BEIJING, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- Online education companies on Chinese stock markets have seen surging stock prices since the novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP) outbreak in China.
Shares such as Qtone Education Group, (300359.SZ), Shenzhen Kingsun Science & Technology (300235.SZ) closed higher with the 10 percent daily limit on Friday.
Driven by new technologies and capital flows, online education has shown rapid development in the recent years and it will enter a new period after the outbreak, analysts say.
--"Studying at home" to promote online education
To ensure the prevention and control of the NCP epidemic, China’s primary and secondary schools will continue to suspend classes, and many listed companies in the online education ecological chain, such as content supply, technical support and platform supply have come into the spotlight of the capital market.
Data from Xinhua Finance, a national financial information platform affiliated to Xinhua News Agency, showed that online education related stocks took the lead in stabilizing the stock market and rebounding amid the market slump since the market resumed trading on Februrary 3 after the epidemic outbreak.
Up to the close of the market on Friday, online education stocks gained 21.8 percent in 4 trading days, ranking among the top sectors.
More than a dozen stocks in the sector, such as Astro-Century Education & Technology (300654.SZ), Qtone Education, Shanghai Xinnanyang Only Education & Technology (600661.SH) and Net263 (002467.SZ), have surged by the daily limit for four consecutive trading days.
Analysts believe that the epidemic will continue to promote the economy related to staying indoors. The education industry is expected to become a safe haven for the consumer sector and the influx of capital will accelerate the development of online education enterprises in the medium and long term.
--Income have not yet been realized in large scale
As the stock prices rose by more than 20 percent in four trading days, several listed online education companies issued statements of abnormal stock trading fluctuations to warn of risks.
Qtong Education said in a statement late Thursday that the company is actively promoting business to deal with the epidemic, but has not yet generated large scale revenue.
"At present, we are still in the stage of actively integrating products and communicating with customers, such as schools, about their plans and needs. Moreover, the current stage is mainly for public welfare support, and no large-scale revenue has been generated yet," said the statement.
Astro-Century Education, which is also pursued by institutional traders, also released a notice late on Thursday, saying that the company's existing online businesses mainly include online learning and testing, homework review, digital content based applications, but the development of online education business still has uncertainties.
Industry analysts believe that the transformation of education from offline to online will take a long period of time. First, the competition in the online education industry is tough and second, the contents of different platforms tend to be homogeneous.
--Online education moves forward with steady progress
The epidemic outbreak provides both an opportunity and a challenge for online education.
China’s Ministry of Education has previously released a series of documents that emphasized the investment in education digitization. Several institutions expect the development of the sector to enter a new period after the epidemic.
According to Everbright Securities, the delayed opening of primary and secondary schools affected by the virus outbreak may boost the country's continued investment in the online education sector, and companies that provide live online class scenarios may benefit.
Goldlok Holdings noted that smart education cloud platform, smart campus hardware and software products, smart education service applications and personalized value-added services for teachers, students and parents will become the focus of the development, no matter from the perspective of government investment or private capital investment.
Western Securities said that demand for education is rigid and the industry is insensitive to the macro-fundamentals. It is expected that leading companies with good reputation, teacher resource and contents, technology will continue to see rising market share. (Contributed by Liu Yulong, Yan Peng, Ma Yueran; edited by Yang Qi)