Atlanta-based Asia Broadband Inc. last week launched its Internet portal in Shanghai to provide online English language education to Chinese students and professionals. The URL for the portal is www.ie.online.sh.cn.

The demand for English language instruction in China has grown explosively with the pace of economic development and urbanization in the country, with revenues for foreign language training operations exceeding $1.2 billion in 2001, according to Malin Carlsson, Asia Broadband's Shanghai-based spokesperson.

Asia Broadband, working with its joint venture partner, Shanghai Broadband Network Inc., is targeting students and business professionals with its 15-17 week online language programs, which range in price from $155 to $220. The programs are also available for different focus tracks, including general instruction, business English, language training for children and English courses structured for China's civil servants, said Ms. Carlsson. The courses combine online instruction with classroom learning.

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