedback from users for the next 30 days. E2EE is available on Zoom desktop client version 5.4.0 for Mac and PC, the Zoom Android app, and Zoom Rooms, with the Zoom iOS app pending Apple App Store approval. "We're very proud to bring Zoom's new end-to-end encryption to Zoom users globally today," said Zoom CISO Jason Lee. "This has been a highly requested feature from our customers, and we're excited to make this a reality. Kudos to our encryption team who joined us from Keybase in May and developed this impressive security feature within just six months."
RingCentral, Inc. (NYSE: RNG) announced last week a new partnership with RingCentral, Inc. (NYSE: RNG), a leading provider of global enterprise cloud communications, video meetings, collaboration, and contact center solutions. The partnership will enable Stack8 to offer RingCentral's Unified Communications as-a-Service (UCaaS) platform to their large enterprise customers around the world. Additionally, Stack8 will provide RingCentral Office®—a Unified Communications platform that provides cloud-based team messaging, video meetings, and an international cloud phone system to all customers. "This is yet another monumental step for us and our market," said Steven Karachinsky, CEO of Stack8. "As a full-service solutions company, Stack8 is fully dedicated to making it easy for customers to use technology in their businesses, so they can deliver on their promises to their customers. Because RingCentral embodies the same values, the addition of their industry-leading offerings to our portfolio is a perfect fit."
K12 Inc. (NYSE: LRN) announced in July that online private school is now more accessible for the 2020-2021 school year as K12 Private Academy offers families a 10% discount on tuition. The reduced tuition will open the door for more families to have a safe and secure school year by accessing quality education from licensed teachers from the comfort of their homes, or anywhere in the world with an internet connection. "We are excited to continue our mission of providing a quality, online private school education for more families in the upcoming school year," said Head of School Leslie Smith. "K12 Private Academy is committed to opening the doors to families seeking an alternative learning environment and ensuring that every student has access to a school that helps them succeed."
GSX Techedu Inc. (NYSE: GSX) an online K-12 large-class after-school tutoring service provider in China, announced back in November its unaudited financial results for the third quarter ended September 30th, 2020. Net revenues was RMB 4,913.7 Million, a 316.5% year-over-year increase. Net revenues of online K-12 increased 356.5% year-over-year to RMB 4,262.2 Million. Larry Xiangdong Chen, GSX's founder, Chairman and CEO, commented, "We achieved another robust quarter, with net revenues hitting an all-time-high of RMB 1.966 Billion, which is 3.5 times that of the same quarter of last year. These outstanding results speak to our continued focus of providing the highest quality services to our students and parents, our consistent training to frontline employees and our unwavering efforts to improve the operational efficiencies and organizational capabilities."
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