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Berlitz (US) Expands to China with CIIC Franchise

26 Oct 2018 - Global language learning firm Berlitz has announced a deal with Shanghai CIIC International Training Center to expand its franchise English learning provision to China.

The companies did not disclose how much the master franchise deal was worth, but did make their joint ambitions and aims clear, stating “the collaboration will create a premium brand for English-language education aimed at the youth market in China,” in a press release.

October saw the first new centre open in Shanghai, and according to the firms it will be followed by at least 100 more Berlitz Kids & Teens Learning Centers throughout the country over the next five years.

The deal, known as a ‘master franchise agreement’, will allow CIIC to own and operate multiple centres under the Berlitz name, but also allows the firm to sub-franchise to other operators within China.

CIIC is described as “a key state-owned enterprise under the management of the central government [which] covers language training, corporate training, vocational training, and youth training, with a particular commitment to cross-culture communication programs”.

Zheng Teng, CIIC’s vice chairman said in a statement that the partnership would “promote the rapid expansion and steady development of Berlitz Kids & Teens English training for young learners in China, bringing English to Chinese families.”

He added that the history, prestige and teaching style of Berlitz was a draw for CIIC.

“With 140 years of history, Berlitz Corporation is renowned worldwide for its premium language and cross-culture training services, bringing a pure and systematic way of learning to English learners around the world,” he said.

Berlitz said it views China as a key part of its global strategy, noting the potential for growth, and referred to CIIC as a “prestigious and respected” partner.

“CIIC represents the ideal franchise partner for Berlitz: It has a strong local presence, proven operation abilities, and a deep knowledge of the market place,” said Chris Eden, the senior vice president of franchising at the Berlitz Corporation.

“With evolving social policies and a growing population of around 230 million children aged between 0–14, China will be a growth market for many years to come,” added Kevin Lynch, the senior vice president APAC at Berlitz.


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