Texthelp, providers of award-winning literacy support software, based in County Antrim, has agreed a partnership with the China Education Alliance (CEA), a provider of online education and onsite training in China during NI Government’s trade mission to China.
The agreement was formally signed today (15th November) in the presence of the First and Deputy First Ministers, the Rt. Hon. Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness MP, as well as Arlene Foster MLA, Minister of Enterprise Trade and Investment and Invest NI Chairperson, Mark Ennis, at the Shangri-La Hotel Pudong in Shanghai. The ministers’ visit to China reciprocates a visit to Northern Ireland by high ranking politician Ms Liu Yandong from the Chinese government, and is intended to boost economic ties between the two countries.
The partnership with CEA is Texthelp’s first in China and builds upon a relationship previously established during an Invest NI trade mission. As part of the partnership, Texthelp will be providing a specifically adapted version of its English Hero software which assists English language learning through an easy-to-use toolbar containing support tools for students. CEA, which markets educational products through distance learning to 150 million students will be using the software to support its English Language learning students in China.
The First Minister said: “This is an extremely significant development for one of our leading software businesses and it underlines Northern Ireland’s standing as a centre of excellence for software development.
“By constantly focusing on generating new business in external markets, firms such as Texthelp are bringing success to Northern Ireland and adding significant value to our economy. I look forward to observing the progress of the partnership between Texthelp and CEA and to celebrating the success of their new venture.”
Welcoming the agreement Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: “The partnership with CEA is Texthelp’s first in China and builds upon a relationship previously established during an Invest NI trade mission. It is a good example of an innovative local company that has grown over the last 15 years and adapted to the ever-changing technology marketplace.”
Mark McCusker, CEO of Texthelp, says, “We have been exploring opportunities in China with the support of Invest NI and Intralink, an organisation that works with European technology companies to execute successful market strategies in China and other Asian countries. This partnership is a result of more than 12 months of research, in-country visits and relationship building, and on the back of other partnerships recently established in India and Brazil, itrepresents another success in a potentially very lucrative global market for English language learning. The software has been adapted in conjunction with CEA specifically for the Chinese market and we will continue to work with CEA to develop this product and other language learning technologies going forward.”
Mr Xiqun Yu, CEO of China Education Alliance, Inc. says, “Increasing international cooperation means the use of English at work is becoming more common and we believe there are currently over 250 million office workers in China trying to improve their English. English Hero is a powerful tool that will help millions of Chinese people improve their language skills and we are delighted to be working with Texthelp. Their commitment to CEA and to the China market, as demonstrated through the support of Intralink and their bilingual team, was a key factor for us to enter this agreement. We believe Texthelp to be a strategic partner for CEA as we use our combined resources to open up China’s vast market.”
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