EL SEGUNDO, Calif., July 26, 2017 – Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT) and Babytree, the world's largest parenting portal, today launched the second phase of their strategic partnership, focused on co-developing a network of physical learning centers across China, that will extend their online partnership. With curriculum and activities inspired by Mattel's trusted and globally recognized early childhood development brand, Fisher-Price®, the network of learning centers will further solidify Mattel's position in China as a partner of choice for parents in learning and development.
An extension of Mattel and Babytree's online parenting platform announced earlier this year, the learning centers will drive interconnectivity and continuity between the online and physical learning experiences for children ages zero to five. Combining physical and online offerings, parents will be able to monitor and access their child's progress; register for classes; see videos of their child throughout the day and take home any activities learned in the center for continued learning.
The service offering will include play areas for families, retail and educational classes. There will also be daycare centers featuring educational services and small retail areas in or near office buildings. Combining Mattel and Fisher-Price's expertise in learning and development with Babytree's industry-leading reach with Chinese moms and expertise in early education in China, the learning centers are designed to support Chinese parents in preparing their children for the 21st century.
"Parents in China are eager to invest in innovative early childhood development that will help prepare today's kids for a world being rapidly redefined by technology," said Margo Georgiadis, CEO of Mattel. "We see tremendous opportunity for Fisher-Price and Babytree to fulfill this desire among Chinese parents through an integrated offering of physical learning centers and an online parenting platform."
With a goal of rapid expansion and a large-scale network across China, the program is being rolled-out initially in six locations. Mattel and Fisher-Price will work on the development of education framework, course curriculum, syllabi and classroom materials, while the joint venture will leverage Babytree's big data capabilities to identify strategic locations for the centers, as well as tap into Babytree's influence on millions of Chinese families and industry-leading scale to engage with Chinese moms.
"We are committed to our vision of bringing modern learning and development to China and making it accessible to parents not just in big cities like Beijing but across all regions in China," said Allen Wang, Founder and CEO of Babytree. "We understand the desire of Chinese parents to provide their kids with world-class early development education, and we look forward to drawing on Mattel and Fisher-Price's unique expertise in childhood development to achieve our long-term vision."
With nearly 200 million unique monthly visitors, Babytree is China's largest and most trusted parenting portal. Established 10 years ago, Babytree now reaches more than 90% of Chinese parents who have access to the internet, providing products and services online and offline that cater to young families' needs for knowledge, networking, child development tracking and shopping. Babytree has witnessed the development journey of more than 100 million children in China and accumulated tremendous amount of insights, enabling Babytree to help ease pain points of existing early childhood education in China and continuously develop innovative solutions.
As China's leading family portal, Babytree is building a member club with consumption upgrade of young families at the core, accurately catering to young families' needs for knowledge, networking, child development tracking and shopping, allowing young moms in China to better enjoy family life during pregnancy and child-rearing. Babytree has built a massive online ecosystem encompassing its internet platform, user community, original content, and key opinion leader matrix. The success of this ecosystem is the result of a focus on understanding and continuously addressing users' core needs. Babytree's offering extends beyond the online platform with innovative products and services including early education, healthcare, finance, tourism and family services. Babytree has built leading brands that include babytree.com, Happy Pregnancy app, Babytree Wetime app, Meitunmama, and Mika.
In 1931, Herman Fisher and Irving Price embarked on a journey to change the toy industry. Their goal: creating playthings that inspire a child's development. More than 85 years later, Fisher-Price remains deeply rooted in the belief that play is the way children learn best. To this day, understanding the importance of play in building a child's skills is the fundamental principle, as the company strives to enrich the lives of families with young children around the globe. United by the passion for a child's safe care and development at each age and stage, the people of Fisher-Price work tirelessly to bring families the best toys and baby products in the world. Some of the company's best-known brands include Laugh & Learn®, Little People®, Power Wheels® and Imaginext®, and it's also a leading developer of character-based toys for children's programming such as Thomas & Friends™, Blaze and the Monster Machines™ and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Fisher-Price is a subsidiary of Mattel, Inc. For more information, visit www.fisher-price.com.
Mattel is a global learning, development and play company that inspires the next generation of kids to shape a brighter tomorrow. Through our portfolio of iconic consumer brands, including American Girl®, Barbie®, Fisher-Price®, Hot Wheels® and Thomas & Friends™, we create systems of play, content and experiences that help kids unlock their full potential. Mattel also creates inspiring and innovative products in collaboration with leading entertainment and technology companies as well as other partners. With a global workforce of approximately 32,000 people, Mattel operates in 40 countries and territories and sells products in more than 150 nations. Visit us online at www.mattel.com.