Strategic alliance to expand ACT test availability in China

Development of local education and talent markets expected to grow

Iowa City-based ACT and ATA Inc. of China announced on Friday a strategic alliance that is expected to make the ACT assessment available to more Chinese students.

The alliance is the first by ACT that extends to greater China, although ACT has had a more limited presence in Hong Kong and other markets within the country, ACT spokesman Ed Colby said.

In a statement, the companies said the alliance will "address key education and work force development needs in the greater China market," including the Hong Kong and Macau Special Administrative Units.

ACT Chief Executive Officer Jon Whitmore said the companies' areas of expertise are "highly complementary and synergistic."

"Having a local partner adds value to our future strategic market development," Whitmore said. "With this partnership, we are aiming to provide better services to students, educators employers and other stakeholders in China."

Colby said one immediate opportunity will be to increase the ACT test's exposure and availability to Chinese students planning to attend an educational institution in the United States. The ACT is also used for admissions at some colleges and universities some other English-speaking countries, including Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.

ATA President Walter Wang said working with ACT "will promote the development of local education and talent markets."

ATA is a provider of computer-based testing and assessment services in China. It has a network of 2,572 authorized test centers throughout China and has delivered more than 42.6 million billable tests since it began operations in 1999.

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