Company Quick10K Filing
ATA
20-F 2019-12-31 Filed 2020-04-28
20-F 2018-12-31 Filed 2019-04-18
20-F 2017-12-31 Filed 2018-04-12
20-F 2017-03-31 Filed 2017-06-29
20-F 2016-03-31 Filed 2016-06-24
20-F 2014-03-31 Filed 2014-06-26
20-F 2013-03-31 Filed 2013-06-26
20-F 2012-03-31 Filed 2012-06-06
20-F 2011-03-31 Filed 2011-06-15
20-F 2010-03-31 Filed 2010-07-07

ATAI 20F Annual Report

Part I.
Item 1. Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisers
Item 2. Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable
Item 3. Key Information
Item 4. Information on The Company
Item 4A. Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects
Item 6. Directors, Senior Management and Employees
Item 7. Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions
Item 8. Financial Information
Item 9. The Offer and Listing
Item 10. Additional Information
Item 11. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Item 12. Description of Securities Other Than Equity Securities
Part II.
Item 13. Defaults, Dividend Arrearages and Delinquencies
Item 14. Material Modifications To The Rights of Security Holders and Use of Proceeds
Item 15. Controls and Procedures
Item 16. Reserved
Item 16A. Audit Committee Financial Expert
Item 16B. Code of Ethics
Item 16C. Principal Accountant Fee and Services
Item 16D. Exemptions From The Listing Standards for Audit Committees
Item 16E. Purchases of Equity Securities By The Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers
Item 16F. Change in Registrant's Certifying Accountant
Item 16G. Corporate Governance
Item 16H. Mine Safety Disclosure
Part III.
Item 17. Financial Statements
Item 18. Financial Statements
Item 19. Exhibits
EX-12.1 a16-6109_1ex12d1.htm
EX-12.2 a16-6109_1ex12d2.htm
EX-13.1 a16-6109_1ex13d1.htm
EX-13.2 a16-6109_1ex13d2.htm
EX-23.1 a16-6109_1ex23d1.htm
EX-23.2 a16-6109_1ex23d2.htm
EX-23.3 a16-6109_1ex23d3.htm
EX-23.4 a16-6109_1ex23d4.htm

ATA Earnings 2016-03-31

Balance SheetIncome StatementCash Flow

20-F 1 a16-6109_120f.htm 20-F

Table of Contents

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 20-F

 

(Mark One)

 

o

REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR (g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

 

OR

 

 

x

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016

 

 

OR

 

 

o

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

 

OR

 

 

o

SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

Date of event requiring this shell company report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 

For the transition period from                       to                        

 

Commission file number: 001-33910

 

ATA Inc.

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)

 

Not applicable

(Translation of Registrant’s name into English)

 

Cayman Islands

(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

 

1/F East Gate, Building No. 2, Jian Wai Soho,

No. 39 Dong San Huan Zhong Road,

Chao Yang District, Beijing 100022, China

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

Shelly Jiang

Interim Chief Financial Officer

ATA Inc.

1/F East Gate, Building No. 2, Jian Wai Soho,

No. 39 Dong San Huan Zhong Road,

Chao Yang District, Beijing 100022, China

Telephone: 8610-6518-1122

Facsimile: 8610-5869-8106

(Name, Telephone E-mail and/or Facsimile Number and Address of Company Contact Person)

 

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act.

 

Title of each class

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

American Depositary Shares, each representing two common shares, par value $0.01 per share

 

NASDAQ Global Market

 

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act. None

 

Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act. None

 

Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report:

 

 

 

45,854,348 common shares.

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.

o Yes   x No

 

If this report is an annual or transaction report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

o Yes   x No

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.

x Yes   o No

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).

x Yes   o No

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer. See the definitions of “accelerated filer and large accelerated filer” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

 

Large accelerated filer o

 

Accelerated filer o

 

Non-accelerated filer x

 

Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:

 

U.S. GAAP x

 

International Financial Reporting Standards as issued
by the International Accounting Standards Board
o

 

Other o

 

If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow:

o Item 17   o Item 18

 

If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

o Yes   x No

 



Table of Contents

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

Page

Introduction

1

Forward-looking statements

1

Part I.

2

Item 1. Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisors

2

Item 2. Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable

2

Item 3. Key Information

2

Item 4. Information on the Company

19

Item 4A. Unresolved Staff Comments

34

Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects

34

Item 6. Directors, Senior Management and Employees

49

Item 7. Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions

55

Item 8. Financial Information

57

Item 9. The Offer and Listing

58

Item 10. Additional Information

58

Item 11. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

63

Item 12. Description of Securities Other Than Equity Securities

64

Part II.

67

Item 13. Defaults, Dividend Arrearages and Delinquencies

67

Item 14. Material Modifications to the Rights of Security Holders and Use of Proceeds

67

Item 15. Controls and Procedures

67

Item 16. Reserved

69

Item 16A. Audit Committee Financial Expert

69

Item 16B. Code of Ethics

69

Item 16C. Principal Accountant Fees and Services

69

Item 16D. Exemptions From the Listing Standards for Audit Committees

69

Item 16E. Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers

70

Item 16F. Change in Registrant’s Certifying Accountant

70

Item 16G. Corporate Governance

71

Item 16H. Mine Safety Disclosure

71

Part III.

72

Item 17. Financial Statements

72

Item 18. Financial Statements

72

Item 19. Exhibits

72

Signatures

S-1

 



Table of Contents

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Except where the context otherwise requires and for purposes of this annual report only:

 

·              all references to years are to the calendar year from January 1 to December 31 and references to our fiscal year or years are to the fiscal year or years ended March 31;

 

·              “we,” “us,” “our company,” “our,” and “ATA” refer to ATA Inc. and its subsidiaries as the context requires;

 

·              “China,” “Chinese” and “PRC” refers to the People’s Republic of China, excluding, for purposes of this annual report only, Taiwan and the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau;

 

·              all references to “Renminbi” or “RMB” are to the legal currency of China, and all references to “U.S. dollars,” “dollars,” “$” or “US$” are to the legal currency of the United States;

 

·              “U.S. GAAP” refers to generally accepted accounting principles in the United States; and

 

·              “PRC GAAP” refers to generally accepted accounting principles in the People’s Republic of China.

 

This annual report on Form 20-F includes our audited consolidated statements of comprehensive income for the fiscal years ended March 31, 2014, 2015 and 2016 and audited consolidated balance sheets as of March 31, 2015 and 2016. Each of our ADSs represents two common shares. Our ADSs are listed on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol “ATAI.”

 

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

 

This annual report on Form 20-F contains forward-looking statements that are based on our current expectations, assumptions, estimates and projections about us and our industry. All statements other than statements of historical fact in this annual report are forward-looking statements. In some cases, these forward-looking statements can be identified by words and phrases such as “may,” “should,” “intend,” “predict,” “potential,” “continue,” “will,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “plan,” “believe,” “is /are likely to” or the negative form of these words and phrases or other comparable expressions. The forward-looking statements included in this annual report relate to, among others:

 

·              our goals and strategies;

 

·              our future prospects and market acceptance of our technologies, products and services;

 

·              our future business development and results of operations;

 

·              projected revenues, profits, earnings and other estimated financial information;

 

·              our plans to expand and enhance our products and services;

 

·              competition in the computer-based testing, educational services and online education markets; and

 

·              Chinese laws, regulations and policies, including those applicable to the education industry, Internet content providers, Internet content and foreign exchange.

 

These forward-looking statements involve various risks, assumptions and uncertainties. Although we believe that our expectations expressed in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, our expectations may turn out to be incorrect. Our actual results could be materially different from our expectations. Important risks and factors that could cause our actual results to be materially different from our expectations are generally set forth in Item 3.D. of this annual report, “Key information — Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this annual report.

 

The forward-looking statements made in this annual report relate only to events or information as of the date on which the statements are made in this annual report. All forward-looking statements included herein attributable to us or other parties or any person acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements contained or referred to in this section. Except to the extent required by applicable laws and regulations, we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which the statements are made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

 

1



Table of Contents

 

PART I.

 

ITEM 1. IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISERS

 

Not applicable.

 

ITEM 2. OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE

 

Not applicable.

 

ITEM 3. KEY INFORMATION

 

A. Selected Financial Data

 

Selected Consolidated Financial Data

 

The following selected consolidated statement of comprehensive income data for the fiscal years ended March 31, 2014, 2015 and 2016 (other than ADS data) and the selected consolidated balance sheet data as of March 31, 2015 and 2016 are derived from our audited consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this annual report and should be read in conjunction with such consolidated financial statements and related notes. Our selected consolidated statement of comprehensive income data for the fiscal years ended March 31, 2012 and 2013 (other than ADS data) and the selected consolidated balance sheet data as of March 31, 2012, 2013 and 2014 are derived from our audited consolidated financial statements not included in this annual report. The following information should also be read in conjunction with Item 5. “Operating and Financial Review and Prospects.” Our audited consolidated financial statements are prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP.

 

 

 

For the fiscal year ended March 31,

 

 

 

2012

 

2013

 

2014

 

2015

 

2016

 

 

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

US$

 

 

 

(In thousands, except for share and ADS data)

 

Selected Consolidated Statement of Comprehensive Income Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net Revenues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Testing services

 

290,881

 

335,791

 

358,837

 

319,055

 

384,800

 

59,677

 

Online education services

 

26,996

 

11,343

 

5,949

 

5,711

 

4,897

 

759

 

Other

 

34,208

 

19,541

 

19,882

 

25,392

 

27,443

 

4,257

 

Total net revenues

 

352,085

 

366,675

 

384,668

 

350,158

 

417,140

 

64,693

 

Gross profit

 

193,267

 

177,844

 

196,188

 

177,619

 

209,123

 

32,432

 

Total operating expenses

 

128,781

 

150,830

 

154,809

 

147,938

 

157,388

 

24,409

 

Income from operations

 

64,486

 

27,013

 

41,379

 

31,758

 

51,735

 

8,023

 

Share of net loss of equity method investments

 

 

 

 

(2,197

)

(8,829

)

(1,369

)

Income tax expense

 

(14,339

)

(7,005

)

(19,895

)

(9,575

)

(18,922

)

(2,935

)

Net income

 

55,841

 

23,208

 

27,276

 

23,056

 

26,051

 

4,040

 

 

 

 

For the fiscal year ended March 31,

 

 

 

2012

 

2013

 

2014

 

2015

 

2016

 

 

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

US$

 

Basic earnings per common share

 

1.22

 

0.50

 

0.59

 

0.49

 

0.57

 

0.09

 

Diluted earnings per common share

 

1.19

 

0.50

 

0.59

 

0.49

 

0.57

 

0.09

 

Basic earnings per ADS (1)

 

2.44

 

1.00

 

1.18

 

0.98

 

1.14

 

0.18

 

Diluted earnings per ADS (1)

 

2.38

 

1.00

 

1.18

 

0.98

 

1.14

 

0.18

 

Dividends declared per common share

 

1.393

 

0.554

 

 

1.260

 

 

 

Weighted average common shares outstanding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

44,713,418

 

44,967,823

 

45,227,159

 

45,597,580

 

45,635,186

 

 

 

Diluted

 

45,664,887

 

45,115,617

 

45,231,555

 

45,597,580

 

45,635,186

 

 

 

 


(1)             Each ADS represents two common shares.

 

2



Table of Contents

 

 

 

As of March 31,

 

 

 

2012

 

2013

 

2014

 

2015

 

2016

 

 

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

US$

 

 

 

(In thousands)

 

Selected Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents

 

257,168

 

290,030

 

311,947

 

240,295

 

247,668

 

38,410

 

Restricted cash

 

 

 

2,700

 

 

 

 

Accounts receivable, net

 

81,845

 

51,115

 

68,353

 

48,150

 

50,552

 

7,840

 

Total current assets

 

355,069

 

354,770

 

398,093

 

312,951

 

320,152

 

49,651

 

Long term investments

 

 

 

 

35,730

 

50,686

 

7,861

 

Total assets

 

460,720

 

457,818

 

491,237

 

455,244

 

470,461

 

72,962

 

Deferred revenues, current

 

27,333

 

7,377

 

8,383

 

21,743

 

16,612

 

2,576

 

Total current liabilities

 

91,066

 

79,568

 

77,149

 

76,158

 

74,352

 

11,531

 

Total liabilities

 

94,305

 

82,271

 

79,345

 

77,922

 

76,231

 

11,822

 

Retained earnings (accumulated deficit)

 

(51,857

)

(28,649

)

(1,372

)

21,684

 

47,735

 

7,403

 

Common shares

 

3,443

 

3,461

 

3,475

 

3,514

 

3,531

 

548

 

Total shareholders’ equity

 

366,415

 

375,548

 

411,892

 

377,322

 

394,231

 

61,140

 

 

 

 

For the fiscal year ended March 31,

 

 

 

2012

 

2013

 

2014

 

2015

 

2016

 

Key Operating Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of tests delivered(1)

 

8,529,095

 

9,266,581

 

9,688,210

 

8,821,781

 

10,380,175

 

 


(1)                                     Includes Microsoft royalty tests overseas, tests delivered through our test delivery platform and tests using our Dynamic Simulation Technology. Also includes free tests delivered for business development purpose. The number of tests delivered excluding free tests in the fiscal years ended March 31, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 was 8,026,639, 8,744,859, 9,411,226, 8,767,389 and 10,258,866, respectively.

 

Exchange Rate Information

 

We conduct our business primarily in China and a substantial majority of our revenues and expenses are denominated in Renminbi. The conversion of Renminbi into U.S. dollars in this annual report is based on the noon buying rate in The City of New York for cable transfers of Renminbi per U.S. dollar certified for customs purposes by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, as set forth in the H.10 weekly statistical release of Federal Reserve Board. Unless otherwise noted, all translations from Renminbi to U.S. dollars in this annual report were made at a rate of RMB6.4480 to US$1.00, which was the noon buying rate in effect as of March 31, 2016. The noon buying rate on June 17, 2016 was RMB6.5849 to US$1.00. We make no representation that any Renminbi or U.S. dollar amounts could have been, or could be, converted into U.S. dollars or Renminbi, as the case may be, at any particular rate, the rates stated below, or at all. The Chinese government restricts or prohibits the conversion of Renminbi into foreign currency and foreign currency into Renminbi for certain types of transactions.

 

The following table sets forth information concerning exchange rates between the Renminbi and the U.S. dollar for the periods indicated. These rates are provided solely for your convenience and are not necessarily the exchange rates that we used in this annual report.

 

 

 

Renminbi per U.S. Dollar Noon Buying Rate

 

 

 

Average (1)

 

High

 

Low

 

Period-end

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fiscal year ended March 31, 2012

 

6.3790

 

6.2935

 

6.5477

 

6.2975

 

Fiscal year ended March 31, 2013

 

6.2783

 

6.2105

 

6.3879

 

6.2108

 

Fiscal year ended March 31, 2014

 

6.1220

 

6.0402

 

6.2273

 

6.2164

 

Fiscal year ended March 31, 2015

 

6.1952

 

6.1107

 

6.2741

 

6.1990

 

Fiscal year ended March 31, 2016

 

6.3584

 

6.1927

 

6.5932

 

6.4480

 

Most recent six months:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 2015

 

6.4491

 

6.3883

 

6.4896

 

6.4778

 

January 2016

 

6.5726

 

6.5219

 

6.5932

 

6.5752

 

February 2016

 

6.5501

 

6.5154

 

6.5795

 

6.5525

 

 

3



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Renminbi per U.S. Dollar Noon Buying Rate

 

 

 

Average (1)

 

High

 

Low

 

Period-end

 

March 2016

 

6.5027

 

6.4480

 

6.5500

 

6.4480

 

April 2016

 

6.4754

 

6.4571

 

6.5004

 

6.4738

 

May 2016

 

6.5259

 

6.4738

 

6.5798

 

6.5798

 

June 2016 (period through June 17, 2016)

 

6.5738

 

6.5590

 

6.5930

 

6.5849

 

 

Source: H.10 weekly statistical release of the Federal Reserve Board

 


(1)  Annual averages are calculated using the exchange rates for the last day of each month during the relevant year. Monthly averages are calculated using daily exchange rates during the relevant month.

 

B. Capitalization and Indebtedness

 

Not applicable.

 

C. Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds

 

Not applicable.

 

D. Risk Factors

 

Risks Relating to Our Business

 

A limited number of our clients have accounted for and are expected to continue to account for a high percentage of our revenues. The loss of or significant reduction in orders from any of these clients could significantly reduce our revenues and have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.

 

Our three largest clients in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016, the Chinese Institute of Certified Public Accountants, or CICPA, the Securities Association of China, or SAC, and the China Banking Association, or CBA, accounted for 18.3%,16.1% and 14.7%, respectively, of our net revenues in that period. We provide both computer-based testing and test administration services to our three largest clients. We generated RMB204.7 million ($31.7 million) from provision of our services to SAC, CICPA and CBA in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016.

 

As of March 31, 2016, our gross accounts receivable from CICPA, SAC and CBA were RMB6.1 million ($0.9 million), RMB nil and RMB2.1 million ($0.3 million), respectively.

 

Due to our dependence on a limited number of clients, any one of the following events, among others, could cause material fluctuations or declines in our revenues and have a material adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations:

 

·              a reduction, delay or cancellation of contracts or product or service orders from one or more of our major clients;

 

·              a delay in paying or failure to pay outstanding accounts receivable;

 

·              a decision by one or more of our major clients to award contracts or orders to one of our competitors; and

 

·              a decision by one or more of our major clients to significantly reduce the price they are willing to pay for our services or products.

 

Any of these events could occur due to causes outside of our control, such as macro-economic conditions, changes in a client’s management or the personnel with whom we interact, changes in technology, the actions of our competitors, changes in governmental regulations and policies and changes in a client’s budgeting or financial prospects.

 

Our financial results are subject to fluctuations and seasonality related to the revenue cycles for our products and services. Our relatively long and unpredictable sales cycle and other factors beyond our control may decrease our revenues in a particular period. As a result, it is difficult for us to predict our results of operations and you should not rely on our historical operating results as an indication of our future financial performance.

 

Our results of operations have varied in the past from period to period, and are likely to vary in the future, due to the fact that a substantial portion of our sources of revenues are seasonal. We have experienced seasonality and expect in the future to continue to experience seasonality in net revenues and accounts receivable related to our test delivery services, with the quarters ending June 30 and December 31 typically having higher net revenues from testing services and the quarters ending September 30 and March 31 typically having lower net revenues from testing services. This is primarily because the tests from which we derive substantial revenues are mostly delivered in the quarters ending June 30 and December 31. Test timing can be a major contributing factor to quarterly fluctuations of financial results. For example, we generated revenues of RMB221.4 million in the quarter ended December 31, 2015 as compared to RMB53.4 million in the quarter ended September 30, 2015, primarily because one of our major test sponsors, CICPA, held tests during the third quarter of fiscal year ended March 31, 2016.

 

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Table of Contents

 

In addition, our sales cycles are generally long and unpredictable. A client’s decision to purchase our products and services often involves a lengthy evaluation process. Throughout the sales cycle, we often spend considerable time educating and providing information to prospective clients regarding the use and benefits of our products and services. Moreover, budget constraints and the need for multiple approvals within large enterprises, governmental agencies and educational institutions may also delay purchasing decisions. As a result, the sales cycle for our services may last a year or longer. Such a lengthy sales cycle, and any future increases in our sales cycle, could lead to higher sales and marketing expenses and adversely affect our cash flow from operations. In addition, the lengthy sales cycle has made, and may continue to make, our financial results prone to fluctuations or decrease our revenues in a particular period.

 

If our revenues for a particular quarter are lower than we expect, we may be unable to reduce our operating expenses for that quarter by a corresponding amount, which could negatively affect our operating results for that quarter. As a result, you should not rely on our quarter-to-quarter comparisons of our operating results as indicators of likely future performance. Our operating results may be below the expectations of public market analysts and investors in one or more future quarters. If that occurs, the market price of our ADSs could decline and you could lose part or all of your investment. Fluctuations of our quarterly financial results may also lead to increased volatility in the market price of our ADSs.

 

The market for our services in China is still emerging and evolving rapidly. If market acceptance of our services declines or fails to grow, our revenue growth may slow or we may experience a decrease in revenues.

 

As the market for our services in China is still emerging, our success will depend to a large extent on our ability to convince our clients that our technologies and services are valuable and that it is more cost-effective for them to utilize our services than for them to develop similar services in-house.

 

We must address the following concerns, among others, with our clients as they decide to implement our computer-based testing services to use our technologies and services:

 

·              concern over the commitment of time, personnel and funding necessary to implement our computer-based testing services;

 

·              ability of clients to develop their own computer-based testing services;

 

·              possible perceived security and academic integrity risks associated with computer-based testing services and third-party curriculum providers; and

 

·              reluctance of the academic community to adopt computer-based learning materials and computer-based tests.

 

A decline in the demand for computer-based testing services by test sponsors could negatively affect demand for our computer-based testing services and technologies. Even if demand for computer-based testing services continues to grow, this demand may not grow as quickly as we anticipate. If market acceptance of our services declines or fails to grow, our revenue growth may slow or we may experience a decrease in revenues.

 

The markets for our new service offerings are still new and unpredictable. If we cannot succeed in adapting to client needs in the new markets or effectively addressing risks associated with this expansion, our revenue growth may slow and our reputation may be negatively affected.

 

We have allocated, and intend to continue to allocate, time, effort and capital to expand our service offerings, and test-delivery systems, such as our patented mobile test administration platform called the Mobile Testing Service, or MTS, which we launched in 2013, and our new patented online testing platform, EzTest, which we launched in 2015. In November 2013, we completed our acquisition of Xing Wei Institute (HK) Limited, or Xing Wei, a private education technology company that provides training solutions as well as online and mobile training platforms for corporations in China, to expand our service offering with respect to training and consulting for corporations. In July 2014, we and the New Oriental Education & Technology Group formed a joint venture to provide online and mobile education solutions to growing base of professionals in China. In December 2014, we made a strategic investment in Master Mind Education Company, or Master Mind, which marks our expansion into China’s K-12 education market. In January 2015, we made a strategic investment in Beijing Satech Internet Educational Technology Ltd., or Satech , which marks our expansion into SAT exam-related training market. In September 2015, we made another strategic investment in Brilent Inc., or Brilent, which we expect to offer our clients a deeper understanding of job candidates’ exam results and improving the effectiveness of selecting the most suitable individual for their job openings. As the markets for these offerings are relatively new for us, we cannot assure you that we will succeed in adapting to client needs in these markets or effectively addressing risks associated with this expansion. It may be difficult for us to accurately predict demand for these and other new service offerings we develop. Furthermore, the PRC government may enact unforeseen regulations and policies that could limit our ability to provide or expand certain services, such as prohibitions on foreign-invested entities engaging in certain businesses. Additional risks that we face expanding in this market include the following:

 

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·              we may underestimate the amount of capital, personnel and other resources required to carry out our expansion plans, which may affect the success of our expansion and/or negatively impact the quality of our other product and service offerings;

 

·              if we are unsuccessful in the relevant new market, it may negatively affect our reputation and the status of our brand in our other markets; and

 

·              we may fail to develop sufficient payment collection, technical support and other administrative capabilities necessary to successfully develop and manage our new service offerings on an increasingly large scale.

 

If we fail to maintain our relationship with major test sponsors, our revenue growth may slow or we may experience a decrease in revenues.

 

The success of our service offerings going forward depends on our ability to gain and maintain relevant business relationships, such as our relationship with major test sponsors for computer-based tests in China, our relationship with the licensor of certain test titles, and our relationship with Saville Consulting in relation to psychometric tests for our HR Select employee assessment solution. Factors that are beyond our control may cause our relationship with relevant parties to change. For example, our exclusive Test of English for International Communication, or TOEIC distributor contract ended on February 28, 2014 due to ETS’ decision to change its distribution model. Although we are still a distributor and administrator of TOEIC exams in China and signed a non-exclusive distributor contract with ETS on June 23, 2014 to continue delivery of certain TOEIC exams to our existing institutional clients from April 1, 2014 through December 31, 2016, we lost a majority of the revenues generated from administering TOEIC exams in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016 due to contractual limitations on our scope of TOEIC exam services to selected market segments in China. If we fail to maintain our relationship with major test sponsors, our revenue growth may slow or we may experience a decrease in revenues.

 

Breaches or perceived breaches of our security measures relating to test collection, scoring and storage or unauthorized disclosure or misuse of personal data through breach of our computer systems or otherwise could result in negative publicity and clients loss and expose us to protracted and costly litigation.

 

As part of our service offerings, we collect, process, transmit and store highly confidential information, including personal information and test questions, answers and scores. Maintaining the security and confidentiality of the information we handle as part of our testing services is essential to protecting the integrity and accuracy of the test taking process and retaining our client base. In addition, any breach or perceived breach in our security measures pertaining to the collection, processing, transmission or storage of such information as a result of third-party action, employee error, and malfeasance or otherwise, or any instances or claims of cheating on tests that we administer could result in liability claims and have a negative impact on our reputation. Additionally, we could be subject to liability claims or regulatory penalties for misuses of information collected from clients or students or for the unauthorized disclosure or unauthorized or inappropriate use of such information. Any such negative publicity or liability claims could have a material adverse impact on our future business, cause us to lose clients and expose us to costly litigation.

 

If certain tests are not allowed to be administered in China due to cheating fears, our revenue growth may slow or we may experience a decrease in revenues.

 

We administered a number of international tests in China, such as TOEIC. These tests may be canceled by their owners due to cheating fears in China. For example, the College Board, owner and developer of SAT Reasoning Test, or SAT Test, canceled the administration of the SAT Test in January 2016 at all 45 testing centers in China and Macau after the College Board learned some students were privy to the exam. If certain tests that we are administering are not allowed to be taken in China, our revenue growth may slow or we may experience a decrease in revenues.

 

Reductions in public funding available to our clients that are governmental agencies could adversely impact demand by these agencies and institutions for our products and services.

 

We derive a significant portion of our total net revenues from licensing and service fees from Chinese governmental agencies. Demand and ability to pay for our products and services by these agencies are affected by government budgetary cycles, funding availability and government policies. Funding reductions, reallocations or delays could adversely impact demand for our products and services by our clients or reduce the fees these clients are willing to pay for our products and services.

 

A significant portion of our revenues are dependent on market acceptance of our E-testing platform and other computer-based testing technologies, and if we are unable to anticipate and meet our clients’ technological needs and challenges from new technologies and industry standards, our products and services may lose market acceptance or become obsolete, and our margins and results of operations may be adversely affected.

 

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Our advanced technologies for the creation and delivery of computer-based tests, including our E-testing platform and our performance-based testing technologies, are a key factor in growing and maintaining our relationships with test sponsors, educational institution clients and educational program content providers. Our future success depends on our ability to upgrade our systems, develop new technologies and anticipate and meet the technical needs of our clients on a regular basis. The emergence in the market of new test creation and delivery technologies or substitute products and services could reduce our competitiveness or render our current technologies and services obsolete. Moreover, if other companies develop similar technologies offering functionality comparable to that of our technologies, pricing pressure may increase and our margins and results of operations may be adversely affected. Additionally, industry standards such as standard interfaces and data exchange protocols may be developed for testing technologies, and if these industry standards are incompatible with our technologies, demand for our technologies, products and services may decline significantly. To the extent we are unable to maintain our market leadership position in key testing technologies or anticipate and respond to technological developments and changes in industry standards in a timely and cost-effective manner, our products and services may lose market acceptance or become obsolete.

 

Technical errors or failures in relation to computer-based tests delivered through our test delivery platform could result in negative publicity, loss of clients, liability claims and costly and disruptive litigation.

 

Due to the complexity of the technologies we use to create and deliver computer-based tests for our clients, technical errors or failures may occur in relation to these services. These may include errors, failures or bugs in our software applications and test security technologies, breakdowns or failures of our servers and computer networks, and connectivity failures between our networks. While we have not experienced major problems to date due to errors, breakdowns, failures, bugs or defects, we cannot assure you that we will not experience such problems in the future. If such a problem were to occur, it could disrupt or compromise the integrity of the test taking process or of test content and results, which could lead to negative publicity and loss of clients and may subject us to liability claims. Although we have established a formal crisis management system to respond to technical problems, it has never been tested in a real crisis situation. Any litigation or negative publicity resulting from an error or failure, with or without merit, could result in substantial costs and divert management’s attention and resources from our business and operations.

 

If we fail to maintain a strong brand, our business may not grow and our financial results may be adversely impacted.

 

We believe that maintaining and enhancing the value of the “ATA” brand is important to attracting clients. Our success in maintaining brand awareness will depend on our ability to consistently provide high quality, value-adding, user-friendly and secure products and services. As we expand our product and service offerings, we are increasing our efforts to establish a wider recognition of the “ATA” brand. To establish a wider recognition of our “ATA” brand among test takers, test sponsors and companies, we may need to spend significant resources on advertising. As we have limited experience with advertising and other activities required to establish a widely recognized brand, we cannot assure you that we will effectively allocate our resources for these activities or succeed in maintaining and broadening our brand recognition and appeal. If we fail to maintain a strong brand, our business may not grow and our financial results may be adversely impacted.

 

Actions by our authorized test centers could lead to damage to our brand and reputation, which could cause us to incur substantial costs and strain our relationships with our clients.

 

As of March 31, 2016, we had contractual relationships with 3,035 authorized test centers. We do not own these centers and their employees are not our employees. Under our contracts with these test centers, we require them to provide sufficient facilities to properly administer computer-based tests and to follow prescribed guidelines for facility maintenance and test administration. We also conduct regular reviews of their facilities and operations and provide consulting services on test administration. However, our contractual arrangements with the test centers provide us with only limited ability to oversee their activities, and most test centers engage in other activities, such as serving as classrooms, when not administering tests. If a test center were to engage in unauthorized or unlawful conduct, whether related to administering computer-based tests or otherwise, our clients, prospective clients and the general public may associate this conduct with our brand, and negative publicity associated with this conduct could harm our reputation and lessen overall demand for computer-based testing services. Furthermore, our business may also be adversely affected if our authorized test centers do not maintain their premises, administer our computer-based tests, or hire qualified personnel and train them properly in a manner consistent with our standards and requirements. In addition, a liability claim against an ATA authorized test center or any center personnel may result in unfavorable publicity for us, our products and services and our other test centers, and could damage our brand and reputation, whether or not the claim is successful. While we may terminate our contracts and relationships with our authorized test centers if any of these events were to occur, we may not be able to identify problems or take action quickly enough to prevent harm to our reputation.

 

We depend on our key personnel and our business may be severely disrupted if we lose their services and are unable to replace them.

 

Our future success is dependent upon the continued services of our key executives, as we rely on their industry experience and expertise in our business operations. In particular, we rely heavily on Kevin Xiaofeng Ma, our chairman and chief executive officer for his business vision, management skills, technical expertise, experience in the testing, IT and education industries and working relationships with many of our clients, shareholders and other participants in the testing, IT and education industries. If Mr. Ma is unable or unwilling to continue in his present positions, or if he joined a competitor or formed a competing company in violation of his employment agreement, we may not be able to replace him easily and our business may be severely disrupted.

 

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We may face increasing competition from international and domestic competitors. If we fail to successfully compete, our revenues and market share may decrease, and our results of operations may be adversely affected.

 

As our business and markets continue to expand, we will face increasing competition, including competition from new entrants, both domestic and international, who will try to gain market share from us. Competitors may introduce new technologies, products and services that have better performance, offer lower prices and gain broader acceptance than our technologies, products and services. Such new products may reduce the overall market for our products and services.

 

In the computer-based testing services market, we compete primarily on the basis of technology, price, management experience, established infrastructure, reputation and brand. In the future, as more companies enter this market, we believe pricing may become increasingly competitive as well. For our HR Select employee assessment solution, while there are other companies providing services to corporate human resources departments, we are differentiated by our focus on offering more professional testing services with proprietary testing technologies. Traditional Chinese test preparation material providers, such as publishing companies, indirectly compete with our online education services. Increased competition could cause us to lose clients or make it necessary for us to reduce our prices in order to retain our clients, which may negatively affect our revenues and results of operations.

 

We may not be able to attract and retain the highly skilled employees we need to support our planned growth.

 

Due to intense market competition for highly skilled workers, we have faced difficulties locating experienced and skilled personnel in certain areas, such as administration, marketing, product development, sales, finance and accounting. In particular, we have had difficulty finding personnel with experience in the computer-based testing services market. We cannot assure you that we will be able to attract or retain the key personnel that we will need to achieve our business objectives. Even if we can identify qualified candidates, they may be subject to non-competition agreements with their prior employers that prevent us from hiring them. In addition, we cannot assure you that we will be able to retain our current skilled personnel. According to our contracts with our employees, all of our employees are prohibited from engaging in any activities that compete with our business during the period of their employment and for two years after termination of their employment with us. Furthermore, all employees are prohibited, for a period of two years following termination, from soliciting other employees to leave us and, for a period of five years following termination, from soliciting our existing clients. However, we may have difficulty enforcing these non-competition and non-solicitation provisions in China because the Chinese legal system, especially with respect to the enforcement of such provisions, is still developing.

 

Many of our contracts with governmental agencies and public educational institutions take the form of framework agreements and offer little contractual or legal protections, and it may be impractical for us to pursue or obtain legal remedies against these clients.

 

Many governmental agencies and other public sector entities in China require the use of simple framework agreements for the procurement of products and services from us that lack many of the detailed aspects of our business arrangement. For example, the terms of service may lack the clarity we would normally have in our contracts with commercial enterprises, or contract terms protecting our intellectual property may not be as clear and detailed as we would normally have in our contracts with commercial enterprises. Moreover, it may not be feasible or practicable for us to take legal action against our government and public sector clients to enforce our contractual rights. As a result, we may lack the same contractual or legal protections, or ability to enforce such protections, that we would normally have under the contracts we typically enter into with our other clients.

 

Unauthorized use of our intellectual property by third parties, including infringement of our “ATA” brand, and the expenses incurred in protecting our intellectual property rights, may adversely affect our business.

 

Our copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, patents and other intellectual property are important to our success. In particular, we believe that our “ATA” brand name represents a valuable asset as we have sought to gain a reputation for high quality and secure testing services and advanced testing technologies within our markets. Unauthorized use of any of our intellectual property may adversely affect our business and reputation. We rely on trademark, patent, and copyright law, trade secret protection and confidentiality agreements with our employees, clients, business partners and others to protect our intellectual property rights. Nevertheless, it may be possible for third parties to obtain and use our intellectual property without authorization. The unauthorized use of intellectual property is common and widespread in China and enforcement of intellectual property rights by Chinese regulatory agencies is inconsistent. Moreover, litigation may be necessary in the future to enforce our intellectual property rights. Future litigation could result in substantial costs and diversion of our management’s attention and resources, and could disrupt our business, as well as have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. Given the relative unpredictability of China’s legal system and potential difficulties enforcing a court judgment in China, there is no guarantee that we would be able to halt the unauthorized use of our intellectual property through litigation.

 

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We may be subject to intellectual property infringement claims, which may force us to incur substantial legal expenses and, if determined adversely against us, may materially disrupt our business.

 

We cannot assure you that our business operations, in particular, our software, trademarks, know-how and other technologies do not or will not infringe upon patents, valid copyrights or other intellectual property rights held by third parties. We may become subject to legal proceedings and claims from time to time relating to the intellectual property of others in the ordinary course of our business. For example, we have been unable to register our “ATA” trademark with the China Trademark Office due to similarity with other marks. Although we have not received notice of trademark infringement claims since we began using the mark in 1999 and believe that the risk of litigation is remote, we may be subject to such claims in the future. If we are found to have violated the intellectual property rights of others, we may be enjoined from using such intellectual property, and we may incur licensing fees or be forced to develop alternatives. In addition, we may incur substantial expenses, and may be forced to divert management and other resources from our business operations, to defend against these third-party infringement claims, regardless of their merit. Successful infringement or licensing claims against us may result in substantial monetary liabilities or may materially disrupt the conduct of our business by restricting or prohibiting our use of the intellectual property in question.

 

Because there is limited business insurance coverage in China, any business disruption or litigation we experience might result in our incurring substantial costs and diverting significant resources to handle such disruption or litigation.

 

The insurance industry in China is not fully developed. Insurance companies in China offer limited business insurance products. While business disruption insurance may be available to a limited extent in China, we have determined that the risks of disruption and the difficulties and costs associated with acquiring such insurance render it commercially impractical for us to have such insurance. As a result, we do not have any business liability, disruption or litigation insurance coverage for our operations in China. Any business disruption or litigation might result in our incurring substantial costs and the diversion of resources.

 

We may face challenges and risks in connection with possible acquisitions as well as forming joint ventures, including identifying suitable opportunities and integrating acquired or new businesses and assets with our existing operations, which could interrupt our business operations or adversely affect our results of operations.

 

As part of our business strategy, we may seek to broaden our service offerings, obtain additional clients and strengthen our service quality by acquiring other companies or businesses. However, our ability to implement our acquisition strategy will depend on a number of factors, including the availability of suitable acquisition candidates at an acceptable cost or at all, our ability to compete effectively to attract and reach agreement with acquisition candidates or joint venture partners on commercially reasonable terms, and the availability of financing to complete acquisitions or joint ventures as well as our ability to obtain any required government approvals or licenses. In addition, we cannot assure you that any particular acquisition or joint venture transaction will produce the intended benefits or synergies. For example, we may not be successful in integrating acquisitions with our existing operations and personnel. Moreover, the acquisitions we pursue may require us to expend significant management and other resources, which may result in interruption to our business operations.

 

There are other risks associated with acquisitions, including:

 

·              unforeseen or hidden liabilities, including exposure to legal proceedings, associated with newly acquired companies;

 

·              failure to generate sufficient revenues to offset the costs and expenses of acquisitions;

 

·              integration of the management of the acquired business into our own;

 

·              potential impairment losses or amortization expenses relating to goodwill and intangible assets arising from any of such acquisitions, which may materially reduce our net income or result in a net loss;

 

·              potential conflicts with our existing employees as a result of our integration of newly acquired companies; and

 

·              possible contravention of Chinese regulations applicable to such acquisitions.

 

Furthermore, raising capital to finance acquisitions could cause earnings or ownership dilution to your shareholding interests, which in turn could result in losses to you. Any one or a combination of the above risks could interrupt our business operations and adversely affect our results of operations.

 

The listing of the shares of our wholly-owned subsidiary ATA Online (Beijing) Education Technology Limited, or ATA Online, on stock exchanges in China may not provide the benefits we anticipate, and the listing could negatively impact holders of our ADSs.

 

To provide ATA Online with the ability and flexibility to raise funds from the PRC capital markets for business expansion, we restructured our testing services business into our wholly-owned subsidiary ATA Online and listed its shares on the National Equities Exchange and Quotations, an emerging over-the-counter market in China (the “New Third Board”) in December 2015.

 

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The listing of the shares of ATA Online on the New Third Board may not realize the anticipated benefits of such listing, and ATA Online’s operation as a listed company may result in distraction of ATA management. Even if ATA Online remains our consolidated subsidiary after the listing, the ownership interest of our ADS holders in the earnings of ATA Online’s operations could be diluted, depending on the amount of funds raised, the returns on that funds and the manner in which that funds is raised (debt or equity). In addition, volatility in the trading price of our ADSs may increase due to events more specifically impacting ATA Online’s share trading price and operations. Our influence over the election of ATA Online’s board of directors will be decreased if ATA Online’s shareholders appoint directors who are independent of ATA.

 

We may need additional capital and any failure by us to raise additional capital on terms favorable to us, or at all, could limit our ability to grow our business and develop or enhance our product and service offerings to respond to market demand or competitive challenges.

 

Capital requirements are difficult to plan in our rapidly changing industry. We believe that our current cash and expected future cash flows from operations will be sufficient to meet our anticipated working capital and capital expenditures for the next 12 months and the foreseeable future beyond that point. We may, however, require additional cash resources due to changed business conditions or other future developments, including any investments or acquisitions we may decide to pursue. If our sources of liquidity are insufficient to satisfy our cash requirements, we may seek to sell additional equity or debt securities or obtain a credit facility. The sale of additional equity securities could result in dilution to our shareholders. The incurrence of indebtedness would result in increased debt service obligations and could require us to agree to operating and financing covenants that would restrict our operations. Our ability to obtain additional capital on acceptable terms is subject to a variety of uncertainties, including:

 

·              investors’ perception of, and demand for, securities of computer-based testing and education companies;

 

·              conditions of the U.S., PRC and other capital markets in which we may seek to raise funds;

 

·              our future results of operations and financial condition;

 

·              Chinese government regulation of foreign investment in China;

 

·              economic, political and other conditions in China; and

 

·              Chinese government policies relating to the borrowing and remittance of foreign currency outside China.

 

We cannot assure you that financing will be available in amounts or on terms acceptable to us, if at all. Any failure by us to raise additional funds on terms favorable to us, or at all, could limit our ability to grow our business and develop or enhance our product and service offerings to respond to market demand or competitive challenges.

 

We may be unable to maintain an effective system of internal control over financial reporting, and as a result we may be unable to accurately report our financial results or prevent fraud.

 

We are subject to provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act requires that we include a report from management on the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting in our annual reports on Form 20-F. Our management concluded that our internal control over financial reporting is effective as of March 31, 2016, and our independent registered public accounting firm reported on our internal controls over financial reporting. However, if we fail to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting in the future, our management and our independent registered public accounting firm may not be able to conclude that we have effective internal control over financial reporting at a reasonable assurance level. Our failure to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting could result in a loss of investor confidence in the reliability of our reporting processes, which could materially and adversely affect the trading price of our ADSs.

 

Our reporting obligations as a public company will continue to place a significant strain on our management, operational and financial resources and systems for the foreseeable future. Our failure to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting could result in the loss of investor confidence in the reliability of our financial reporting processes, which in turn could harm our business and negatively impact the trading price of our ADSs.

 

Our independent registered public accounting firm’s audit documentation related to their audit reports included in this annual report may include audit documentation located in China. The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board currently cannot inspect audit documentation located in China and, as such, you may be deprived of the benefits of such inspection.

 

Our independent registered public accounting firm that issues the audit reports included in our annual reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, as auditors of companies that are traded publicly in the United States and a firm registered with the U.S. Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States), or the PCAOB, is required by the laws of the United States to undergo regular inspections by the PCAOB to assess its compliance with the laws of the United States and professional standards.  However, audit documentation located in China is not currently inspected by the PCAOB because the PCAOB is currently unable to conduct inspections without the approval of the PRC authorities.

 

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Inspections conducted by the PCAOB outside of China have identified deficiencies in those firms’ audit procedures and quality control procedures, which may be addressed as part of the inspection process to improve future audit quality.  The lack of PCAOB inspections in China prevents the PCAOB from regularly evaluating audit documentation located in China and its related quality control procedures. As a result, investors may be deprived of the benefits of PCAOB inspections.

 

The inability of the PCAOB to conduct inspections in China makes it more difficult to evaluate the effectiveness of our auditor’s audit procedures or quality control procedures as compared to audits outside of China that are subject to PCAOB inspections. Investors may lose confidence in our reported financial information and procedures and the quality of our financial statements.

 

Our independent registered public accounting firm may be temporarily suspended from practicing before the SEC if unable to continue to satisfy the SEC investigation requests in the future. If a delay in completion of our audit process occurs as a result, we could be unable to timely file certain reports with the SEC, which may lead to the delisting of our stock.

 

On January 22, 2014, Judge Cameron Elliot, an SEC administrative law judge, issued an initial decision suspending the Chinese member firms of the “Big Four” accounting firms, including our independent registered public accounting firm, from practicing before the SEC for six months. In February 2014, the initial decision was appealed. While under appeal and in February 2015, the Chinese member firms of the “Big Four” accounting firms reached a settlement with the SEC. As part of the settlement, each of the Chinese member firms of “Big Four” accounting firms agreed to settlement terms that include a censure, undertakings to make a payment to the SEC, procedures and undertakings as to future requests for documents by the SEC, and possible additional proceedings and remedies should those undertakings not be adhered to.

 

If the settlement terms are not adhered to, our independent registered public accounting firm may be suspended from practicing before the SEC which could in turn delay the timely filing of our financial statements with the SEC. In addition, it could be difficult for us to timely identify and engage another qualified independent registered public accounting firm to replace our current one. A delinquency in our filings with the SEC may result in NASDAQ initiating investigation procedures, which could adversely harm our reputation and have other material adverse effects on our overall growth and prospects.

 

We may be classified as a passive foreign investment company, which could result in adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences to U.S. holders of our ADSs or common shares.

 

We believe that we were not a passive foreign investment company, or PFIC, for U.S. federal income tax purposes for our taxable year ended March 31, 2016, and we do not expect to be a PFIC in any future taxable year. However, PFIC status is tested each year and depends on the composition of our assets and income and the value of our assets from time to time. Since we currently hold, and expect to continue to hold, a substantial amount of cash and other passive assets and, since the value of our assets is to be determined in large part by reference to the market prices of our ADSs and common shares, which is likely to fluctuate over time, there can be no assurance that we will not be a PFIC for any future taxable year. If we are a PFIC for any taxable year during which a U.S. investor held our ADSs or common shares, certain adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences would apply to the U.S. investor. See Item 10. “Additional Information — E. Taxation — United States Federal Income Taxation — Passive Foreign Investment Company.”

 

Risks Relating to Regulation of Our Business

 

If the China Securities Regulatory Commission, or CSRC, or another PRC regulatory agency determines that CSRC approval was required in connection with our initial public offering, we may become subject to penalties.

 

On August 8, 2006, six PRC regulatory agencies, including the CSRC, promulgated the Provisions Regarding Mergers and Acquisitions of Domestic Enterprises by Foreign Investors, or the M&A Rule, which became effective on September 8, 2006. The M&A Rule, among other things, requires that an offshore company controlled by PRC companies or individuals that has acquired a PRC domestic company for the purpose of listing the PRC domestic company’s equity interest on an overseas stock exchange must obtain the approval of the CSRC prior to the listing and trading of such offshore company’s securities on an overseas stock exchange. On September 21, 2006 the CSRC, pursuant to the M&A Rule, published on its official web site procedures specifying documents and materials required to be submitted to it by offshore companies seeking CSRC approval of their overseas listings.

 

In connection with the listing of our testing service business on the New Third Board, ATA Learning (Beijing) Inc., or ATA Learning, and Zhongxiao Zhixing Education Technology (Beijing) Ltd., or Zhongxiao Zhixing, both our wholly-owned PRC subsidiaries, acquired 90% and 10% of the equity interest of ATA Online in May 2015, respectively. In connection therewith, we terminated a series of contractual arrangements with ATA Online and its original shareholders, which provided us control over ATA Online. See “Item 7. Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions—B. Related Party Transactions.”

 

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Our PRC counsel, Jincheng Tongda & Neal Law Firm, advised us that CSRC approval was not required for our initial public offering in February 2008 because the CSRC approval required under the M&A Rule only applies to an offshore company that has acquired a domestic PRC company for the purpose of listing the domestic PRC company’s equity interest on an overseas stock exchange, while (i) we obtained our equity interest in each of our PRC subsidiaries by means of direct investment other than by acquisition of the equity or assets of a PRC domestic company in 2008, (ii) our former contractual arrangements with ATA Online do not constitute the acquisition of ATA Online, (iii) the M&A Rule does not apply to the acquisition by ATA Learning, a wholly foreign owned enterprise, and (iv) although Article 11 of the M&A Rule prohibits the circumvention of the M&A Rule through establishing FIEs, ATA Learning was established in 2003 before the M&A Rule was promulgated, which makes this acquisition not a circumvention of the M&A Rule. However, if it is determined that CSRC approval was required, we may face regulatory actions or other sanctions from the CSRC or other PRC regulatory agencies. These regulatory agencies may impose fines and penalties on our operations in China, limit our operating privileges in China, or take other actions that could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, reputation and prospects, as well as the trading price of our ADSs.

 

Because we may rely on dividends and other distributions on equity paid by our current and future Chinese subsidiaries for our cash requirements, restrictions under Chinese law on their ability to make such payments could materially and adversely affect our ability to grow, make investments or acquisitions that could benefit our business, pay dividends to you, and otherwise fund and conduct our businesses.

 

We have adopted a holding company structure, and our holding companies may rely on dividends and other distributions on equity paid by our current and future Chinese subsidiaries for their cash requirements, including the funds necessary to service any debt we may incur or financing we may need for operations other than through our Chinese subsidiaries. Chinese legal restrictions permit payments of dividends by our Chinese subsidiaries only out of their accumulated after-tax profits, if any, determined in accordance with PRC GAAP. Our Chinese subsidiaries are also required under Chinese laws and regulations to allocate at least 10% of their after-tax profits determined in accordance with PRC GAAP to statutory reserves until such reserves reach 50% of the company’s registered capital. Allocations to these statutory reserves and funds can only be used for specific purposes and are not transferable to us in the form of loans, advances or cash dividends. As of March 31, 2016, our Chinese subsidiaries allocated RMB36.4 million ($5.7 million) to the general reserve fund, which is restricted for distribution to the Company. We are in full compliance with PRC laws and regulations relating to such allocations. Any limitations on the ability of our Chinese subsidiaries to transfer funds to us could materially and adversely limit our ability to grow, make investments or acquisitions that could be beneficial to our business, pay dividends and otherwise fund and conduct our business.

 

The discontinuation of any of the preferential tax treatments currently enjoyed by our subsidiaries in the PRC could materially increase our tax obligations.

 

Effective from January 1, 2008, the PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law, or EIT Law, imposes a tax rate of 25% on all enterprises, including foreign-invested enterprises, and terminates many of the tax exemptions, reductions and preferential treatments available under previous tax laws. However, enterprises that were established before March 16, 2007 and already enjoyed preferential tax treatments may continue to enjoy them (i) in the case of certain preferential tax rates that are specified by tax legislations for a transition period of five years from January 1, 2008 or (ii) in the case of tax exemption or reduction for a specified term, until the expiration of such term.

 

Under the EIT Law, qualified “high-and-new technology enterprises eligible for key support from the State” (“HNTE”) are entitled to a preferential tax rate of 15%, subject to an annual review during the valid period of their HNTE certificates. In December 2008, ATA Testing Authority (Beijing) Limited, or ATA Testing, was recognized as a HNTE and obtained its HNTE certificate, which entitled ATA Testing to a preferential tax rate of 15% for calendar years 2008 to 2010. In October 2011, ATA Testing successfully renewed its HNTE certificate for another three years from 2011 and therefore it is entitled to a preferential tax rate of 15% for calendar years 2011 to 2013. In October 2014, ATA Testing successfully renewed its HNTE certificate for another three years from 2014 and therefore it is entitled to a preferential tax rate of 15% for calendar years 2014 to 2016. In December 2009, each of ATA Learning, ATA Online, and Beijing Jindixin Software Technology Limited, or Beijing JDX, received an approval from the tax authority that it qualified as an HNTE for three years, entitling them to a preferential income tax rate of 15% for calendar years 2009 to 2011. From May 2012 to July 2012, ATA Learning, ATA Online and Beijing JDX successfully renewed their HNTE certificates, respectively, for another three years from 2012 and therefore are entitled to a preferential tax rate of 15% for calendar years 2012 to 2014. In November 2015, ATA Learning, ATA Online and Beijing JDX successfully renewed their HNTE certificates, for another three years from 2015 and therefore are entitled to a preferential tax rate of 15% for calendar years 2015 to 2017. We cannot assure you that ATA Testing, ATA Learning, ATA Online and Beijing JDX will continue to qualify as an HNTE after the expiration of their HNTE certificates, or that the local tax authorities will not, in the future, change their position and revoke any of our past preferential tax treatments.

 

The discontinuation of any of our preferential tax treatments could materially increase our tax obligations and adversely affect our business, operating results and financial condition.

 

Under the EIT Law, we may be classified as a “resident enterprise” of China. Such classification will likely result in unfavorable tax consequences to us and U.S. holders of our ADSs or common shares.

 

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Under the EIT Law, an enterprise established outside of China with its “de facto management body” in China is considered a “resident enterprise,” meaning that it can be treated the same as a Chinese enterprise for enterprise income tax purposes. In addition, a tax circular, or Circular 82, issued by the State Administration of Taxation, or the SAT on April 22, 2009 regarding the standards used to classify certain Chinese controlled enterprises established outside of China as “resident enterprises” clarified that dividends and other income paid by such “resident enterprises” will be considered to be PRC source income, subject to PRC withholding tax currently at a rate of 10%, when paid to non-PRC enterprise shareholders. Circular 82 also subjects such “resident enterprises” to various reporting requirements with the PRC tax authorities. Under the Implementation Rules to the EIT Law, a “de facto management body” is defined as a body that exercises “substantial and overall management and control over the manufacturing and business operations, personnel, and human resources, finances and properties of an enterprise.”  In addition, Circular 82 details that certain Chinese-controlled enterprises will be classified as “resident enterprises” if the following are located or resident in China: senior management personnel and departments that are responsible for daily production, operation and management; financial and personnel decision making bodies; key properties, accounting books, company seal, and minutes of board meetings and shareholders’ meetings; and half or more of the senior management or directors having voting rights.

 

Currently, a substantial majority of the members of our management team as well as the management team of some of our offshore holding companies are located in China.  However, Circular 82 only applies to offshore enterprises controlled by PRC enterprises or PRC enterprise groups, not those controlled by PRC individuals or foreign entities like us. In the absence of detailed implementing regulations or other guidance determining that offshore companies controlled by PRC individuals or foreign entities like us are PRC resident enterprises, we do not currently consider our Company or any of our overseas subsidiaries to be a PRC resident enterprise.

 

However, the SAT may take the view that the determining criteria set forth in Circular 82 reflects the general position on how the “de facto management body” test should be applied in determining the tax resident status of all offshore enterprises. Or additional implementing regulations or guidance may be issued determining that our Cayman Islands holding company is a “resident enterprise” for PRC enterprise income tax purposes. If the PRC tax authorities determine that our Cayman Islands holding company is a “resident enterprise” for PRC enterprise income tax purposes, a number of unfavorable PRC tax consequences could follow. First, we will be subject to enterprise income tax at a rate of 25% on our worldwide income as well as PRC enterprise income tax reporting obligations. This would mean that income such as interest on offering proceeds and other non-China source income would be subject to PRC enterprise income tax at a rate of 25%, in comparison to no taxation in the Cayman Islands. Second, although under the EIT Law and its implementing rules dividends paid to us by our PRC subsidiaries would qualify as “tax-exempt income,” we cannot guarantee that such dividends will not be subject to a 10% withholding tax, as the PRC foreign exchange control authorities, which enforce the withholding tax, have not yet issued guidance with respect to the processing of outbound remittances to entities that are treated as resident enterprises for PRC enterprise income tax purposes. Finally, a 10% withholding tax will be imposed on dividends we pay to our non-PRC enterprise shareholders, and future guidance may extend the withholding tax to dividends we pay to our non-PRC individual shareholders and gains derived by our non-PRC shareholders from transferring our ADSs or common shares. Similar results would follow if our BVI holding company is considered a PRC “resident enterprise.” In addition to the uncertainty in how the new “resident enterprise” classification could apply, it is also possible that the rules may change in the future, possibly with retroactive effect. We are closely monitoring the development of this area of rules and are evaluating appropriate arrangements of our management activity to avoid being classified as a PRC “resident enterprise.”

 

China’s regulation of loans and direct investments by offshore holding companies to their Chinese subsidiaries may restrict our ability to execute our business strategy.

 

In order to execute our business strategy, we must invest the funds in our Chinese subsidiaries through loans or capital contributions. Under applicable Chinese laws, any loan made by us to ATA Testing or ATA Learning, both of which are foreign-invested enterprises, cannot exceed statutory limits tied to each company’s registered capital and total investment as approved by the Ministry of Commerce or its local counterpart, and all such loans must be registered with China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange, or SAFE, or its local counterpart. Loans by us to ATA Online, as a domestic PRC enterprise, must be approved by the relevant government authority and must also be registered with SAFE. We may also decide to finance ATA Learning and ATA Testing by increasing their registered capital through capital contributions. The Ministry of Commerce or its local counterpart must approve any capital contributions to ATA Learning and ATA Testing. SAFE promulgated the Circular of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange on Reforming the Management Approach regarding the Settlement of Foreign Exchange Capital of Foreign-invested Enterprises, or SAFE Circular 19, on March 30, 2015. According to the SAFE Circular 19, a foreign-invested enterprise will be able to convert foreign exchange in its capital account into RMB at any time. In order to use the converted RMB, the foreign-invested enterprise still needs to provide supporting documents and go through the review process with the banks. A failure by us to obtain the necessary government approvals or complete any required registrations or other procedures for a capital contribution, an increase in approved total investment or a loan on a timely basis, may restrict our ability to execute our business strategy.

 

A failure by our shareholders who are Chinese citizens or residents in China to comply with regulations issued by SAFE could restrict our ability to distribute profits, restrict our overseas and cross-border investment activities or subject us to liability under Chinese laws, which could adversely affect our business and prospects.

 

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SAFE promulgated the Circular on Relevant Issues Concerning Foreign Exchange Control on Domestic Residents’ Offshore Investment and Financing and Roundtrip Investment through Special Purpose Vehicles, or SAFE Circular 37, on July 4, 2014. SAFE Circular 37 requires PRC residents to register with local branches of SAFE in connection with their direct establishment or indirect control of an offshore entity, for the purpose of overseas investment and financing, with such PRC residents’ legally owned assets or equity interests in domestic enterprises or offshore assets or interests, referred to in SAFE Circular 37 as a “special purpose vehicle.” SAFE Circular 37 further requires amendment to the registration in the event of any significant changes with respect to the special purpose vehicle, such as increase or decrease of capital contributed by PRC individuals, share transfer or exchange, merger, division or other material event. In the event that a PRC shareholder holding interests in a special purpose vehicle fails to fulfill the required SAFE registration, the PRC subsidiaries of that special purpose vehicle may be prohibited from making profit distributions to the offshore parent and from carrying out subsequent cross-border foreign exchange activities, and the special purpose vehicle may be restricted in its ability to contribute additional capital into its PRC subsidiary. Moreover, failure to comply with the various SAFE registration requirements described above could result in liability under PRC law for evasion of foreign exchange controls.

 

Our significant shareholder, Kevin Xiaofeng Ma, has completed his registration with SAFE, and we have urged our other Chinese resident shareholders to register under SAFE Circular 37 and they are currently in the application process. However, we cannot assure you that their applications will be accepted by SAFE. Failure by such shareholders to comply with SAFE Circular 37 could subject us to fines or legal sanctions, restrict our overseas or cross-border investment activities, limit our subsidiaries’ ability to make distributions or pay dividends or affect our ownership structure, which could adversely affect our business and prospects. See “— Because we may rely on dividends and other distributions on equity paid by our current and future Chinese subsidiaries for our cash requirements, restrictions under Chinese law on their ability to make such payments could materially and adversely affect our ability to grow, make investments or acquisitions that could benefit our business, pay dividends to you, and otherwise fund and conduct our businesses.”

 

Furthermore, as these foreign exchange regulations are still relatively new and there is uncertainty concerning the reconciliation of the new regulations with other approval requirements, it is unclear how these regulations, and any future regulation concerning offshore or cross-border transactions, will be interpreted, amended and implemented by the relevant government authorities. We cannot predict how these regulations will affect our business operations or future strategy. For example, we may be subject to a more stringent review and approval process with respect to our foreign exchange activities, such as remittance of dividends and foreign currency-denominated borrowings, which may adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. In addition, if we decide to acquire a PRC domestic company, we cannot assure you that we or the owners of such company, as the case may be, will be able to obtain the necessary approvals or complete the necessary filings and registrations required by the foreign exchange regulations. This may restrict our ability to implement our acquisition strategy and could adversely affect our business and prospects.

 

We may be subject to fines and legal sanctions imposed by SAFE or other Chinese government authorities if we or our Chinese employees fail to comply with Chinese regulations relating to employee share options granted by offshore listed companies to Chinese citizens.

 

Under applicable PRC regulations, Chinese citizens who are granted share options by an offshore listed company are required, through a Chinese agent, which can be a Chinese branch or representative of the offshore listed company, a Chinese institution which has controlling relationship or actual control relationship with the offshore listed company or a Chinese institution qualified for asset custody business, to register with the SAFE and complete certain other procedures, including applications for foreign exchange payment quotas and opening special bank accounts. We and our Chinese employees who have been granted share options are subject to such PRC regulations. If we or our Chinese employees fail to comply with these regulations, we or our Chinese employees may be subject to fines and legal sanctions imposed by the SAFE or other Chinese government authorities, which may prevent us from further granting options under our share incentive plans to our employees. Such events could adversely affect our business operations. See “Item 4.B. Information on the Company — Business overview — Regulations — SAFE Regulations on Employee Share Options.”

 

Risks Relating to Doing Business in the People’s Republic of China

 

China’s economic, political and social conditions, as well as changes in any government policies, laws and regulations, could adversely affect the overall economy in China or the prospects of the industries in which we operate, which in turn could reduce our net revenues.

 

Substantially all of our operations are conducted in China. Accordingly, our business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects are subject, to a significant extent, to economic, political and social developments in China.

 

The Chinese economy differs from the economies of most developed countries in many respects, including the amount of government involvement, level of development, growth rate, control of foreign exchange and allocation of resources. Although the Chinese economy has been transitioning from a planned economy to a more market-oriented economy since the late 1970s, the Chinese government continues to play a significant role in regulating industry development by imposing industrial policies. The Chinese government also exercises significant control over China’s economic growth through the allocation of resources, controlling the incurrence and payment of foreign currency-denominated obligations, setting monetary policy and providing preferential treatment to particular industries or companies. Changes in any of these policies, laws and regulations could adversely affect the overall economy in China or the prospects of the industries in which we operate, which could harm our business.

 

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China’s social and political conditions are also not as stable as those of the United States and other developed countries. Any sudden changes to China’s political system or the occurrence of widespread social unrest could have negative effects on our business and results of operations. In addition, China has contentious relations with some of its neighbors, most notably Taiwan. A significant further deterioration in such relations could have negative effects on the Chinese economy and lead to changes in governmental policies that would be adverse to our business interests.

 

The Chinese legal system has inherent uncertainties that could limit the legal protections available to you and us.

 

Unlike common law systems, the Chinese legal system is based on written statutes and decided legal cases have little precedential value. In 1979, the Chinese government began to promulgate a comprehensive system of laws and regulations governing economic matters in general. The overall effect of legislation since then has been to significantly enhance the protections afforded to various forms of foreign investment in China. Our Chinese operating subsidiaries, ATA Learning and ATA Testing, are wholly foreign-owned enterprises, which are enterprises incorporated in China and wholly-owned by foreign investors, and are subject to laws and regulations applicable to foreign investment in China in general and laws and regulations applicable to wholly foreign-owned enterprises in particular. Our Chinese operating subsidiary, ATA Online, is subject to laws and regulations governing the formation and conduct of domestic PRC companies. Relevant Chinese laws, regulations and legal requirements may change frequently, and their interpretation and enforcement involve uncertainties. In addition, we may have to resort to administrative and court proceedings to enforce the legal protection that we enjoy either by law or contract. However, since Chinese administrative and court authorities have significant discretion in interpreting and implementing statutory and contractual terms, it may be more difficult to evaluate the outcome of administrative and court proceedings and the level of legal protection we enjoy than in more developed legal systems. Such uncertainties, including the inability to enforce our contracts and intellectual property rights, could materially and adversely affect our business and operations. In addition, confidentiality protections in China may not be as effective as in the United States or other countries. Accordingly, we cannot predict the effect of future developments in the Chinese legal system, particularly with regard to the computer-based testing services sectors, including the promulgation of new laws, changes to existing laws or the interpretation or enforcement thereof, or the preemption of local regulations by national laws. These uncertainties could limit the legal protections available to us and other foreign investors, including you.

 

Restrictions on currency exchange may limit our ability to utilize our revenues effectively and the ability of our Chinese subsidiaries to obtain financing.

 

A substantial majority of our revenues and operating expenses are denominated in Renminbi. Restrictions on currency exchange imposed by the Chinese government may limit our ability to utilize revenues generated in Renminbi to fund our business activities outside China, if any, or expenditures denominated in foreign currencies. Under current Chinese regulations, Renminbi may be freely converted into foreign currency for payments relating to “current account transactions,” which include among other things dividend payments and payments for the import of goods and services, by complying with certain procedural requirements. Revenues generated in the PRC can be converted into foreign currency to pay salaries of employees located outside of the PRC upon the employee completing registration procedures. Revenues generated in the PRC can also be used to pay off debt generated outside of the PRC, provided that the Company completes relevant foreign debt registration or approval requirements. Although the Renminbi has been fully convertible for current account transactions since 1996, we cannot assure you that the relevant Chinese government authorities will not limit or eliminate our ability to purchase and retain foreign currencies for current account transactions in the future.

 

Conversion of Renminbi into foreign currencies and of foreign currencies into Renminbi for payments relating to “capital account transactions,” which include among other things investments, loans and acquisitions of land and other fixed assets overseas, generally requires the approval of SAFE and other relevant Chinese governmental authorities. Restrictions on the convertibility of the Renminbi for capital account transactions could affect the ability of our Chinese subsidiaries to make investments overseas or to obtain foreign exchange through debt or equity financing, including by means of loans or capital contributions from us.

 

Fluctuations in exchange rates could result in foreign currency exchange losses.

 

Because substantially all of our revenues and expenditures are denominated in Renminbi, fluctuations in the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and Renminbi will affect our balance sheet and earnings per share in U.S. dollars. In addition, appreciation or depreciation in the value of the Renminbi relative to the U.S. dollar would affect our financial results reported in U.S. dollar terms without giving effect to any underlying change in our business or results of operations. Fluctuations in the exchange rate will also affect the relative value of any dividend we issue that will be exchanged into U.S. dollars and earnings from and the value of any U.S. dollar-denominated investments we make in the future.

 

The value of the Renminbi against the U.S. dollar and other currencies is affected by, among other things, changes in China’s political and economic conditions and China’s foreign exchange policies. The People’s Bank of China regularly intervenes in the foreign exchange market to limit fluctuations in Renminbi exchange rates and achieve policy goals. Very limited hedging transactions are available in China to reduce our exposure to exchange rate fluctuations. To date, we have not entered into any hedging transactions in an effort to reduce our exposure to foreign currency exchange risk. While we may decide to enter into hedging transactions in the future, the availability and effectiveness of these hedging transactions may be limited and we may not be able to successfully hedge our exposure at all. In addition, our currency exchange losses may be magnified by Chinese exchange control regulations that restrict our ability to convert Renminbi into foreign currency.

 

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Any future outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome or avian flu in China, or similar adverse public health developments, may disrupt our business and operations.

 

Our business and operations could be materially and adversely affected by the outbreak of avian influenza, severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, or other similar adverse public health developments. In recent years, there have been reports on the occurrences of avian influenza in various parts of China and neighboring countries, including confirmed human cases. Any prolonged adverse public health development may result in health or other government authorities requiring the closure of our offices or the offices of our clients, or the cancellation of exams or classes to avoid students and others from congregating in closed spaces. Such occurrences would disrupt our business operations and adversely affect our results of operations. We have not adopted any written preventive measures or contingency plans to combat any future outbreak of avian flu, SARS or any other epidemic.

 

Risks Relating to Our ADSs

 

Our ADS price and the ADS or stock prices of other technology companies with business operations primarily in China, have fluctuated widely in recent years, which could result in substantial losses to investors.

 

The trading prices of our ADSs are volatile, and this volatility may continue. For instance, between April 1, 2015 and June 1, 2016, our ADS price as reported on Nasdaq ranged between a low of $2.03 and a high of $7.35. Numerous factors that are beyond our control may cause the market price of our ADSs to fluctuate significantly. In particular, the performance and fluctuation of the market prices of other technology companies with business operations mainly in China that have listed their securities in the United States may affect the volatility in the price of and trading volumes for our ADSs. In recent years, a number of Chinese companies have listed their securities, or are in the process of preparing for listing their securities, on U.S. stock markets. Some of these companies have experienced significant volatility, including significant price declines in connection with their initial public offerings. The trading performances of these Chinese companies’ securities at the time of or after their offerings may affect the overall investor sentiment towards Chinese companies listed in the United States and consequently may impact the trading performance of our ADSs. These broad market and industry factors may significantly affect the market price and volatility of our ADSs, regardless of our actual operating performance.

 

In addition to market and industry factors, the price and trading volume for our ADSs may be highly volatile for specific business reasons. Factors such as variations in our revenues, earnings and cash flow, announcements of new investments, cooperation arrangements or acquisitions, and fluctuations in market prices for our services could cause the market price for our ADSs to change substantially. Any of these factors may result in large and sudden changes in the volume and price at which our ADSs will trade. We cannot give any assurance that these factors will not occur in the future.

 

Although publicly traded, the trading market in our ADSs has been substantially less liquid than the ADSs or stock of many companies quoted on the Nasdaq Global Market, and this low trading volume may adversely affect the price of our ADSs.

 

Although our ADSs are traded on the Nasdaq Global Market, the trading volume of our ADSs has generally been very low. Reported average daily trading volume of our ADSs for the three-month period ended May 31, 2016 was approximately 29,753 ADSs. Limited trading volume will subject our ADSs to greater price volatility and may make it difficult for our shareholders to sell their ADSs at a price that is attractive to them, if at all.

 

The sale or availability for sale of substantial amounts of our ADSs could adversely affect their market price.

 

Sales of substantial amounts of our ADSs in the public market or the perception that these sales could occur, could adversely affect the market price of our ADSs and could materially impair our future ability to raise capital through offerings of our ADSs.

 

As of June 20, 2016, there were 45,842,724 common shares outstanding. In addition, there were outstanding options to purchase an aggregate of 1,904,067 common shares, including options to purchase an aggregate of 801,972 common shares immediately exercisable as of June 20, 2016. All of the ADSs sold in our initial public offering are freely tradable without restriction or further registration under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, or the Securities Act, unless held by our “affiliates” as that term is defined in Rule 144 under the Securities Act. Subject to applicable restrictions and limitations under Rule 144 of the Securities Act of 1933, all of our shares outstanding as of the date of this annual report are eligible for sale in the public market. In addition, the common shares subject to options for the purchase of our common shares will become eligible for sale in the public market to the extent permitted by the provisions of various vesting agreements, and Rules 144 and 701 under the Securities Act of 1933. If these additional shares are sold, or if it is perceived that they will be sold in the public market, the trading price of our common shares could decline.

 

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A significant percentage of our outstanding common shares are held by a small number of our existing shareholders, and these shareholders may have significantly greater influence on us and our corporate actions by nature of the size of their shareholdings relative to our public shareholders.

 

One of our existing shareholders, Kevin Xiaofeng Ma, beneficially owns approximately 52.1% of our outstanding common shares as of June 20, 2016. Accordingly, this shareholder has had, and may continue to have, significant influence in determining the outcome of any corporate transaction or other matter submitted to the shareholders for approval, including mergers, consolidations and the sale of all or substantially all of our assets, election of directors and other significant corporate actions. In addition, without the consent of this shareholder, we could be prevented from entering into transactions that could be beneficial to us.

 

Anti-takeover provisions in our organizational documents may discourage our acquisition by a third party, which could limit your opportunity to sell your shares at a premium.

 

Our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association include provisions that could limit the ability of others to acquire control of us, modify our structure or cause us to engage in change of control transactions, including, among other things, the following:

 

·              provisions that provide for a staggered board which operates to prevent a third party from obtaining control of our board in a relatively short period of time because at least two annual shareholders’ meetings, instead of one, would generally be required to effect a change in majority of the board.

 

·              provisions that restrict the ability of our shareholders to call meetings and to propose special matters for consideration at shareholder meetings; and

 

·              provisions that authorize our board of directors, without action by our shareholders, to issue preferred shares and to issue additional common shares, including common shares represented by ADSs.

 

These provisions could have the effect of depriving you of an opportunity to sell your ADSs at a premium over prevailing market prices by discouraging third parties from seeking to acquire control of us in a tender offer or similar transactions.

 

The voting rights of holders of ADSs must be exercised in accordance with the terms of the deposit agreement, the ADRs, and the procedures established by the depositary. The process of voting through the depositary may involve delays that limit the time available to you to consider proposed shareholders’ actions and also may restrict your ability to subsequently revise your voting instructions.

 

A holder of ADSs may exercise its voting rights with respect to the underlying common shares only in accordance with the provisions of the deposit agreement and the ADRs. We do not recognize holders of ADSs representing our common shares as our shareholders, and instead we recognize the ADS depositary as our shareholder.

 

When the depositary receives from us notice of any shareholders meeting, it will distribute the information in the meeting notice and any proxy solicitation materials to you. The depositary will determine the record date for distributing these materials, and only ADS holders registered with the depositary on that record date will, subject to applicable laws, be entitled to instruct the depositary to vote the underlying common shares. The depositary will also determine and inform you of the manner for you to give your voting instructions, including instructions to give discretionary proxies to a person designated by us. Upon receipt of voting instructions of a holder of ADSs, the depositary will endeavor to vote the underlying common shares in accordance with these instructions. You may not receive sufficient notice of a shareholders’ meeting for you to withdraw your common shares and cast your vote with respect to any proposed resolution, as a holder of our common shares. In addition, the depositary and its agents may not be able to send materials relating to the meeting and voting instruction forms to you, or to carry out your voting instructions, in a timely manner. We cannot assure you that you will receive the voting materials in time to ensure that you can instruct the depositary to vote your shares. The additional time required for the depositary to receive from us and distribute to you meeting notices and materials, and for you to give voting instructions to the depositary with respect to the underlying common shares, will result in your having less time to consider meeting notices and materials than holders of common shares who receive such notices and materials directly from us and who vote their common shares directly. If you have given your voting instructions to the depositary and subsequently decide to change those instructions, you may not be able to do so in time for the depositary to vote in accordance with your revised instructions. The depositary and its agents will not be responsible for any failure to carry out any instructions to vote, for the manner in which any vote is cast or for the effect of any such vote.

 

Except in limited circumstances, the depositary for our ADSs will give us a discretionary proxy to vote our common shares underlying your ADSs if you do not vote at shareholders’ meetings, which could adversely affect your interests.

 

Under the deposit agreement for the ADSs, the depositary will give us a discretionary proxy to vote our common shares underlying your ADSs at shareholders’ meetings if you do not vote, unless we notify the depositary that:

 

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·              we do not wish to receive a discretionary proxy;

 

·              we think there is substantial shareholder opposition to the particular question; or

 

·              we think the subject of the particular question would have a material adverse impact on our shareholders.

 

The effect of this discretionary proxy is that, absent the situations described above, you cannot prevent our common shares underlying your ADSs from being voted and it may make it more difficult for shareholders to influence the management of our company. Holders of our common shares are not subject to this discretionary proxy.

 

You may not receive distributions on our common shares or any value for them if such distribution is illegal or if any required government approval cannot be obtained in order to make such distribution available to you.

 

The depositary of our ADSs has agreed to pay to you the cash dividends or other distributions it or the custodian for our ADSs receives on our common shares or other deposited securities after deducting its fees and expenses. You will receive these distributions in proportion to the number of our common shares your ADSs represent. However, the depositary is not responsible to make a distribution available to any holders of ADSs if it decides that it is unlawful to make such distribution. For example, it would be unlawful to make a distribution to a holder of ADSs if it consisted of securities that required registration under the Securities Act but that were not properly registered or distributed pursuant to an applicable exemption from registration. The depositary is not responsible for making a distribution available to any holders of ADSs if any government approval or registration required for such distribution cannot be obtained after reasonable efforts made by the depositary. We have no obligation to take any other action to permit the distribution of our ADSs, common shares, rights or anything else to holders of our ADSs. This means that you may not receive the distributions we make on our common shares or any value for them if it is unlawful or unreasonable from a regulatory perspective for us to make them available to you. These restrictions may have a material adverse effect on the value of your ADSs.

 

You may be subject to limitations on transfer of your ADSs.

 

Your ADSs represented by ADRs are transferable on the books of the depositary. However, the depositary may close its books at any time or from time to time when it deems expedient in connection with the performance of its duties. The depositary may close its books from time to time for a number of reasons, including in connection with corporate events such as a rights offering, during which time the depositary needs to maintain an exact number of ADS holders on its books for a specified period. The depositary may also close its books in emergencies, and on weekends and public holidays. The depositary may refuse to deliver, transfer or register transfers of our ADSs generally when the books of the depositary are closed, or at any time if we or the depositary thinks it is advisable to do so because of any requirement of law or any government or government body, or under any provision of the deposit agreement, or for any other reason.

 

We are a Cayman Islands company and, because judicial precedent regarding the rights of shareholders is more limited under Cayman Islands law than under U.S. federal or state laws, you may have less protection of your shareholder rights than you would under U.S. federal or state laws.

 

Our corporate affairs are governed by our amended and restated memorandum and articles of association, the Cayman Islands Companies Law and the common law of the Cayman Islands. The rights of shareholders to take action against the directors, actions by minority shareholders and the fiduciary responsibilities of our directors to us under Cayman Islands law are to a large extent governed by the common law of the Cayman Islands. The common law of the Cayman Islands is derived in part from comparatively limited judicial precedent in the Cayman Islands as well as from English common law, which has persuasive, but not binding, authority on a court in the Cayman Islands. The rights of our shareholders and the fiduciary responsibilities of our directors under Cayman Islands law are not as clearly established as they would be under statutes or judicial precedent in some jurisdictions in the United States. In particular, the Cayman Islands has a less developed body of securities laws than the United States. In addition, some jurisdictions, such as Delaware, have more fully developed and judicially interpreted bodies of corporate law than the Cayman Islands. As a result of all of the above, public shareholders may have more difficulty in protecting their interests in the face of actions taken by management, members of the board of directors or controlling shareholders than they would as public shareholders of a U.S. company.

 

Certain judgments obtained against us by our shareholders may not be enforceable.

 

We are a Cayman Islands company and substantially all of our assets are located outside of the United States. Nearly all of our current operations are conducted in China. In addition, most of our directors and officers are nationals and residents of countries other than the United States. A substantial portion of the assets of these persons are located outside the United States. As a result, it may be difficult for you to effect service of process within the United States upon these persons. It may also be difficult for you to enforce in U.S. court judgments obtained in U.S. courts based on the civil liability provisions of the U.S. federal securities laws against us and our officers and directors, none of whom is resident in the United States and the substantial majority of whose assets is located outside of the United States. In addition, there is uncertainty as to whether the courts of the Cayman Islands or China would recognize or enforce judgments of U.S. courts against us or such persons predicated upon the civil liability provisions of the securities laws of the United States or any state. In addition, there is uncertainty as to whether such Cayman Islands or Chinese courts would be competent to hear original actions brought in the Cayman Islands or China against us or such persons predicated upon the securities laws of the United States or any state.

 

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Your right to participate in any future rights offerings may be limited, which may cause dilution to your holdings.

 

We may from time to time distribute rights to our shareholders, including rights to acquire our securities. However, we cannot make rights available to you in the United States unless we register the rights and the securities to which the rights relate under the Securities Act or an exemption from the registration requirements is available. We are under no obligation to file a registration statement with respect to any such rights or securities or to endeavor to cause such a registration statement to be declared effective. Moreover, we may not be able to establish an exemption from registration under the Securities Act. Accordingly, you may be unable to participate in our rights offerings and may experience dilution in your holdings.

 

ITEM 4. INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY

 

A. History and Development of the Company

 

Our predecessor company, American Testing Authority, Inc., a New York company, began operations in 1999, and in the same year established ATA Testing Authority (Beijing) Limited, or ATA Testing, as a wholly-owned subsidiary in China. In November 2001, our founders established ATA Testing Authority (Holdings) Limited, or ATA BVI, in the British Virgin Islands. In the following year, American Testing Authority, Inc. merged into ATA BVI and ATA BVI became our holding company.

 

In June 2003, we established a Chinese joint venture company, ATA Learning (Beijing) Inc., or ATA Learning, with Yinchuan Economic and Technological Development Zone Investment Holding Co. Ltd., or Yinchuan Holding. Initially, we held a 40% equity interest in ATA Learning. In May 2005, we acquired Yinchuan Holding’s 60% equity interest and converted ATA Learning into a wholly-owned subsidiary of ATA BVI.

 

We incorporated ATA Inc. in the Cayman Islands in September 2006 as our listing vehicle. ATA Inc. became our ultimate holding company in November 2006 when it issued shares to the existing shareholders of ATA BVI in exchange for all of the outstanding shares of ATA BVI.

 

In February 2009, we completed the acquisition of the entire equity interest of Beijing JDX, and JDX Holdings Limited, or JDX BVI, which are related companies incorporated in China and the British Virgin Islands, respectively, engaged in the development and marketing of software for computer-based tests. JDX BVI was dissolved in October 2009.

 

In November 2013, we completed the acquisition of the entire equity interest of Xing Wei Institute (Hong Kong) Limited, or Xing Wei, a private education technology company that provides training solutions as well as online and mobile training platforms for corporations in China.

 

In connection with the listing of our testing service business on the New Third Board, we acquired the entire equity interest of ATA Online through ATA Learning and Zhongxiao Zhixing in May 2015, with ATA Learning owning 90% and Zhongxiao Zhixing owning 10% of ATA Online’s share equity. In connection therewith, we terminated a series of contractual arrangements with ATA Online and its nominee shareholders, which provided us control over ATA Online. As a result, ATA Online became our wholly-owned subsidiary. See “Item 7. Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions—B. Related Party Transactions.” In addition, we transferred the non-testing services business from ATA Online to ATA Learning, and as a result, ATA Online transferred to ATA Learning 20% and 33% equity investments in Satech and Master Mind, respectively, in May 2015.

 

The following diagram illustrates our current corporate structure. Except for ATA BVI and Xing Wei, which are incorporated in the British Virgin Islands and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the PRC, respectively, all of our subsidiaries are incorporated in mainland China.

 

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GRAPHIC

 

Our principal executive offices are located at 1/F East Gate, Building No. 2, Jian Wai Soho, No. 39 Dong San Huan Zhong Road, Chao Yang District, Beijing, China, and our telephone number is (86-10) 6518-1122. Our web site address is http://www.atai.net.cn. The information on our web site does not form a part of this annual report. On February 1, 2008, we completed our initial public offering, which involved the sale by us of 4,874,012 of our ADSs, representing 9,748,024 of our common shares. Our agent for service of process in the United States in CT Corporation System, located at 111 Eight Avenue, New York, New York 10011.

 

B. Business overview

 

Overview

 

We believe that we are the leading provider of computer-based testing services in China, based on test delivery capacity and geographic coverage. We offer comprehensive services for the creation and delivery of computer-based tests utilizing our nation-wide test delivery platform, proprietary testing technologies and extensive experience providing testing services in China. Our computer-based testing services are used for professional licensure and certification tests in various industries, including IT services, banking, teaching and insurance. Our computer-based testing services clients principally include professional associations, such as CICPA and CBA, Chinese governmental agencies, including the PRC Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, and large state-owned enterprises, such as Sinopec and China Mobile.

 

Our test center network, which we believe is the largest test center network of any commercial testing service provider in China, comprised 3,035 authorized test centers located throughout China as of March 31, 2016. Combined with our test delivery technologies, this network allows our clients to administer large-scale nationwide computer-based and paper-based tests in a consistent, secure and cost-effective manner. From our inception in 1999 through March 31, 2016, we have delivered approximately 88.1 million tests, including approximately 11.8 million free tests for business development purposes. Over the course of two days on October 17 and October 18, 2015, we delivered tests for the fourth consecutive year to more than 1.9 million tests for the CPA, demonstrating our ability to administer computer-based tests across the country on a massive scale through our nationwide test delivery platform. During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016, approximately 10.4 million tests were delivered using our computer-based testing technologies and services.

 

Our proprietary computer-based testing technologies include our E-testing platform for delivering computer-based tests, our patented mobile testing platform called the Mobile Testing Service, or MTS, our cloud-based online testing platform called EzTest,  and our content creation and management technologies. Our E-testing platform is composed of a set of self-developed tools and applications for facilitating the computer-based testing process, and is capable of handling large-scale tests and quickly and securely transmitting, processing and storing large amounts of data. Our self-developed MTS, launched in 2013 and EzTest, launched in 2015, are applications compatible for computer, iOS and Android systems that function as exam testing systems which were developed on the basis of cloud technology. Test takers can take tests through MTS and EzTest on their mobile devices, and test administrators can host, manage and administer the tests through MTS anywhere. Both MTS and EzTest platforms enhance the mobility, security, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of test administration by utilizing state-of-the-art cloud technology to transmit test data through portable mobile devices. Our computer-based testing technologies, including E-testing platform, MTS and EzTest, provide diversified solutions to test sponsors and clients in various circumstances. Our self-developed test content creation and management technologies include our Dynamic Simulation Technology, an advanced performance-based testing technology which leading IT certification sponsors have adopted for their computer-simulated tests delivered around the world. We have also developed content creation technologies for the conversion of paper-based tests into computer-based formats to make test administration easier and cheaper. In December 2013, we won the “Best Solution in the Testing and Assessment Field” Award at the 2013 China Software Technology Conference — the 12th China Software and Information Service Summit, which was organized by the MIIT and sponsored by China Electronic Information Industry Development Institution.

 

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Leveraging our testing platform, technologies and expertise, we administer an ever expanding portfolio of test titles in China and have expanded our service offerings beyond our core computer-based testing services to include other test-focused services. ATA Online has launched online training web sites to help candidates across China attain continuing educational requirement after their professional licensure and certification tests, which are delivered through our E-learning platform, which is an online training platform providing technology support and services to individual end-users for online distance education. We plan to further expand our services to online education technologies, career-oriented training and soft skills development for test takers.

 

Our total net revenues increased to RMB417.1 million ($64.7 million) in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016 from RMB350.2 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015 and RMB384.7 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014, respectively. We had net income of RMB27.3 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014, RMB23.1 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015 and RMB26.1 million ($4.0 million) in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016.

 

Our Test Delivery Platform and Technologies

 

We offer our clients a comprehensive platform and suite of technologies for the development and delivery of computer-based tests. Our E-testing platform integrates all aspects of the test delivery process for computer-based tests, from test form compilation to test scoring and results analysis. Our test delivery services are further enhanced by our nation-wide network of test centers, which allows us to deliver both computer-based and paper-based tests on a large scale in a consistent, secure and cost-effective manner. We also offer our clients advanced technologies and software applications for the creation of sophisticated computer-based tests, including advanced performance-based tests. While we still offer a choice between paper-based testing and computer-based testing for our institutional clients, currently all of our national public exams are delivered using computer-based testing, and we expect the trend towards computer-based exams to continue. For example, we have been helping the China Certified Tax Agents Association, or CCTAA, to transfer its National Tax Adviser Occupational Qualification Exam from paper-based testing to computer-based testing since 2016. By combining our advanced test content creation technologies with our test delivery platform and network of test centers, we can offer our clients a comprehensive and integrated solution to enhance the effectiveness of the entire testing process, as shown in the following diagram.

 

GRAPHIC

 

Our E-Testing Platform

 

Our E-testing platform incorporates a number of technologies and protocols designed to ensure the stable, cost-effective, secure, accurate, fast and easy-to-manage delivery of computer-based tests on a large scale. It is flexible and easily customized for many types of test content and the specific requirements of the test sponsor. Tests delivered through our E-testing platform may be conducted at our ATA authorized test centers or at other locations at the test sponsor’s discretion. Our E-testing platform is composed of a set of tools and applications for facilitating the computer-based testing process, including a network sub-system for managing and transferring test content, test taker information and test results data in a secure and efficient manner. Our E-testing platform software applications are pre-installed on designated personal computers at the testing site prior to the test date and are designed to handle large-scale testing environments and are capable of transmitting, receiving, processing and storing large amounts of information in a short time span. We currently have the capability to deliver more than 1,200,000 tests per day using our 150 servers, which can be increased to enlarge capacity. We periodically upgrade our equipment and software applications to handle increasing testing volume as required.

 

Our Mobile Testing Service

 

Our patented mobile test administration platform MTS significantly enhances the mobility, security, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of test administration. MTS obviates the need to pre-install software on designated personal computers at the testing site prior to the test date and allows us to monitor the status and process of an entire exam through a safe, non-public LAN, thus reducing the cost of test administration and improving test administration efficiency. Through MTS, test packets can be downloaded to personal electronic devices prior to the exam, and candidate responses can be synced with the test server during the exam. MTS consists of three main components: (i) a small MTS Box that is placed in the testing center and operated by onsite proctors to wirelessly connect between the MTS Cloud Server and the test takers’ own electronic device, such as a personal computer or tablet; (ii) an MTS Cloud Server that processes the exchange of data, such as the upload or download of test data, between the MTS Box and our servers; and (iii) MTS Test Client, an app that supports multiple operating systems and enables secure data transmission between the MTS Box and test takers’ personal electronic devices during live exams. MTS has already been deployed for use in our administration of the Cambridge English Junior Exam in 22 countries or regions and we expect it to garner widespread use in the future.

 

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Our SAAS Mode Online Testing Platform

 

EzTest is our new online testing platform launched in 2015. It provides comprehensive functions required by most test delivery organizations and individuals, including item banking, test form composition, test delivery, online proctoring and test result analysis. EzTest functions on all computer system browsers and most mobile system browsers without the need to install additional software or plug-ins. This enables its users to create their own content and deliver test at any time, any place and on any device.

 

Our ATA Authorized Test Center Network

 

To help our clients reach a broad base of test takers, we have established a large network of authorized test centers across China and in Macau, which we refer to as our ATA authorized test centers. As of March 31, 2016, we had contractual relationships with 3,035 ATA authorized test centers. Our network of ATA authorized test centers provides the means for delivering and administering tests nationally both simultaneously and on a regularly scheduled basis under consistent and secure testing conditions.

 

The following map shows the geographic distribution of our ATA authorized test centers as of March 31, 2016:

 

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Extensive Network of Test Centers

GRAPHIC

 

We do not own any of our ATA authorized test centers but instead enter into a standard form of contract with qualified independent operators to act as ATA authorized test centers. Most of our ATA authorized test centers are owned by Chinese vocational schools, which we believe enhances the quality and reliability of the centers. Under our contracts with the test centers, we license our E-testing platform technology and provide ongoing technical support and training during the contract period. We require each test center to provide sufficient facilities to properly administer computer-based tests and to follow prescribed guidelines for facility maintenance and test administration. We also conduct regular reviews of their facilities and operations. We assist our clients in liaising and coordinating testing arrangements with our ATA authorized test centers.

 

Our ATA authorized test centers are divided into general test centers, which offer a wide range of tests and have the right to use our “ATA” brand name and logo, and special test centers with which we enter into contracts to carry out specific tests for specific test sponsor clients. We receive license fees from our general test center operators in the form of either a single initial license fee or a combination of initial license fee and continuing annual license fees. Under either fee arrangement, we and our licensees can extend the licensing agreement indefinitely.

 

Our Test Content Creation and Management Technologies

 

We offer our clients advanced technologies and software applications for the creation of sophisticated computer-based tests, including advanced performance-based tests.

 

Our Dynamic Simulation Technology is a performance-based testing technology that creates, illustrates, runs and scores tests in a virtual computer environment that accurately and realistically simulates the operating environment and functions of the software applications being tested without requiring the installation or use of those applications. Our Dynamic Simulation Technology is designed to provide maximum interactivity and allow the test taker to perform tasks in the simulated environment and operate through multi-level testing paths. The current version of Dynamic Simulation Technology, version 5.0, is an interpreter-based simulation technology, which represents our fifth generation of simulation testing technologies.

 

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Interpreter-based simulation offers high flexibility, adaptability to most applications, low disk space usage and short lead times for developing new tests once the system is in place. Based on feedback from our clients, we believe that we are the only company in the world that has developed and marketed interpreter-based simulation technology for testing and educational use. For this reason, we believe that our Dynamic Simulation Technology is the world’s leading technology for the creation and illustration of performance-based tests through simulation. Currently content in over eight languages has been delivered through this technology around the world.

 

We also have two non-simulation testing technologies: Real Environment Technology and ATA Markup Language. Our Real Environment Technology is used for creating and running performance-based tests and learning exercises that track and score within the actual operating system or software application being tested. Our ATA Markup Language is used for the creation and illustration of knowledge-based test items that require the test taker to respond to specific questions in a traditional question-and-answer format. While less sophisticated than our performance-based testing technologies, ATA Markup Language remains a key technology for our large base of clients who contract with us for the conversion of paper-based tests to computer-based tests. In addition, many performance-based tests also include traditional multiple-choice questions created and run by our ATA Markup Language and related software applications.

 

We have developed test item authoring tool applications for our Dynamic Simulation Technology, Real Environment Technology and ATA Markup Language. We have also developed other authoring tools, such as user interface cloning and translation software, for increasing the efficiency of the test content creation and revision process. To meet individual client needs, we have developed test engine applications for integrating tests using our testing technologies on multiple testing platforms.

 

In addition to incorporating our technologies into our test service offerings, we also directly generate revenue from our Dynamic Simulation Technology and related simulation authoring tools by licensing them to international IT certification sponsors, such as Citrix and CompTIA, for the creation of test items and test preparation course exercise items delivered to students and test takers all over the world.

 

Our Service Offerings

 

Testing Development and Delivery Services

 

Computer-based test authoring, delivery and result analysis services. Our test delivery platform and technologies allow us to offer our clients a comprehensive set of services for the authoring, test delivery and result analysis of computer-based tests as well as administrative services such as test registration, scheduling, fee collection and certification fulfillment. We assist our clients with creating and delivering a wide range of computer-based tests, including governmental agencies with licensure tests required for job positions within various governmental agencies and industry associations with tests that test the competence of individuals who practice in certain industries that require technical expertise and which carry professional titles, such as:

 

·              the National Unified Certified Public Accountants Exam, sponsored and regulated by CICPA;

 

·              the Certification of China Banking Professionals Exam, sponsored and regulated by CBA under the supervision of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, or CBRC;

 

·              the National Tax Adviser Occupational Qualification Exam, sponsored and regulated by CCTAA;

 

·              the Fund Practitioners Certification Exam, sponsored and regulated by the Asset Management Association of China, or AMAC, under CSRC’s supervision;

 

·              the National Security Guard Exam, sponsored and regulated by the Ministry of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China; and

 

·              corporate assessment services for large scale/day-to-day recruitment exercise and internal talent assessment purposes.

 

Utilizing our comprehensive and advanced item authoring system and rendering technologies, we assist our clients in developing sophisticated computer-based tests, including performance-based items. Creation of effective and reliable computer-based tests involves a multi-step process:

 

·              Test design. Our content development consultants work together with the client to determine the test scope, target audience, test objectives and required competency level to formulate an overall test blueprint. We then arrange for the client to work with our internal subject matter experts, or to engage outside subject matter experts with specific experience in the subject area, to work with us on the scope of knowledge covered by the test and to design and author specific testing items for required knowledge points.

 

·              Test item authoring. Based on the test blueprint and using our advanced test engine technologies, we work together with subject matter experts to create individual test items designed to determine a test taker’s proficiency and effectiveness in solving both practical and conceptual problems. The test items are designed to support immediate test scoring and results analysis. Test items generally fall into two types: standardized items and constructed responses items. Once all of the test items have been created, our content development consultants and subject matter experts commence a review process to ensure the validity of each test item, clarity of language and overall quality. All of the test items are then deposited in a master test item pool.

 

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·              Test form and item bank construction. Once the test items are ready, we tag properties to test items for building up test item banks, which enable test forms to be formulated based on the blueprint of a test. Test forms with the same level of difficulty are generated from the test item bank to ensure fairness across test forms.

 

·              Final user acceptance test. Before publication, the test undergoes a final user acceptance test during which selected test takers take the test and provide feedback. Based on the test results from the beta test, we evaluate the efficacy of the test, eliminate problematic test items and otherwise fine tune the test items to ensure quality.

 

·             Continuous upgrades through result analysis and user feedback. As we deliver tests in real-world environments, we monitor and analyze the quality and adequacy of the test content and update test items as we develop or adopt new technologies and techniques. We also communicate with test users and collect feedback from the test sponsors and test takers to ensure that test items are up-to-date.

 

Our services are modularized, and depending on the client’s needs, we perform some or all of the above services to individual client. For example, in some cases, clients may have already created all of the test items and may only require us to build the test using our E-testing platform. Computer-based tests can also be scheduled on an on-demand basis, or as regularly scheduled tests, which are prescheduled and taken by test takers at a designated time.

 

Our computer-based testing delivery services generally include the following, subject to the test sponsor’s specific needs:

 

·              installing our E-testing platform on the computer system of our authorized test centers to enable centralized administrative tasks to be implemented for the test or, in the case of repeated clients, updating the platform as necessary, for new tests;

 

·              providing technical support throughout the test administration process;

 

·              updating test session information and performing test rehearsals and final test environment inspection;

 

·              administering the test sessions and collecting responses from candidates; and

 

·              processing test scores, summarizing and analyzing test scores and generating results.

 

We also offer a number of logistical support services relating to test administration that we incorporate into the testing fee for our test delivery platform based on client’s customized needs. These support services include:

 

·              managing test taker registration and scheduling;

 

·              managing test fee collection;

 

·              preparing and conducting pre-test training of personnel at each ATA authorized test center;

 

·              providing test data management, such as test score publishing and inquiry; and

 

·              printing and delivering certificates for test takers who have satisfied the test sponsor certification requirements.

 

We usually offer test content creation services and test delivery services as an integrated solution and collect a fixed fee per test per test taker. The fee we charge depends on the length and complexity of the test, the amount of effort it takes to transform the testing content into computer-based test format and other factors in the test development and administration process, such as security levels and the amount of logistical services provided.

 

Administration of TOEIC exams in China. We have been a long-time distributor and test administrator of TOEIC exams in China, which are products of ETS, the world’s largest educational research and assessment organization. Originally designed in 1979 by ETS for governmental agencies and corporations, TOEIC measures the ability of non-native speakers of English to communicate in English in the workplace. According to ETS, the TOEIC exam is being used by over 14,000 companies, government agencies and English language learning programs in 150 countries, with around seven million TOEIC exams administered around the world in 2013. TOEIC has become the top professional English language assessment tool in the world, according to ETS.

 

TOEIC tests include large-scale, fixed-date testing open to the general public for a set fee as well as on-demand testing given for specific enterprises or organizations. We administered our first TOEIC exam in three cities in China in March 2009. We collect a per-test taker fee for each test delivered. TOEIC exams in China used to be only available in a paper-based format, but since August 2011, we began also delivering computer-based TOEIC exams through our delivery system at our authorized test centers.

 

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On February 28, 2014, our exclusive TOEIC distributor contract with ETS ended and we no longer exclusively administer TOEIC exams in China due to ETS’ decision to change its distribution model; however, we are still a distributor and administrator of TOEIC exams in China and signed a non-exclusive distributor contract with ETS on June 23, 2014 to continue delivery of certain TOEIC exams to our existing institutional clients from April 1, 2014 through December 31, 2016.

 

Distribution and administration of Cambridge tests. We entered into an exclusive ten-year Master Distribution and Services Agreement in March 2013 with The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge (“Cambridge”), an affiliate of the University of Cambridge which has the largest dedicated research department of any UK-based language assessment organization.  Under this agreement, we will host, support, market and deliver platform services to certain Cambridge tests and collect a per-test taker fee for each test delivered. As of March 31, 2016, we have enabled the delivery of 7,507 Cambridge English Junior Exam in 22 countries or regions through our MTS and expect to expand delivery of this and other Cambridge test titles to other jurisdictions in the future.

 

HR Select Employee Assessment Solution

 

In March 2009, we launched our self-developed “HR Select” employee assessment solution. HR Select is a service that enables corporate human resources departments to test, benchmark and analyze job applicants based on general, industry-specific and job-specific profiles and individual skill-sets, making it an invaluable tool for campus recruitment, lateral hiring and internal promotions. Employers using HR Select can choose to adopt any of a multitude of evaluation parameters, including:

 

·              General work skills, including among others foreign language skills, software application skills, management skills, reading comprehension ability and data processing skills;

 

·              Position-specific skills, including customized tests for IT, finance, management, customer service, administrative and sales positions; and

 

·              Compatibility traits, which look at non-skills elements that indicate a candidate’s likelihood of success, such as personal values, self-image, motivation and other personality traits.

 

HR Select leverages our computer-based testing technologies and expertise to allow employers to evaluate candidates on each of these properties and to analyze and categorize the results to make effective recruitment decisions. Candidates are tested using our E-testing platform at our authorized test centers or online at a place of their choosing. We have also leveraged our particular expertise in certain industries where we have been delivering computer-based tests and educational services, including the IT and finance industries, to provide targeted services to employer clients. For example, Saville, which is a career personality test, is available via the HR Select service to assess a candidate’s behavioral based personality and predict his workplace performance. Employers may adopt ready-made tests available in the HR Select system, or use their own self-developed tests. If they use their own tests, they can choose to keep the test confidential or permit other HR Select clients to view the tests. By allowing test content to be shared, we believe HR Select can facilitate the standardization of recruitment criteria within industries. HR Select incorporates our computer-based testing technologies to allow clients to deliver the evaluation tests online in a secure, accurate and easy-to-manage manner. HR Select can be administered at ATA authorized test centers or via our customized online platform.

 

Our current HR Select clients principally include large domestic and foreign-invested companies in professional industries such as insurance and banking. Since the end of the fiscal year ended March 31, 2011, the four largest Chinese state-owned banks have all become customers of our computer-based testing services that incorporate our HR Select solution. To complement our HR Select offerings, we signed an exclusive ten-year partnership agreement with Saville Consulting, a global human resources assessment firm whose products are available in over 80 countries, in August 2011 to deliver Saville’s unique and proprietary psychometric measurement instruments and specialized personality instrument through our testing platform. Saville’s psychometric assessment has enhanced our HR Select product portfolio and moved us one step closer to our goal of being a premium provider of international, brand name test content.

 

Online Education Services

 

We offer online education services to test candidates preparing to take professional certification tests as well as candidates aiming to fulfill their post qualification continuing educational requirement. Our online education services integrate our testing and assessment technologies with online education content targeted at professional licensure and certification tests in China.

 

Online education platform for the securities industries. Leveraging the scale of ATA-delivered futures certification test, ATA Online launched an online education web site to provide a flexible and scalable platform aimed at helping candidates across China to fulfill their Continuous Professional Development (CPD) requirement after passing their professional licensure and certification tests delivered through our testing platform for the China Futures Association. Online education customers gain access to Internet web sites that contain the latest training materials provided by the test sponsors and streaming video of teaching sessions and practice tests developed by ATA.

 

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Online education and training website for professionals in China. In July 2014, we and the New Oriental Education & Technology Group formed a joint venture to provide online and mobile education solutions to growing base of professionals in China, with an initial focus on the healthcare, accounting and finance industries. In April 2015, the joint venture launched a new online education and training website. During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016, the joint venture engaged in developing the contents and platforms for the online and mobile education solutions and providing free training courses.

 

Data Storage and Security

 

One of the most important aspects of our computer-based testing services is ensuring the integrity and security of the test-taking process. To accomplish this, we use multiple technologies and methods to ensure the security of test content, test results and other sensitive data used or obtained in relation to our services.

 

We have developed and implemented the following technologies and measures to protect security throughout all stages of test development and delivery:

 

Preparation and Storage of Test Items

 

To reduce the risks associated with potential unauthorized disclosure or misuse of test questions by ATA personnel during the process of creating test item banks, we divide test item authoring and management tasks among multiple persons and limit each person’s access to the test item content through the use of access permissions. Each test item author is only responsible for creating a limited amount of test item content and is permitted access only to that content for which that person is responsible. As a result, no one has full access to the contents beyond his or her scope of work. Test item bank managers receive limited permissions and are not given access to the content of individual test items. Moreover, our test item authoring and test item bank management tools record and track all access and modifications to test items or the test item pool to detect any breaches to the security protocols. Once the test item banks are created, the content is encrypted and stored on our secure central servers or the client’s servers. Our servers are located in a central machine room operated by one of the most well-established server hosting service providers in China. These servers are protected by firewalls and stored using NetApp TM equipment, which permits real-time back-up. We encrypt all test item banks using our self-developed encryption algorithm, which strive to prevent decryption or reverse engineering through the use of electronic fingerprinting, anti-tracking and trapping technologies.

 

Creation of Test Forms and Transmission of Test Materials to the Test Site

 

Our software applications automatically compile individual test forms from the test item bank according to the test blueprint and pre-arranged parameters. During this process, no access of the content of individual test items is permitted and all steps in the process are digitally recorded. The encrypted test forms are delivered to the test site’s server either on hard disc or through a secure network, generally one day before the day of the test. The relevant information on each test taker is separately transferred in encrypted format to the test site via the Internet. A hardware dongle containing an encrypted time stamp is used to ensure that the test begins and ends on time. A hardware dongle is a hardware device that must be inserted into the USB port of the test site’s central computer to decrypt and operate the test content. We design our own hardware dongles, which incorporate ATA-owned integrated circuit technology, and outsource its production to multiple factories in China. A decryption algorithm used along with the hardware dongle to complete decryption of test materials and commence the test.

 

Conduct of the Test

 

We train all test center personnel on protocols and supervision techniques to be used during test time. Test center administrators confirm test takers’ identities through photographs, fingerprints and other biometric data. We also issue to each test taker upon registration a password that must be inputted on the test day to start the test. Once the test session has begun, software installed as part of each test tracks all actions and operations taken during the test and records them on the test site central server in real time. The testing software is designed to prevent test takers from accessing any network during test time. When a test taker opens up a question, it is decrypted and displayed. To protect against cheating, we have invested in surveillance equipment and the order in which test answer choices appear is randomly generated with each answer choice encoded as a unique number and letter chain. Immediately upon the test taker’s completion of each test item, the recorded data is re-encoded and re-encrypted.

 

Transmission, Reading and Storage of Test Results

 

In most instances, tests are scored on the test site server immediately following conclusion of the test and subsequently uploaded to our central servers. All transferred data is encrypted and data code integrity is verified using the latest technologies, including MD5 and Hash. Following scoring, we store all test content and results on our firewall-protected central servers.

 

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Intellectual Property

 

Intellectual property protections, including copyrights, trademarks, patents, and trade secrets are important to our success. We rely on copyright, trademark and patent law, trade secret protection and confidentiality agreements with our employees, clients, business partners and others to protect our intellectual property rights. All of our senior management and engineering employees are required to sign agreements acknowledging that all inventions, trade secrets, works of authorship, innovations and other processes generated by them that relate to our business are our property, and to assign to us any ownership rights in those works. Despite our efforts, it may be possible for third parties to obtain and use our intellectual property without authorization.

 

We have registered 186 software copyrights relevant to our product and service offerings with the Copyright Protection Center of China.

 

As of March 31, 2016, we have also registered 284 domain names relating to our web sites, including www.atai.net.cn, the primary URL for our web site, with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and the China Internet Network Information Center, a domain name registration service provider in China.

 

We have also sought patent protection relating to our testing technology. On February 22, 2013, we submitted two applications with China’s State Intellectual Property Office seeking dual invention patent protection and utility model protection for our testing transmission technology. Our application for utility model protection was granted on August 28, 2013, which gives us a protection period of 10 years starting from the date of application. We expect to obtain approval for the invention patent in the second half of 2016. Once approved, we are entitled to a protection period of 20 years for the invention patent from the date of application. In addition, our testing technologies also enjoy protection in China as trade secrets under China’s Anti-Unfair Competition Law.

 

Clients

 

The quality and flexibility of our product and service offerings has attracted a broad base of clients. Our clients principally include Chinese governmental agencies, professional associations, well-known IT vendors as well as individual online education services consumers. CICPA, SAC and CBA accounted for 18.3%, 16.1% and 14.7%, respectively, of our total net revenues for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016. No other client accounted for more than 10% of our total net revenues for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016.

 

As of March 31, 2016, we had 264 contracts with test sponsors for our computer-based testing services. For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016, our five largest computer-based testing services clients based on revenue were:

 

·            CICPA, which has been designated by Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China as the sole administrator of CPA qualification tests in China;

 

·            SAC, which has been designated by CSRC as the sole administrator of securities industry qualification tests in China;

 

·            CBA, which has been designated by the PRC Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and CBRC as the sole administrator of banking industry qualification tests in China;

 

·            the Professional Skills Qualification Center of the PRC Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security; and

 

·            AMAC, which has been designated by CSRC as the sole administrator of Fund Practitioners Certification tests in China.

 

These five clients represented an aggregate of 63.1% of our total net revenues for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016.

 

Sales and Business Development

 

Our sales and business development department, primarily composed of members of our senior management and professional sales team, is responsible for identifying and developing new markets and client opportunities for our product and service offerings.

 

For our computer-based testing services, we target key governmental agencies, professional associations, enterprises and other potential clients to help them develop standardized certification, qualification or assessment policies. Once we identify a potential client, we generally submit an initial proposal outlining the services we can provide based on our analysis of their test-related needs. We may develop and conduct trial tests tailored to the client’s needs based on the terms of a memorandum of understanding signed with the client. We generally enter into a final contract with the client only after successful completion of the trial tests. During this process, we also actively seek opportunities to cross-sell and up-sell our services, including online education services and ancillary testing services to the client. The following diagram illustrates the key stages in our testing services business development process.

 

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GRAPHIC

 

Marketing

 

To generate demand and market awareness, we engage in a variety of marketing activities to promote our product and service offerings. We host and invite potential clients, such as key governmental agencies and governing bodies, to industry conferences on topics such as the development of computer-based testing technologies. We also attend conferences and trade shows to demonstrate and promote our technologies, product and service offerings. We conduct marketing for our service offerings through promotional activities in cooperation with local governmental departments and educational institutions and through our local sales agents. Our on-campus marketing activities include promoting the licensure and certification tests linking to our “ATA” brand name, through prominently placed marketing materials like posters and other advertising means. We promote wider recognition of our “ATA” brand by placing our logo prominently outside ATA authorized test centers and in test and course program materials. We are also developing joint marketing efforts with certain independent operators of our ATA authorized test centers.

 

Competition

 

In the computer-based testing services market, we compete primarily on the basis of technology, price, management experience, established infrastructure, reputation and brand. We believe that our overall testing services and technologies, along with our nationwide test center network, provide us with a competitive advantage. We believe that we are currently the market leader in computer-based testing services in China due to a combination of our experience in and familiarity with the China computer-based testing services market, our advanced technologies, our large nationwide network of test centers, our established relationships with key test sponsors and governmental agencies and our competitive cost levels.

 

To our knowledge, based on interactions with clients and others in the market, we believe that we have the largest test center network of any commercial computer-based testing service provider in China. We had 3,035 authorized test centers in China, including centers in every province in China, as of March 31, 2016. Our vast network of test centers allows our clients to administer large-scale nationwide computer-based tests in a consistent, secure and cost-effective manner. During the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016, approximately 10.4 million tests were delivered using our computer-based testing technologies and services, and our capacity for test delivery, which can be easily expanded if necessary, is already more than 1,200,000 tests per day.

 

For our HR Select employee assessment solution, while there are other companies providing recruitment services to corporate human resources departments, we are differentiated by our comprehensive service and focus on offering more professional testing services with proprietary testing contents and technologies.

 

While we anticipate new market entrants and increased efforts by existing international players to expand their presence in China, we believe that relatively high entry barriers, such as the time and costs associated with establishing a large-scale test center network, will make it difficult for new entrants or international competitors to quickly gain market share from us in China. We believe that potential domestic entrants lack the technology and commercial relationships that we possess. International competitors will likely face challenges in establishing effective relationships with key Chinese government and industry test sponsors or local educational institutions.

 

Seasonality

 

We have experienced seasonality and expect in the future to continue to experience seasonality in net revenues and accounts receivable related to our test delivery services, with the quarters ending June 30 and December 31 typically having higher net revenues from testing services and the quarters ending September 30 and March 31 typically having lower net revenues from testing services. This is primarily because the tests from which we derive substantial revenues are mostly delivered in the quarters ending June 30 and December 31.

 

Regulation

 

This section sets forth a summary of the most significant laws, regulations, policies and requirements that affect our business activities in China, the industries in which we operate, and our shareholders’ right to receive dividends and other distributions from us.

 

Regulation of the Software Industry

 

In China, holders of computer software copyrights enjoy protection under the Copyright Law of the People’s Republic of China, or the Copyright Law. Under the Copyright Law, China’s State Council and the State Copyright Administration have also promulgated various regulations relating to the protection of software copyrights in China. Under these regulations, computer software that is independently developed and exists in a physical form will be protected, and software copyright owners may license or transfer their software copyrights to others. Registration of software copyrights and exclusive licensing and transfer contracts with the Copyright Protection Center of China (previously, the State Copyright Administration) or its local branches are encouraged. Such registration is not mandatory under Chinese law, but can enhance the protections available to the registering parties. For example, the registration certificate serves an evidentiary function enabling the registering parties to prove they have protectable rights. We have registered 186 software copyrights with the Copyright Protection Center of China.

 

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China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (and its predecessors), or MIIT, has promulgated regulations to regulate the production, sale, import or export of software products in China. Under these regulations, all domestically produced software products to be operated or sold in China must be duly registered and filed with the provincial branches of MIIT. We have complied with the registration and filing requirements necessary to sell our software products in China. These registrations generally remain in effect for five years and are subject to renewal.

 

Regulation of Vocational Education

 

Chinese laws and regulations impose restrictions on foreign investment in educational institutions in China. However, Chinese laws and regulations do not impose restrictions on foreign investment in companies providing course and test content or related products and services to educational institutions. According to the Catalog of Industries for Guiding Foreign Investment amended in 2015, foreign investment in non-academic vocational education institutions is encouraged and there is no limitation to the maximum percentage of foreign ownership in a company operating non-academic vocational education business.

 

In addition, the Chinese government has issued a series of circulars and regulations promoting the development of vocational education, including “The Decision to Enhance the Promotion of the Reform and Development of Vocational Education”, “The Decision to Enhance the Development of Vocational Education” and “The Decision to Enhance the Development of Modern Vocational Education” published by the State Council on September 24, 2002, October 28, 2005 and May 2, 2014, respectively. These circulars and regulations require all levels of governments in China to intensify their support for vocational education and to gradually increase the financial resources that local and provincial governments allocate to vocational education.

 

Regulations regarding Internet Content Provider Licensure Requirements

 

We planned to engage in online testing preparation business, which are subject to PRC regulations including but not limited to Telecommunications Regulations, the Administrative Rules on Foreign-Invested Telecommunications Enterprises, the Notice on Strengthening the Administration of Foreign Investment in Operating Value-added Telecom Business, the Internet Information Services Administrative Measures, the Administrative Measures for Telecommunications Business Operating Licenses, and Certain Rules on Regulating the Order of Internet Information Service Market. ATA Online previously held an ICP license issued by the Beijing Telecommunications Administration Bureau, a local branch of the MIIT, which allows ATA Online to provide Internet content distribution services. However, as ATA Online has not engaged in online testing preparation business since its incorporation, ATA Online deregistered its ICP license in 2015. Under PRC law, ATA Online is not required to hold an ICP license.

 

In the opinion of Jincheng Tongda & Neal Law Firm, our PRC legal counsel:

 

·                    the ownership structures of our wholly-owned subsidiaries in China are in compliance with existing published Chinese laws and regulations; and

 

·                    the business operations of our company, all of our Chinese subsidiaries, as described in this annual report, are in compliance with existing published Chinese laws and regulations in all material aspects.

 

Regulation of Online and Distance Education

 

Pursuant to the Administrative Regulations on Educational Web sites and Online and Distance Education Schools issued by the Ministry of Education in 2000, educational web sites and online education schools may provide education services in relation to higher education, elementary education, pre-school education, teaching education, occupational education, adult education, other education and public educational information services. “Educational web sites” refers to organizations providing education or education-related information services to web site visitors by means of a database or online education platform connected via the Internet or an educational television station through an Internet service provider, or ISP. “Online education schools” refer to education web sites providing academic education services or training services with the issuance of various certificates.

 

Setting up educational web sites and online education schools is subject to approval from relevant education authorities, depending on the specific types of education provided. Any educational web site and online education school shall, upon receipt of approval, indicate on its web site such approval information as well as the approval date and file number.

 

According to the Administrative License Law promulgated by the National People’s Congress on August 27, 2003 and effective as of July 1, 2004, only laws promulgated by the National People’s Congress and regulations and decisions promulgated by the State Council may set down administrative license requirements. On June 29, 2004, the State Council promulgated the Decision on Setting Down Administrative Licenses for the Administrative Examination and Approval Items Really Necessary to be Retained, in which the administrative license for “online education schools” was retained, while the administrative license for “educational web sites” was not retained. ATA Online is not required to obtain a license as an online education school because ATA Online does not intend to offer through its web site academic education services or training services that result in the issuance of a degree or other certification.

 

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Regulation of Broadcasting Audio-Visual Programs through the Internet or Other Information Network

 

The State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, or SARFT, promulgated the Rules for Administration of Broadcasting of Audio-Visual Programs through the Internet and Other Information Networks, or the Broadcasting Rules, in 2004, which became effective on October 11, 2004. The Broadcasting Rules apply to the activities of broadcasting, integrating, transmitting and downloading of audio-visual programs with computers, televisions or mobile phones as the main terminals and through various types of information networks. Pursuant to the Broadcasting Rules, a Permit for Broadcasting Audio-Visual Programs via Information Network is required to engage in these Internet broadcasting activities. On April 13, 2005, the State Council announced a policy on private investments in businesses in China relating to cultural matters that prohibits private investments in businesses relating to the dissemination of audio-visual programs through information networks. On December 20, 2007, SARFT and MIIT jointly promulgated the Administrative Provisions on Internet Audio-Visual Program Service, or the Audio-Visual Service Provisions, which became effective on January 31, 2008. Pursuant to the Audio-Visual Service Provisions, a Permit for Disseminating Audio-Visual Programs via Information Network issued by the competent radio, film and television authority, or completion of the relevant filing formalities with such authority, is required to engage in the Internet audio-visual program service. One of the criteria that any entity applying to engage in the Internet audio-visual program service must meet is that such entity should be a wholly state-owned entity or state-controlled entity, which should have the legal status of legal person, and there is no record indicating that such entity has violated laws or regulations within three years prior to its application. According to the clarification by SARFT and MIIT in their Answers to Questions of Press regarding the Administrative Provisions on Internet Audio-Visual Program Service, entities that have been incorporated to engage in the Internet audio-visual program service in compliance with the applicable laws or regulations prior to the promulgation of the Audio-Visual Service Provisions and have no record of violating laws or regulations can re-register and continue their businesses.

 

On February 3, 2008, SARFT and MIIT jointly held a press conference in response to inquiries related to the Internet Audio-Video Program Measures, during which SARFT and MIIT officials indicated that providers of audio-video program services established prior to the promulgation date of the Internet Audio-Video Program Measures that do not have any regulatory non-compliance records can re-register with the relevant government authorities to continue their current business operations. After the conference, the two authorities published a press release that confirms the above guidelines. On September 15, 2009, SARFT promulgated a notice regarding the management of Internet Audio-Video Program Services License, pursuant to which, the deadline of the application for re-registration of the Internet Audio-Video Program Services License was December 20, 2009. On June 10, 2015, SARFT issued a notice to solicit public opinions on the Administrative Measures for the Dissemination of Audio-visual Programs via the Internet and Other Information Networks. Furthermore, on April 25, 2016, SARFT promulgated the Provisions on the Administration of Audio-visual Program Service Network and Directional Communication, or the Provisions, which will be effective on June 1, 2016. According to the Provisions, Internet TV, as one model of directional communication, is defined as “audio-visual program service network and directional communication”, however, the business defined by the Provisions is not applicable to the business of ATA Online. As these regulations are relatively new, there are significant uncertainties relating to their interpretation and implementation, including the definition of “audio-visual programs” as specified in these regulations. We cannot assure you that ATA Online will be able to obtain a Permit for Broadcasting Audio-Visual Programs via Information Network if it is determined that one is required to operate the online education services.

 

Regulation of Information Security

 

Internet content in China is also regulated and restricted by the PRC government to protect State security. The National People’s Congress, China’s national legislative body, has enacted a law that may subject to criminal punishment in China any effort to: (1) gain improper entry into a computer or system of strategic importance; (2) disseminate politically disruptive information; (3) leak State secrets; (4) spread false commercial information; or (5) infringe intellectual property rights.

 

The Ministry of Public Security has promulgated measures that prohibit use of the Internet in ways that, among other things, result in a leakage of State secrets or a spread of socially destabilizing content. The Ministry of Public Security has supervision and inspection rights in this regard, and we may be subject to the jurisdiction of the local security bureaus. If an ICP license holder violates these measures, the PRC government may revoke its ICP license and shut down its web sites.

 

Regulation of Domain Names and Web Site Names

 

PRC law requires owners of Internet domain names to register their domain names with qualified domain name registration agencies approved by MIIT and obtain a registration certificate from such registration agencies. A registered domain name owner has an exclusive use right over its domain name. Unregistered domain names may not receive proper legal protections and may be misappropriated by unauthorized third parties. As of March 31, 2016, we have registered 284 domain names relating to our web sites, including www.atai.net.cn, the primary URL for our web site, with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and the China Internet Network Information Center, a domain name registration service provider in China.

 

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PRC law requires entities operating commercial web sites to register their web site names with SAIC or its local offices and obtain a commercial web site name registration certificate. If any entity operates a commercial web site without obtaining such certificate, it may be charged a fine or suffer other penalties by the SAIC or its local offices. Our web sites used in connection with our testing and education services are considered non-commercial web sites as we do not provide products and services through those web sites, and therefore the names of those web sites are not required to be registered with SAIC. ATA Online has registered the web site name used in connection with the online education services with Beijing municipal SAIC.

 

Regulation of Privacy Protection

 

PRC law does not prohibit Internet content providers from collecting and analyzing personal information from their users. PRC law prohibits Internet content providers from disclosing to third parties any information transmitted by users through their networks unless otherwise permitted by law. If an Internet content provider violates these regulations, MIIT or its local offices may impose penalties and the Internet content provider may be liable for damages caused to its users.

 

On July 16, 2013, the MIIT issued the Order for the Protection of Telecommunication and Internet User Personal Information. Most requirements under the order that are relevant to internet content provision operators are consistent with pre-existing requirements, but the new requirements are often more stringent and have a wider scope. If an internet content provision operator wishes to collect or use personal information, it may do so only if such collection is necessary for the services it provides. Further, it must disclose to its users the purpose, method and scope of any such collection or use, and must obtain consent from its users whose information is being collected or used. Internet content provision operators are also required to establish and publish their rules relating to personal information collection or use, keep any collected information strictly confidential, and take technological and other measures to maintain the security of such information. Internet content provision operators are required to cease any collection or use of the user personal information and de-register the relevant user account when a given user stops using the relevant internet service. Internet content provision operators are further prohibited from divulging, distorting or destroying any such personal information, or unlawfully selling or providing such information to other parties. In addition, if an internet content provision operator appoints an agent to undertake any marketing and technical services that involve the collection or use of personal information, the internet content provision operator is still required to supervise and manage the protection of such information. As for penalties, violators may face warnings, fines, and disclosure to the public and, in most severe cases, criminal liability under the order.

 

Regulation of Foreign Exchange

 

China’s government imposes restrictions on the convertibility of the Renminbi and on the collection and use of foreign currency by Chinese entities. Under current regulations, the Renminbi is convertible for current account transactions, which include dividend distributions, interest payments, and the import and export of goods and services. Conversion of Renminbi into foreign currency and foreign currency into Renminbi for capital account transactions, such as direct investment, portfolio investment and loans, however, is still generally subject to the prior approval of the PRC State Administration of Foreign Exchange, or SAFE.

 

Under current Chinese regulations, foreign-invested enterprises such as our Chinese subsidiaries are required to apply to SAFE for a Foreign Exchange Registration Certificate for Foreign-Invested Enterprise. With such a foreign exchange registration certificate (which is subject to review and renewal by SAFE on an annual basis), a foreign-invested enterprise may open foreign exchange bank accounts at banks authorized to conduct foreign exchange business by SAFE and may buy, sell and remit foreign exchange through such banks, subject to documentation and approval requirements. Foreign-invested enterprises are required to open and maintain separate foreign exchange accounts for capital account transactions and current account transactions. In addition, there are restrictions on the amount of foreign currency that foreign-invested enterprises may retain in such accounts.

 

According to Article 26 of the Regulations on the Foreign Exchange System of the People’s Republic of China, if the Company’s PRC subsidiaries liquidate, the Renminbi distributable to its foreign shareholders after the liquidation and payment of relevant taxes can be freely converted into foreign currency and remitted abroad. Therefore, there are no legal impediments to remitting the proceeds from a liquidation of our PRC subsidiaries outside of China to investors who are not PRC nationals.

 

SAFE promulgated the Circular of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange on Reforming the Management Approach regarding the Settlement of Foreign Exchange Capital of Foreign-invested Enterprises, or SAFE Circular 19, on March 30, 2015. According to SAFE Circular 19, up to all of the foreign exchange capital in the capital account of foreign-invested enterprises can be settled at the banks based on the actual operation needs of the foreign-invested enterprises. The capital in Renminbi obtained by foreign-invested enterprises from the discretionary settlement of foreign exchange capital shall be managed under the account pending foreign exchange settlement payment.  The expenditure scope of the such account includes: the expenditure within the scope of business, the payment of the capital of domestic equity investment and deposits in Renminbi, the repayment of the used loans in Renminbi, the purchase payment of foreign exchange or direct external repayment of foreign debts or other expenditure approved by the foreign exchange bureaus, but the capital of foreign-invested enterprises and capital in Renminbi obtained by them from foreign exchange settlement shall not be used for the following purposes: (1) directly or indirectly used for the payment beyond the business scope of the enterprises or the payment prohibited by national laws and regulations; (2) directly or indirectly used for investment in securities unless otherwise provided by laws and regulations; (3) directly or indirectly used for granting the entrust loans in Renminbi (unless permitted by the scope of business), repaying the inter-enterprise borrowings (including advances by the third party) or repaying the bank loans in Renminbi that have been sub-lent to the third party; and (4) paying the expenses related to the purchase of real estate not for self-use, except for the foreign-invested real estate enterprises.

 

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Regulation of Foreign Exchange in Certain Onshore and Offshore Transactions

 

SAFE promulgated the Circular on Relevant Issues Concerning Foreign Exchange Control on Domestic Residents’ Offshore Investment and Financing and Roundtrip Investment through Special Purpose Vehicles, or SAFE Circular 37, on July 4, 2014. SAFE Circular 37 requires PRC residents to register with local branches of SAFE in connection with their direct establishment or indirect control of an offshore entity, for the purpose of overseas investment and financing, with such PRC residents’ legally owned assets or equity interests in domestic enterprises or offshore assets or interests, referred to in SAFE Circular 37 as a “special purpose vehicle.” SAFE Circular 37 further requires amendment to the registration in the event of any significant changes with respect to the special purpose vehicle, such as increase or decrease of capital contributed by PRC individuals, share transfer or exchange, merger, division or other material event. In the event that a PRC shareholder holding interests in a special purpose vehicle fails to fulfill the required SAFE registration, the PRC subsidiaries of that special purpose vehicle may be prohibited from making profit distributions to the offshore parent and from carrying out subsequent cross-border foreign exchange activities, and the special purpose vehicle may be restricted in its ability to contribute additional capital into its PRC subsidiary. Moreover, failure to comply with the various SAFE registration requirements described above could result in liability under PRC law for evasion of foreign exchange controls.

 

Our significant shareholder, Kevin Xiaofeng Ma, has completed his registration with SAFE, and we have urged our other Chinese resident shareholders to register under SAFE Circular 37 and they are preparing for such application. However, we cannot assure you that the application will be accepted by SAFE.

 

Failure by such shareholders to comply with SAFE Circular 37 could subject us to fines or legal sanctions, restrict our overseas or cross-border investment activities, limit our subsidiaries’ ability to make distributions or pay dividends or affect our ownership structure, which could adversely affect our business and prospects.

 

Regulation of Overseas Listings

 

On August 8, 2006, six PRC regulatory agencies, including the Chinese Securities Regulatory Commission, or CSRC, promulgated the Provisions Regarding Mergers and Acquisitions of Domestic Enterprise by Foreign Investors, or the M&A Rule, which became effective on September 8, 2006 without retroactive effect and was amended by the PRC Ministry of Commerce on June 22, 2009. The M&A Rule, among other things, requires that an offshore company controlled by PRC companies or individuals that has acquired a PRC domestic company for the purpose of listing the PRC domestic company’s equity interest on an overseas stock exchange must obtain the approval of the CSRC prior to the listing and trading of such offshore company’s securities on an overseas stock exchange. On September 21, 2006, the CSRC, pursuant to the M&A Rule, published on its official web site procedures specifying documents and materials required to be submitted to it by offshore companies seeking CSRC approval of their overseas listings.

 

We believe CSRC approval was not required for our initial public offering in February 2008 because the CSRC approval required under the M&A Rule only applies to an offshore company that has acquired a domestic PRC company for the purpose of listing the domestic PRC company’s equity interest on an overseas stock exchange, while (i) we obtained our equity interest in each of our PRC subsidiaries by means of direct investment other than by acquisition of the equity or assets of a PRC domestic company in 2008, (ii) our former contractual arrangements with ATA Online do not constitute the acquisition of ATA Online, (iii) the M&A Rule does not apply to the acquisition by ATA Learning, a wholly foreign owned foreign enterprise, and (iv) although Article 11 of M&A Rule prohibits the circumvention of the M&A Rule through establishing FIEs, ATA Learning was established in 2003 before the M&A Rule was promulgated, which makes this acquisition not a circumvention of the M&A Rule. See Item 3.D. “Key Information — Risk Factors — Risks Relating to Regulation of Our Business — If CSRC or another PRC regulatory agency determines that CSRC approval was required in connection with our initial public offering, we may become subject to penalties.”

 

SAFE Regulations on Employee Share Options

 

On February 15, 2012, SAFE issued the Notice on Issues concerning the Foreign Exchange Administration for Domestic Individuals Participating in Stock Incentive Plan of Overseas Publicly-Listed Company, or the Stock Option Rules. According to the Stock Option Rules, PRC residents who participate in an employee share incentive plan of an overseas publicly-listed company are required to register with the SAFE and complete certain other procedures. These participates should retain a PRC agent, which can be a branch or representative office of the overseas listed company in China, a Chinese institution which has controlling relationship or actual control relationship with the offshore listed company, or a Chinese institution qualified for asset custody business, to handle various foreign exchange matters associated with their employee share incentive plan. The PRC agent should file on behalf of the PRC resident an application with SAFE to register such employee share incentive plan, apply annually for a quota for the payment of foreign currencies in connection with the exercise of the employee share options by the PRC resident and open a special foreign exchange account at a PRC domestic bank to hold the funds required in connection with the share incentive plan. In addition, the PRC agent is required to amend the SAFE registration with respect to the stock incentive plan if there is any material change to the employee share incentive plan, PRC agent or overseas entrusted institution.

 

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In addition, the State Administration of Taxation has issued a few circulars concerning employee share options. Under these circulars, our employees working in China who exercise share options will be subject to PRC individual income tax. Our PRC subsidiaries have obligations to file documents relating to employee share options with relevant tax authorities and withhold individual income taxes of those employees who exercise their share options. If our employees fail to pay and we fail to withhold their income taxes, we may face sanctions imposed by tax authorities or other PRC government authorities.

 

C. Organizational Structure

 

For information on our organizational structure and a detailed description of the Company’s significant subsidiaries, see Item 4.A. “History and Development of the Company.”

 

D. Property, Plant and Equipment

 

Our principal executive offices are located in approximately 3,023 square meters of office space used by us at 1/F East Gate, Building No.2, Jian Wai Soho, No.39 Dong San Huan Zhong Road, Chao Yang District, Beijing 100022, China. We also own 2,124 square meters of office space at Tower E, 6 Gongyuan West Street, Jian Guo Men Nei, Beijing 100005, China, which we have leased to another tenant. We also occupy approximately 2,404 square meters of total leased office space in our subsidiaries and branches located in Shanghai, Wuhan and Guangdong. We believe that our existing facilities are adequate for our current requirements and that additional space can be obtained on commercially reasonable terms to meet our future requirements.

 

ITEM 4A. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

 

Not applicable.

 

ITEM 5. OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS

 

A. Operating Results

 

Overview

 

Our Business

 

We believe that we are the leading provider of computer-based testing services in China, based on test delivery capacity and geographic coverage. We offer comprehensive services for the creation and delivery of computer-based tests utilizing our nation-wide test delivery platform, proprietary testing technologies and extensive experience providing testing services in China. Our total net revenues increased to RMB417.1 million ($64.7 million) in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016 from RMB350.2 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015 and RMB384.7 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014, respectively. We had net income of RMB27.3 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014, RMB23.1 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015, and RMB26.1 million ($4.0 million) in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016.

 

We started our business in 1999 focusing on providing computer-based testing services to test sponsors. Our testing services revenues have grown primarily as a result of increases in the number of testing services clients and the number of test takers who take tests created or delivered using our testing technologies. Revenues from testing services accounted for 93.3%, 91.1% and 92.2% of our total net revenues in the fiscal years ended March 31, 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively. We expect our testing services revenues to continue to be the largest source of our total net revenues. In March 2009, we launched HR Select, our self-developed online system that utilizes our proprietary software and large test titles to assist companies in streamlining and optimizing their employee selection and assessment processes. HR Select offers tools for filtering and categorizing employee candidates, testing candidates and analyzing the test results. We are also a distributor and administrator of certain TOEIC exams to our institutional clients in China. Revenues from HR Select and distribution and administration of TOEIC exams are included in testing services revenues. The following graph shows the growth in the number of tests delivered using our testing technologies for the twelve months ended March 31, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

 

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Number of Exams Delivered (1)

 

GRAPHIC

 


(1)  Includes Microsoft royalty tests overseas, tests delivered through our test delivery platform and tests using our Dynamic Simulation Technology. Also includes free tests delivered for business development purposes. The number of tests delivered excluding the free tests in the fiscal years ended March 31, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 was 8,026,639, 8,744,859, 9,411,226, 8,767,389 and 10,258,866, respectively.

 

We also offer targeted online education services for certain professional licensure and certification tests in the securities industries. ATA Online operates online education web sites to help candidates across China fulfill their continuing educational requirement after passing their professional licensure and certification tests delivered through our test delivery platform for the China Futures Association. Revenues from our online education services accounted for 1.5%, 1.6% and 1.2% of our total revenue in the fiscal years ended March 31, 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively.

 

As of March 31, 2016, we operated our business and generated our net revenues primarily through our wholly-owned subsidiaries in China, ATA Testing, ATA Learning and ATA Online. Before ATA Online became our wholly-owned subsidiary in May 2015, due to PRC laws and regulations restricting foreign ownership in distributors of Internet content, ATA BVI, ATA Learning, ATA Online and ATA Online’s shareholders entered into a series of contractual arrangements, through which we effectively controlled and enjoyed the economic benefits of ATA Online. As a result of those contractual arrangements, under U.S. GAAP, we were considered the primary beneficiary of ATA Online. Accordingly, we consolidated ATA Online’s results in our consolidated financial statements based on the contractual arrangements pursuant to the variable interest entity agreements, or VIE agreements, in accordance with U.S. GAAP until ATA Online became our wholly-owned subsidiary in May 2015. Since May 2015, we restructured our testing services business into ATA Online for purposes of listing it separately on the New Third Board. In connection therewith, we terminated the abovementioned contractual arrangements. See Item 4.A. “Information on the Company — History and Development of the Company.”

 

Factors Affecting Our Results of Operations

 

The key factors affecting our results of operations are:

 

·              growth in China’s professional services sector resulting in increasing demand for qualified and certified talent in China and in the finance industry in particular;

 

·              overall economic growth and rising income levels in China contributing to increased spending on education, testing and test preparation;

 

·              government and industry initiatives to standardize and license professionals in industries such as securities, futures, banking, law and accounting;

 

·              growth in the use of computer-based tests and performance-based tests and willingness of test sponsors to outsource test content development and delivery for sophisticated computer-based tests as well as online education programs;

 

·              the increasing importance of identifying qualified talent contributing to increasing demand for testing and certification programs that can confirm the qualifications of the applicant or job seeker; and

 

·              our ability to continue to introduce new services and testing platforms and the market success of such services and platforms, such as our EzTest, distribution and administration of certain test titles.

 

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Although we anticipate the above factors will continue to increase demand for our products and services in China, a slowing or reversal of any of the above factors could cause our revenue growth to slow or stop, or to not grow as fast as we might expect.

 

In addition, our results of operations have been, and may continue to be, significantly affected by the following factors:

 

·                    share-based compensation;

 

·                    the impact of PRC tax policies, including certain preferential tax rates; and

 

·                    the relative proportion of our net revenues derived from higher-gross margin and lower-gross margin service offerings.

 

Net Revenues

 

We derive revenues from sale of computer-based testing services, online education services, and other products and services. Our net revenues are presented net of PRC business taxes and value added tax. The following table sets forth a breakdown of our total net revenues for the periods.

 

 

 

For the fiscal year ended March 31,

 

 

 

2014

 

2015

 

2016

 

 

 

RMB

 

% of net
revenues

 

RMB

 

% of net
revenues

 

RMB

 

US$

 

% of net
revenues

 

 

 

(in thousands, except or percentages)

 

Net Revenues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Testing services

 

358,837

 

93.3

%

319,055

 

91.1

%

384,800

 

59,677

 

92.2

%

Online education services

 

5,949

 

1.5

%

5,711

 

1.6

%

4,897

 

759

 

1.2

%

Other

 

19,882

 

5.2

%

25,392

 

7.3

%

27,443

 

4,257

 

6.6

%

Total net revenues

 

384,668

 

100.0

%

350,158

 

100.0

%

417,140

 

64,693

 

100.0

%

 

Testing Services

 

We derive testing services revenues primarily from fees charged to test sponsors, including governmental agencies and other sponsors of licensure and certification tests, for our test delivery services. We also offer testing services to private enterprises as part of our HR Select employee assessment solution and administer TOEIC exams in China.

 

We offer our clients a comprehensive set of services for the compilation, delivery and analysis of computer-based tests using our E-testing platform, as well as logistical services such as test registration and fee collection. We generate revenues from our test delivery services through fees charged to test sponsors based on the total number of test takers taking a requested test. Our clients typically pay us within two to six months after delivery of the test. We recognize revenue for test delivery services upon completion of the relevant test.

 

We have experienced seasonality and expect in the future to continue to experience seasonality in net revenues and accounts receivable related to our test delivery services, with the quarters ending June 30 and December 31 typically having higher net revenues from testing services and the quarters ending September 30 and March 31 typically having lower net revenues from testing services. This is primarily because the tests from which we derive substantial revenues are mostly delivered in the quarters ending June 30 and December 31.

 

Significant Factors Affecting Testing Services

 

The most significant factor directly affecting our revenues from fees charged for our testing services are the number of tests taken. The number of tests taken is driven by our ability to secure contracts with test sponsors for the creation and delivery of computer-based test titles popular with test takers. The volume of tests we offer is determined by the willingness of test sponsors to use our services. Our revenues from fees charged for our testing services are also affected by the price we can charge per test, which generally remains fairly stable once we are engaged by a test sponsor to help deliver a particular test.

 

Demand and pricing for a test is affected by whether a certain profession, career or job position for which the certification, licensure or qualification test is being given is considered desirable by potential test takers. Some industries may experience fluctuations in the number of people attempting to become qualified to participate in the industry, which will depend on the overall health of the relevant industry, changes in average salary levels in the relevant industry, the popularity of certain types of careers and employers, governmental policies that impact the relevant industry, or other factors.

 

In addition, obtaining contracts from test sponsors for new test titles and to upgrade existing test titles often requires considerable time and resources. Many of our clients administer tests to a large number of people on a regular basis, and maintaining consistency and stability from year to year in the test delivery format is important to them. The decision process involved in adopting a new type of test or a new test delivery format can be difficult and complex. These factors often result in significant delays in our ability to secure contracts, and make it difficult to predict our revenues from fees from test sponsors in any given year. On the other hand, for test sponsors that administer many tests on a regular basis, our ability to secure an initial contract and to effectively meet their test delivery requirements under the contract can help us obtain future test title contracts from that test sponsor. This enables us to increase and diversify our revenues and to hinder competitors from obtaining contracts with that test sponsor.

 

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Online Education Services

 

We derive online education services revenues from the provision of online education services.

 

ATA Online provides online education services for professional licensure and certification tests delivered through our testing platform for the China Futures Association. Revenues from online education services are generated by selling online training to end users directly or through distributors on a consignment basis. The online training entitles the end users access to online education services during a specified service period, which normally ranges between 90 to 365 days from the activation. Revenue of online membership is recognized on a straight-line basis ratably over the service period commencing at the point of time the online training is activated. If the online training sold to the end users are not activated before the expiration date, related online service revenue is recognized on the expiration date. Fees from online training platform development and maintenance service are recognized, when collectability is reasonably assured, on a straight-line basis over the contractual period.

 

Significant Factors Affecting Online Education Services

 

A number of factors affect our revenues from online education services. Demand for online education services for a particular test depends on the relative level of importance or difficulty of the test, with greater demand for online education services for more important and more difficult tests. Therefore, our ability to secure test delivery services contracts for more important and more difficult tests may affect our online education services. As we generally offer online education services for tests that are delivered through our test delivery platform, our ability to grow our online education services is also affected by the willingness of our test sponsor clients to permit us to provide online education services for their tests. Some test sponsor clients may not permit us to provide online education services in relation to tests for which we provide test delivery and other services due to a perceived conflict of interest. In addition, because we generally do not develop the learning content used in our online education services, our ability to license online education learning content and materials from the relevant test sponsor or third party content provider is critical to the expansion of the number of tests for which we offer online education services.

 

Other Revenues

 

We derive other revenues from test content creation services, issuance of certificates delivered to passing candidates, licensing fees paid to us by operators of our ATA authorized test centers, and other fees and services.

 

Test content creation services. Our test content creation services include the installation of our technology on client testing platforms, the conversion of paper-based test items into computer-based tests items, and other related services. We charge service fees for these test content creation services.

 

Certificate delivery. Many of our testing services clients charge passing candidates a separate fee to receive a certificate for a test passed. We deliver upon request, and charge a per-certificate fee for, these certificates to these candidates.

 

Licensing fees from ATA authorized test centers.  We license our ATA name and E-testing platform technology and provide ongoing technical support, upgrades and training during the contract period in exchange for license fees.

 

Test administration software products. We offer our test administration software products to our clients and charge a per-software copy price for the software.

 

Other fees and services. From time to time and as requested by our clients, we may provide IT consulting and system integration services, commission charges, rental income and other testing-related services to our clients.

 

Cost of Revenues

 

Our cost of revenues consists primarily of test monitoring costs, payroll compensation, royalty fees and other related costs, all of which are directly attributable to the provision of our testing services, online education services and our other services. The following table shows our cost of revenues and gross profit for the periods indicated:

 

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For the fiscal year ended March 31,

 

 

 

2014

 

2015

 

2016

 

 

 

RMB

 

%

 

RMB

 

%

 

RMB

 

US$

 

%

 

 

 

(in thousands, except for percentages)

 

Net Revenues

 

384,668

 

100.0

%

350,158

 

100.0

%

417,140

 

64,693

 

100.0

%

Cost of Revenues

 

188,480

 

49.0

%

172,539

 

49.3

%

208,017

 

32,261

 

49.9

%

Gross Profit

 

196,188

 

51.0

%

177,619

 

50.7

%

209,123

 

32,432

 

50.1

%

 

Test Monitoring Costs

 

Test monitoring costs consist of fees paid to test centers, including a fixed fee per test taker, which varies for different tests, to hire test proctors, to rent testing facilities and for the peripheral items used for the provision of our testing services, and signage used to identify and brand our ATA authorized test centers.

 

Payroll Compensation

 

Payroll compensation consists of base salary and related welfare benefits paid to staff in our services implementation and customer support departments.

 

Royalty Fees

 

Royalty fees primarily consist of fees paid to ETS for the distribution right in mainland China for TOEIC exams, and license fees paid to Saville Consulting for its psychometric assessment tests used in our HR Select service.

 

Factors Affecting Gross Margin

 

Our gross margin is primarily affected by changes in gross margins from our testing services, which in turn are significantly affected by our revenue per test and test-related costs, including the fees we pay for test monitoring to test centers.

 

Operating Expenses

 

Our operating expenses consist of general and administrative expenses, sales and marketing expenses, research and development expenses, provision for doubtful accounts and impairment of intangible assets.

 

General and Administrative Expenses

 

Our general and administrative expenses consist primarily of salaries and benefits, travel, administration and share-based compensation expenses for our administrative, management and finance personnel, as well as other expenses including professional fees, office expenses and rental costs.

 

Sales and Marketing Expenses

 

Our sales and marketing expenses consist primarily of salaries and benefits, travel, and share-based compensation expenses for our sales and marketing personnel, as well as other expenses including sales agency fees, conference hosting expenses, advertising and promotional expenses, entertainment expenses and other sales and marketing expenses.

 

Research and Development Expenses

 

Our research and development expenses consist primarily of costs of equipment used in our research and development activities, salaries and benefits for our research and development personnel, cost of outsourcing services and other costs relating to the design, development, testing and enhancement of our products and services.

 

Provision for Doubtful Accounts

 

The provision for doubtful accounts represents our best estimate of the amount of probable credit losses resulting from our customers or non-customer business partners’ inability to make required payments. We consider the age of doubtful receivable, historical collection experience, and business partners’ individual facts.

 

Impairment of Intangible Assets

 

The impairment of intangible assets is the amount by which the carrying value exceeds the fair value of our intangible assets such as brands and trademarks, relationships with test sponsors and customers, or other intangibles.

 

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Taxation

 

Cayman Islands and British Virgin Islands

 

Under the current laws of the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands, the Company and ATA BVI are not subject to income tax. In addition, upon any payments of dividends by the Company or ATA BVI, no Cayman Islands or British Virgin Islands withholding tax is imposed.

 

Hong Kong

 

Xing Wei did not derive any income that is subject to Hong Kong profits tax for the taxable year ended March 31, 2016. Accordingly, no provision for Hong Kong profit tax was required. The payment of dividends by Hong Kong companies is not subject to any Hong Kong withholding tax.

 

People’s Republic of China

 

Our subsidiaries operating in the PRC are subject to PRC taxes as described below:

 

Enterprise income tax. Effective from January 1, 2008, the EIT Law imposes a tax rate of 25% on all enterprises, including foreign-invested enterprises, and terminates many of the tax exemptions, reductions and preferential treatments available under previous tax laws and regulations. Under the EIT Law, qualified “high-and-new technology enterprises eligible for key support from the State” (“HNTE”) are entitled to a preferential tax rate of 15% and subject to an annual review during the valid period of their HNTE certificates. In December 2008, ATA Testing was recognized as a HNTE and obtained a HNTE certificate, which entitled ATA Testing to a preferential tax rate of 15% for calendar years from 2008 to 2010. ATA Testing successfully renewed its HNTE certificate for another three years starting from 2011, and therefore it is entitled to a preferential tax rate of 15% retroactively from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2013. In October 2014, ATA Testing successfully renewed its HNTE certificate for another three years from 2014 and therefore it is entitled to a preferential tax rate of 15% for calendar years 2014 to 2016. In December 2009, each of ATA Learning, ATA Online and Beijing JDX received approval from the tax authority that it qualified as an HNTE for three years, entitling them to a preferential income tax rate of 15% for calendar years 2009 to 2011. From May 2012 to July 2012, ATA Learning, ATA Online and Beijing JDX successfully renewed their HNTE certificates, respectively, for another three years from 2012 and therefore are entitled to a preferential tax rate of 15% for calendar years 2012 to 2014. In November 2015, ATA Learning, ATA Online and Beijing JDX successfully renewed their HNTE certificates, respectively, for another three years from 2015 and therefore are entitled to a preferential tax rate of 15% for calendar years 2015 to 2017. In the event ATA Testing, ATA Learning, ATA Online and Beijing JDX are unable to renew their HNTE certificates, they will be subject to the standard statutory enterprise income tax rate of 25%. See Item 3. “Key Information—D. Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Regulation of Our Business—The discontinuation of any of the preferential tax treatments currently enjoyed by our subsidiaries in the PRC could materially increase our tax obligations.” Zhongxiao Zhixing Education Technology (Beijing) Limited (“Zhongxiao Zhixing”), a PRC subsidiary of Xing Wei, is subject to an income tax of 25%.

 

In addition, under the EIT Law, an enterprise established under the laws of a foreign country or region whose “de facto management body” is located within the PRC territory is considered a resident enterprise and will generally be subject to the enterprise income tax at the rate of 25% on its global income. According to the Implementation Rules to the EIT Law, “de facto management body” refers to a managing body that exercises, in substance, overall management and control over the production and business, personnel, accounting and assets of an enterprise. We have determined that our overseas entities are not PRC resident enterprises for PRC income tax purposes. However, if we and our overseas entity were considered PRC resident enterprises, we would be subject to the enterprise income tax at the rate of 25% on our global income. See Item 3. “Key Information—D. Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Regulation of Our Business—Under the EIT Law, we may be classified as a ‘resident enterprise’ of China. Such classification will likely result in unfavorable tax consequences to us and U.S. holders of our ADSs or common shares,” and Item 10. “Additional Information — E. Taxation — People’s Republic of China Taxation.”

 

In addition, the EIT Law revokes the exemption of withholding tax on dividends paid by a PRC enterprise to its foreign investors under the old tax law and its Implementation Rules provide that a withholding tax of 10% (or other applicable withholding tax rates based on tax treaties between the PRC and other jurisdictions) will generally be applicable to dividends payable to foreign investors. To the extent we and our overseas entity are not considered as PRC resident enterprises, the dividends that our PRC subsidiaries pay to us will be subject to this withholding tax. See Item 3. “Key Information—D. Risk Factors—Risks Relating to Regulation of Our Business—Under the EIT Law, we may be classified as a ‘resident enterprise’ of China. Such classification will likely result in unfavorable tax consequences to us and U.S. holders of our ADSs or common shares.” The undistributed earnings generated before January 1, 2008 shall be exempt from withholding tax when such earnings are distributed to the foreign investor in the year 2008 or thereafter. As of March 31, 2016, we have not provided for income taxes on other undistributed earnings of RMB178.6 million ($27.7 million) generated by our PRC consolidated entities since January 1, 2008 as we plan to indefinitely reinvest these earnings in the PRC.

 

Under applicable Chinese tax laws, foreign-invested enterprises and domestic Chinese companies may carry forward tax losses up to five years. In view of cumulated losses noted by certain of our PRC subsidiaries and affiliated entity, as of March 31, 2016, we provided full valuation allowance for their deferred income tax assets after consideration of the scheduled reversal of existing deferred income tax liabilities.

 

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Value-added tax, or VAT, refunds. Pursuant to Notice on Printing and Distribution of Several Policies to Further Stimulate the Development of Software and Integrated Circuit Industries promulgated by the State Council on January 28, 2011, Beijing JDX is currently entitled to a VAT refund for the portion of VAT paid in excess of the effective VAT burden of 3% after it pays its VAT at the statutory rate of 17% for sales of certain software products.

 

VAT pilot program and VAT exemption of offshore outsourcing services. ATA Testing, ATA Learning, ATA Online and Beijing JDX subject to VAT at a rate of 6% for net revenues (i.e. VAT excluded) generated from service and license fees under the VAT pilot program under which Business Tax is being replaced by VAT gradually. This VAT is not a deduction from revenue in our consolidated statements of operations. Zhongxiao Zhixing is subject to VAT at a rate of 3% since it is classified as a Small Scale VAT payer. In addition, ATA Testing is currently exempt from VAT on income generated from providing certain services to customers outside of China until December 31, 2018.

 

Critical Accounting Policies

 

We prepare our consolidated financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP, which requires us to make judgments, estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of our assets and liabilities, disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities on the date of each set of consolidated financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during each financial reporting period. We continually evaluate these estimates and assumptions based on the most recently available information, our own historical experience and various other assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances. Since the use of estimates is an integral component of the financial reporting process, actual results could differ from those estimates as a result of changes in our estimates or changes in the facts or circumstances underlying our estimates and assumptions.

 

An accounting policy is considered to be critical if it requires an accounting estimate to be made based on assumptions about matters that are highly uncertain at the time such estimate is made, and if different accounting estimates that reasonably could have been used, or changes in the accounting estimates that are reasonably likely to occur periodically, could materially impact the consolidated financial statements. Some of our accounting policies require higher degrees of judgment than others in their application. We consider the policies discussed below to be critical to an understanding of our consolidated financial statements as their application places the most significant demands on our management’s judgment. When reviewing our consolidated financial statements, you should take into account:

 

·              our critical accounting policies discussed below;

 

·              the related judgments made by us and other uncertainties affecting the application of these policies;

 

·              the sensitivity of our reported results to changes in prevailing facts and circumstances and our related estimates and assumptions; and

 

·              the risks and uncertainties described under Item 3.D. “Key Information — Risk Factors.”

 

See note 2 to our audited consolidated financial statements for additional information regarding our significant accounting policies.

 

Basis of Consolidation

 

Our consolidated financial statements included elsewhere in this annual report include the financial statements of ATA Inc., its subsidiaries and variable interest entity, or VIE. All significant transactions and balances among ATA Inc., its subsidiaries and VIE have been eliminated upon consolidation.

 

ATA Inc. and its subsidiaries had no legal ownership interest in ATA Online for the fiscal years ended March 31, 2014, 2015 and thereafter until ATA Online became our wholly-owned subsidiary in May 2015. As of March 31, 2015, the legal registered capital interests of ATA Online were held by Mr. Kevin Xiaofeng Ma, the Company’s co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer, and Mr. Walter Lin Wang, our co-founder and director, both of whom were also the beneficial owners of the ATA Inc. In April 2015, Mr. Walter Lin Wang transferred all of his equity in ATA Online to Mr. Haichang Xiong, our general counsel. Through a series of contractual agreements, including loan agreements, a call option and cooperation agreement, an equity pledge agreement, a technical support agreement, a strategic consulting service agreement and powers of attorney (collectively, the “VIE Agreements”) which were entered among ATA BVI, ATA Learning, ATA Online and ATA Online’s shareholders, we had a controlling financial interest in ATA Online because we had (i) the power to direct activities of ATA Online that most significantly impact the economic performance of ATA Online; and (ii) the obligation to absorb the expected losses and the right to receive expected residual return of ATA Online that could potentially be significant to ATA Online. These contractual agreements were terminated with effect from May 20, 2015. See “Item 7. Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions—B. Related Party Transactions.”

 

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Accordingly, the financial statements of ATA Online were consolidated in our consolidated financial statements for the fiscal years ended March 31, 2014, 2015 and thereafter until ATA Online became our wholly-owned subsidiary in May 2015. All of the equity (net assets) and net income or losses of ATA Online were attributed to us; therefore, non-controlling interest in ATA Online was not presented in our consolidated financial statements.

 

In order to list ATA Online on the New Third Board, we terminated those contractual arrangements and the 100% equity interest of ATA Online originally held by nominee shareholders were transferred to ATA Learning and Zhongxiao Zhixing pursuant to the agreements dated May 20, 2015. As a result, ATA Online became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company. See the discussion in Note 2(v) of the consolidated financial statements included in this annual report.

 

Bad Debt Allowance

 

We perform ongoing credit evaluations of our customers’ financial conditions and generally do not require collateral on accounts receivable.

 

The activity in the allowance for doubtful accounts for accounts receivable for the fiscal years ended March 31, 2014, 2015 and 2016 is as follows:

 

 

 

For the fiscal year ended March 31,

 

 

 

2014

 

2015

 

2016

 

 

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

US$

 

Beginning allowance for doubtful accounts

 

35,005,069

 

4,688,433

 

5,003,118

 

775,918

 

Additions charged to (reversal of) bad debt expense

 

(3,738,232

)

845,965

 

(127,852

)

(19,828

)

Write-off of accounts receivable(1)

 

(26,578,404

)

(531,280

)

 

 

Ending allowance for doubtful accounts

 

4,688,433

 

5,003,118

 

4,875,266

 

756,090

 

 


(1) For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014, we wrote off the accounts receivable from sales of NTET Tutorial Platform software, whose bad debt allowance was provided in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2010.

 

Income Taxes

 

We assess the likelihood that our net deferred income tax assets will be realized. To the extent that we believe that it is more likely than not that some portion or the entire amount of deferred income tax assets will not be realized, we establish a valuation allowance.

 

In assessing the realizability of deferred income tax assets, we consider whether it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred income tax assets will not be realized. The ultimate realization of deferred income tax assets is dependent upon the generation of future taxable income during the periods in which those temporary differences become deductible or tax loss carried forward are utilized. We consider the scheduled reversal of deferred income tax liability, projected future taxable income and tax planning strategies in making this assessment.

 

As of March 31, 2016, we believe it is more likely than not that we will realize the deferred income tax assets, net of the valuation allowance of RMB20.0 million ($3.1 million). The amount of the deferred income tax assets considered realizable as of March 31, 2016 could be reduced in the near term if estimates of future taxable income are reduced.

 

For each of the year ended March 31, 2014, 2015 and 2016, we had no unrecognized tax benefits relating to uncertain tax positions. Also, we do not expect that the amount of unrecognized tax benefits will significantly increase within the next twelve months.

 

According to the PRC Tax Administration and Collection Law, the statute of limitations is three years if the underpayment of taxes is due to computational errors made by the taxpayer or the withholding agent. The statute of limitations is extended to five years under special circumstances where the underpayment of taxes is more than RMB100,000. In the case of transfer pricing issues, the statute of limitations is ten years. There is no statute of limitations in the case of tax evasion. The income tax return of each of our company’s PRC consolidated entities is subject to examination by the relevant tax authorities for the calendar tax years beginning in 2011.

 

Share-based payment

 

We measure the cost of employee share options or similar equity instruments based on the grant date fair value of the award and recognize that cost over the period during which an employee is required to provide services in exchange for the award, which generally is the vesting period. When no future services are required to be performed by the employee in exchange for an award of equity instruments, and if such award does not contain a performance or market condition, the cost of the award is expensed on the grant date. When there is a modification of the terms and conditions of an award of equity instruments, our company measures the pre-modification and post-modification fair value of the equity instruments as of the modification date and recognizes the incremental value as compensation cost over the remaining service period.

 

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When there is a change in the grantee status from an employee to a non-employee, if grantee retains the awards on a change in status and continues to provide substantive services to our company, the change in status results in a new measurement date for the unvested awards with compensation costs measured as if the awards were newly issued to the grantee on the date of the change in status. If grantee retains the awards on a change in status and is not required to provide substantive services to the grantor subsequent to that change in status, the change in status is, in substance, an acceleration of the vesting of the arrangement.

 

Long-term investments

 

Equity method investments. Investment in common stock or in-substance common stock of an entity where we can exercise significant influence, but not control, is accounted for using the equity method. Under the equity method, the investment is initially recorded at cost and adjusted for our share of undistributed earnings or losses of the investees. Investment losses are recognized until the investment is fully written down as we do not guarantee the investee’s obligations nor it is committed to provide additional funding. When our carrying value in an equity method investment is reduced to zero, no further losses are recorded in our consolidated financial statements unless we guarantee obligations of the affiliated company or have committed additional funding. When the equity method accounted investees subsequently reports income, we will not record its share of such income until it exceeds the amount of its share of losses not previously recognized. We regularly evaluate the impairment of the equity investments based on performance and the financial position of the investee as well as other evidence of market value. Such evaluation includes, but is not limited to, reviewing the investees’ cash position, recent financings, projected and historical financial performance, cash flow forecasts and financing needs. An impairment charge is recorded when the carrying amount of the investment exceeds its fair value and this condition is determined to be other-than-temporary.

 

Results of Operations

 

The following table sets forth a summary, for the periods indicated, of our consolidated results of operations and each item expressed as a percentage of our total net revenues. Our historical results presented below are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected for any future period.

 

 

 

For the fiscal year ended March 31,

 

 

 

2014

 

2015

 

2016

 

 

 

RMB

 

% of net
revenues

 

RMB

 

% of net
revenues

 

RMB

 

US$

 

% of net
revenues

 

 

 

(In thousands, except for percentages)

 

Net revenues:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Testing services

 

358,837

 

93.3

%

319,055

 

91.1

%

384,800

 

59,677

 

92.2

%

Online education services

 

5,949

 

1.5

%

5,711

 

1.6

%

4,897

 

759

 

1.2

%

Other

 

19,882

 

5.2

%

25,392

 

7.3

%

27,443

 

4,257

 

6.6

%

Total net revenues

 

384,668

 

100.0

%

350,158

 

100.0

%

417,140

 

64,693

 

100.0

%

Cost of revenues

 

188,480

 

49.0

%

172,539

 

49.3

%

208,017

 

32,261

 

49.9

%

Gross profit

 

196,188

 

51.0

%

177,619

 

50.7

%

209,123

 

32,432

 

50.1

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Research and development

 

27,673

 

7.2

%

36,837

 

10.5

%

36,529

 

5,665

 

8.8

%

Sales and marketing

 

47,259

 

12.3

%

45,186

 

12.9

%

42,646

 

6,614

 

10.2

%

General and administrative

 

71,606

 

18.6

%

64,759

 

18.5

%

78,341

 

12,150

 

18.8

%

Impairment of intangible assets

 

12,009

 

3.1

%

310

 

0.1

%

 

 

 

Provision for (reversal of) doubtful accounts

 

(3,738

)

(1.0

)%

846

 

0.2

%

(128

)

(20

)

0

%

Total operating expenses

 

154,809

 

40.2

%

147,938

 

42.2

%

157,388

 

24,409

 

37.8

%

Other operating income

 

1,072

 

0.3

%

2,078

 

0.6

%

 

 

 

Income from operations

 

42,451

 

11.1

%

31,759

 

9.1

%

51,735

 

8,023

 

12.3

%

Share of losses of equity method investments

 

 

 

(2,197

)

(0.6

)%

(8,829

)

(1,369

)

(2.1

)%

Interest income

 

4,770

 

1.2

%

4,136

 

1.2

%

3,573

 

554

 

0.9

%

Foreign currency exchange gains(losses), net

 

(49

)

(0.0

)%

(1,067

)

(0.3

)%

(1,506

)

(233

)

(0.4

)%

 

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Table of Contents

 

 

 

For the fiscal year ended March 31,

 

 

 

2014

 

2015

 

2016

 

 

 

RMB

 

% of net
revenues

 

RMB

 

% of net
revenues

 

RMB

 

US$

 

% of net
revenues

 

 

 

(In thousands, except for percentages)

 

Earnings before income tax

 

47,172

 

12.3

%

32,631

 

9.4

%

44,973

 

6,975

 

10.7

%

Income tax expense

 

19,895

 

5.2

%

9,575

 

2.7

%

18,922

 

2,935

 

4.5

%

Net income

 

27,276

 

7.1

%

23,056

 

6.7

%

26,051

 

4,040

 

6.2

%

 

 

 

For the fiscal year ended March 31,

 

 

 

2014

 

2015

 

2016

 

 

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

US$

 

Basic earnings per common share

 

 

0.59

 

 

0.49

 

 

0.57

 

 

0.09

 

Diluted earnings per common share

 

 

0.59

 

 

0.49

 

 

0.57

 

 

0.09

 

 

Fiscal Year Ended March 31, 2016 Compared to Fiscal Year Ended March 31, 2015

 

Net Revenues

 

Our total net revenues increased by RMB66.9 million, or 19.1%, to RMB417.1 million ($64.7 million) in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016 from RMB350.2 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015, primarily as a result of an increase in net revenues from testing services.

 

Testing services. Testing services net revenues increased by RMB65.7 million, or 20.6%, to RMB384.8 million ($59.7 million) in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016 from RMB319.1 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015, primarily due to the addition of the AMAC and CCTAA exams, and increases in the volume of certain other exams. We generated RMB23.2 million ($3.6 million) and RMB18.7 million ($2.9 million) net revenues from our newly provided testing services for AMAC and CCTAA in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016. Our net revenues from TOEIC and HR Select increased from RMB76.8 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015 to RMB86.3 million ($13.4 million) in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016 due to on-campus recruitment tests. Our net revenues from testing services provided to CICPA increased from RMB64.9 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015 to RMB76.5 million ($11.9 million) in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016. The total number of billable tests delivered increased to 10,258,866 in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016 from 8,767,389 in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015.

 

Online education services. Our revenues from online education services decreased by RMB0.8 million, or 14.3%, to RMB4.9 million ($0.8 million) in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016 from RMB5.7 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015.

 

Other revenues. Other revenues increased by RMB2.0 million, or 8.1%, to RMB27.4 million ($4.3 million) in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016 from RMB25.4 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015, primarily due to increase in rental income.

 

Gross Profit

 

Our gross profit increased by RMB31.5 million, or 17.7%, to RMB209.1 million ($32.4 million) in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016 from RMB177.6 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015. Our gross margin decreased slightly to 50.1% in the fiscal years ended March 31, 2016 from 50.7% in the fiscal years ended March 31, 2015.

 

Operating Expenses

 

Our operating expenses increased by RMB9.5 million, or 6.4%, to RMB157.4 million ($24.4 million) in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016 from RMB147.9 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015.

 

General and administrative expenses. Our general and administrative expenses increased by RMB13.5 million, or 21.0%, to RMB78.3 million ($12.1 million) in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016 from RMB64.8 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015, primarily due to increases in professional service expenses relating to ATA Online’s New Third Board listing and share-based compensation expenses.

 

Sales and marketing expenses. Our sales and marketing expenses decreased by RMB2.6 million, or 5.6%, to RMB42.6 million ($6.6 million) in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016 from RMB45.2 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015. Sales and marketing expenses as a percentage of our total net revenues decreased to 10.2% in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016 from 12.9% in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015.

 

Research and development expenses. Our research and development expenses decreased by RMB0.3 million, or 0.8%, to RMB36.5 million ($5.7 million) in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016 from RMB36.8 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015.

 

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Provision for doubtful accounts. Reversal of bad debt expenses was RMB0.1 million ($19,828) in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016, compared to accrual of bad debt expenses of RMB0.8 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015, primarily due to our cash collection of several long aging accounts.

 

Impairment of intangible assets. Our impairment of intangible assets was RMB nil in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016 compared to RMB0.3 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015.

 

Interest Income

 

Our interest income decreased to RMB3.6 million ($0.6 million) in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016 from RMB4.1 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015, primarily due to the decrease of China’s benchmark interest rate.

 

Foreign Currency Exchange Gains (Losses), Net

 

We recorded a net foreign currency exchange loss of RMB1.5 million ($0.2 million) in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016, compared with a net loss of RMB1.1 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015. Our net foreign currency exchange loss primarily reflects the effects of settlement of RMB to U.S. dollar and devaluation of the Renminbi against the U.S. dollar in relation to the remeasurement of our RMB denominated bank deposits held by ATA Inc., whose functional currency is in the U.S. dollar.

 

Income Tax Expense

 

We had income tax expense of RMB18.9 million ($2.9 million) in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016, compared to RMB9.6 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015. The increase in our income tax expense was primarily due to the increase in valuation allowance of deferred income tax assets from ATA Learning and ATA Testing.

 

Net Income

 

As a result of the above factors, our net income increased to RMB26.1 million ($4.0 million) in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016 from net income of RMB23.1 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015.

 

Our basic earnings per common share and diluted earnings per common share increased to RMB0.57 ($0.09) and RMB0.57 ($0.09) in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016 from RMB0.49 and RMB0.49 in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015.

 

Fiscal Year Ended March 31, 2015 Compared to Fiscal Year Ended March 31, 2014

 

Net Revenues

 

Our total net revenues decreased by RMB34.5 million, or 9.0%, to RMB350.2 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015 from RMB384.7 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014, as a result of decreases in net revenues from our testing services.

 

Testing services. Testing services net revenues decreased by RMB39.8 million, or 11.1%, to RMB319.1 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015 from RMB358.8 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014, primarily due to the decreases in the volume of certain exams. Our net revenues from testing services provided to the customs decreased from RMB7.0 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014 to RMB2.2 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015. Our net revenues from testing services provided to CBA decreased from RMB67.5 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014 to RMB64.2 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015. Our net revenues from testing services provided to the Ministry of Public Security for the National Security Guard Exam decreased from RMB9.7 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014 to RMB5.2 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015. Our net revenues from TOEIC and HR Select decreased from RMB109.9 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014 to RMB76.8 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015 due to the termination of the exclusive distributor contract between ETS and ATA in February 2014. However, our net revenues from testing services provided to CICPA increased from RMB61.6 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014 to RMB64.9 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015. Our net revenues from TOFEL Junior increased from RMB0.9 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014 to RMB2.6 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015.The total number of billable tests delivered decreased to 8,767,389 in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015 from 9,411,226 in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014.

 

Online education services. Our revenues from online education services decreased by RMB0.2 million, or 4.0%, to RMB5.7 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015 from RMB5.9 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014.

 

Other revenues. Other revenues increased by RMB5.5 million, or 27.7%, to RMB25.4 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015 from RMB19.9 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014, primarily due to income from renting office space in our previous headquarters building.

 

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Table of Contents

 

Gross Profit

 

Our gross profit decreased by RMB18.6 million to RMB177.6 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015 from RMB196.2 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014. Our gross margin decreased to 50.7% in the fiscal years ended March 31, 2015 from 51.0% in the fiscal years ended March 31, 2014.

 

Operating Expenses

 

Our operating expenses decreased by RMB6.9 million, or 4.4%, to RMB147.9 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015 from RMB154.8 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014.

 

General and administrative expenses. Our general and administrative expenses decreased by RMB6.8 million, or 9.6%, to RMB64.8 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015 from RMB71.6 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014, primarily due to a decrease in labor and welfare expenses and share-based compensation.

 

Sales and marketing expenses. Our sales and marketing expenses decreased by RMB2.1 million, or 4.4%, to RMB45.2 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015 from RMB47.3 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014. Sales and marketing expenses as a percentage of our total net revenues increased to 12.9% in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015 from 12.3% in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014.

 

Research and development expenses. Our research and development expenses increased by RMB9.1 million, or 33.1%, to RMB36.8 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015 from RMB27.7 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014, mainly due to increased expenses for consumer market initiatives in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015.

 

Provision for doubtful accounts. Accrual of bad debt expenses was RMB0.8 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015 compared to reversal of bad debt expenses of RMB3.7 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014, primarily due to the collection of long aging receivable during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014.

 

Impairment of intangible assets. Our impairment of intangible assets was RMB0.3 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015 compared to RMB12.0 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014, primarily due to a write off of royalty fee in the amount of RMB12.0 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014 in connection with the termination of our exclusive distributorship agreement with ETS for TOEIC exams in China. For more information, please see Item 4.B. “Business Overview — Our Service Offerings — Testing Development and Delivery Services — Administration of TOEIC exams in China.”

 

Interest Income

 

Our interest income decreased to RMB4.1 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015 from RMB4.8 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014, primarily due to our decreased cash balance.

 

Foreign Currency Exchange Gains (Losses), Net

 

We recorded a net foreign currency exchange loss of RMB1.1 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015, compared with a net loss of RMB0.05 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014. Our net foreign currency exchange loss primarily reflects the effects of devaluation of the Renminbi against the U.S. dollar in relation to the remeasurement of our RMB denominated bank deposits held by ATA Inc., whose functional currency is in the U.S. dollar.

 

Income Tax Expense

 

We had income tax expense of RMB9.6 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015, compared to RMB19.9 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014. The decrease in our income tax expense was primarily due to payment of withholding income tax of RMB11.3 million in connection with a special dividend distribution from ATA Testing to ATA BVI in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014.

 

Net Income

 

As a result of the above factors, our net income decreased to RMB23.1 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015 from net income of RMB27.3 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014.

 

Our basic earnings per common share and diluted earnings per common share decreased to RMB0.49 and RMB0.49 in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015 from RMB0.59 and RMB0.59 in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014.

 

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Table of Contents

 

B. Liquidity and Capital Resources

 

We have financed our working capital and capital expenditure requirements primarily through cash provided by operating activities.

 

As of March 31, 2016, we had RMB247.7 million ($38.4 million) in cash. Our cash was primarily deposited with reputable banks in China and Hong Kong. We intend to finance our future additional working capital and capital expenditure needs principally from cash provided by operating activities.

 

We believe that our current cash and expected future cash flows from operating activities, particularly from testing services and online education services, is sufficient to meet our present working capital requirements. Our current expansion plans do not require significant capital commitments. We do not expect our short-term and long-term cash requirements to be materially different. Nevertheless, we may require additional sources of liquidity in the event of changes in business conditions or other future developments. Factors affecting our sources of liquidity include our sales performance and changes in working capital. Any changes in the significant factors affecting our revenues from testing services and online education services may cause material fluctuations in our cash generated from operations. See “— Net Revenues” for a description of these significant factors. Changes in working capital, including any significant shortening or lengthening of our accounts receivable cycle or client prepayment cycles, may also cause fluctuations in our cash generated from operations. If our sources of liquidity are insufficient to satisfy our cash requirements, we may seek to sell additional equity or debt securities to meet our cash needs. The sale of convertible debt securities or additional equity securities could result in dilution to our shareholders. The incurrence of indebtedness would result in debt service obligations and could result in operating and financial covenants that would restrict our operations. We cannot assure you that financing will be available in amounts or on terms acceptable to us, if at all.

 

The following table summarizes our net cash flows with respect to operating activities, investing activities and financing activities in the fiscal years ended March 31, 2014, 2015 and 2016:

 

 

 

For the fiscal year ended March 31,

 

 

 

2014

 

2015

 

2016

 

 

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

US$

 

 

 

(In thousands)

 

Net cash provided by operating activities

 

37,344

 

45,852

 

64,505

 

10,004

 

Net cash used in investing activities

 

(13,959

)

(52,759

)

(36,801

)

(5,708

)

Net cash used in financing activities

 

(701

)

(63,661

)

(20,310

)

(3,150

)

Effect of foreign exchange rate changes on cash

 

(767

)

(1,084

)

(21

)

(3

)

Net increase (decrease) in cash

 

21,917

 

(71,652

)

7,373

 

1,143

 

Cash at beginning of year

 

290,030

 

311,947

 

240,295

 

37,267

 

Cash at end of year

 

311,947

 

240,295

 

247,668

 

38,410

 

 

Operating Activities

 

Net cash provided by operating activities was RMB64.5 million ($10.0 million) in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016, mainly attributable to cash collection from revenues of RMB412.8 million, partially offset by cash paid for test monitoring costs and royalty fees of RMB145.4 million and cash paid for payroll and other operating expenses of RMB202.9 million.

 

Net cash provided by operating activities was RMB45.9 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015, mainly attributable to cash collection from revenues of RMB385.1 million, partially offset by cash paid for test monitoring costs and royalty fees of RMB121.2 million and cash paid for payroll and other operating expenses of RMB218.0 million.

 

Net cash provided by operating activities was RMB37.3 million in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014, mainly attributable to cash collection from revenues of RMB398.3 million, partially offset by cash paid for test monitoring costs and royalty fees of RMB147.1 million and cash paid for payroll and other operating expenses of RMB213.9 million.

 

Investing Activities

 

Net cash used in investing activities in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016 of RMB36.8 million ($5.7 million) was primarily attributable to equity investments and amount due from the shareholder of RMB10.0 million ($1.6 million) in connection with the termination of VIE agreements (see the discussion in Note 16 of the consolidated financial statements included in this annual report).

 

Net cash used in investing activities in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015 of RMB52.8 million was primarily attributable to capital expenditures for the leasehold improvements and equity investments.

 

Net cash used in investing activities in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2014 of RMB14.0 million was primarily attributable to the acquisition of Xing Wei.

 

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Table of Contents

 

Financing Activities

 

Net cash used in financing activities in the fiscal years ended March 31, 2016 of RMB20.3 million ($3.1 million) was primarily attributable to repurchase of common shares.

 

Net cash used in financing activities in the fiscal years ended March 31, 2015 was primarily attributable to payment of dividends. On May 30, 2014, we declared a special cash dividend of $0.205 per common share, or $0.41 per ADS. The total amount of cash dividend distributed was $9.5 million, which was paid from cash held by ATA Inc. The dividend was paid to all shareholders of record as of the close of business on June 30, 2014.

 

Net cash used in financing activities in the fiscal years ended March 31, 2014 was primarily attributable to income tax for net-settlement of vested shares for individual employees. For a discussion of the limitations on the ability of our operating subsidiaries to pay dividends to us, see Item 8.A. “Financial Information — Dividend Policy.”

 

Capital Expenditures

 

The following table sets forth our historical capital expenditures for the periods indicated. Actual future capital expenditures may differ from the amounts indicated below.

 

 

 

For the fiscal year ended March 31,

 

 

 

2014

 

2015

 

2016

 

 

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

US$

 

 

 

(In thousands)

 

Total capital expenditures

 

4,150

 

14,836

 

3,087

 

479

 

 

Historically, our capital expenditures have been made primarily for the purchase of office space, leasehold improvements, software, computer equipment and servers.

 

Foreign Currency Exchange

 

ATA Inc., ATA BVI and Xing Wei’s functional currency is the U.S. dollar. As of March 31, 2016, we had RMB247.7 million ($38.4 million) in cash. The functional currency of our PRC subsidiaries is Renminbi. The non-Renminbi portion of our revenues primarily consists of U.S. dollar-denominated licensing fees and royalty payments, while the non-Renminbi portion of our expenditures primarily consists of professional fees and royalty payments, either denominated in U.S. dollars or Hong Kong dollars. Fluctuations in exchange rates, primarily those involving the U.S. dollar against the Renminbi, may affect our costs and operating margins and our reported operating results. Under the current foreign exchange system in China, our operations in China may not be able to hedge effectively against currency risk, including any possible future Renminbi devaluation. See Item 3.D. “Key Information — Risk Factors — Risks Relating to Doing Business in the People’s Republic of China — Fluctuations in exchange rates could result in foreign currency exchange losses.”

 

Recent Accounting Pronouncements

 

In November 2015, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, or FASB, issued ASU No. 2015-17, Income Taxes - Balance Sheet Classification of Deferred Taxes. The ASU requires entities with a classified balance sheet to present all deferred tax assets and liabilities as noncurrent. The ASU is effective for annual reporting periods in fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2016. Early adoption is permitted at the beginning of an annual period and requires either a prospective or retrospective approach to adoption. We are currently evaluating the impact ASU 2015-17 will have on its consolidated financial statements.

 

In February 2016, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) Topic 842, Leases through ASU No. 2016-02. ASC Topic 842 requires a lessee to recognize all leases, including operating leases, on balance sheet via a right-of-use asset and lease liability, unless the lease is a short-term lease. All (or a portion of) fixed payments by the lessee to cover lessor costs related to ownership of the underlying assets, or executory costs, that do not represent payments for a good or service will be considered lease payments and reflected in the measurement of lease assets and lease liabilities by lessees. The new standard does not substantially change lessor accounting from current U.S. GAAP. The new standard also requires lessees and lessors to disclose more qualitative and quantitative information about their leases than current U.S. GAAP does. The standard is applied retrospectively, with elective reliefs. The new standard is effective for annual and interim reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2018 for a public business entity. Early adoption is permitted. We are currently evaluating the impact ASU 2016-02 will have on its consolidated financial statements.

 

In March 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-09, Compensation - Stock Compensation (Topic 718). The ASU simplifies certain aspects related to income taxes, statement of cash flows, and forfeitures when accounting for share-based payment transactions. The ASU will be effective for the annual reporting periods beginning after December 15, 2016, with earlier adoption permitted. Certain of the amendments related to timing of the recognition of tax benefits and tax withholding requirements should be applied using a modified retrospective transition method. Amendments related to the presentation of the statement of cash flows should be applied retrospectively. We are currently evaluating the impact ASU 2016-09 will have on its consolidated financial statements.

 

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C. Research and Development, Patents and Licenses, Etc.

 

Research and development is important to our continued success. Our research and development initiatives are designed to improve our existing testing technologies and to develop new and innovative technologies. We conduct our research and development activities primarily in-house but may also from time to time outsource certain research and development activities. We have an experienced team of engineers with expertise in the fields of computing, software, system and test design and conversion. Our research and development team consisted 106 people as of March 31, 2016. We will continue to look selectively for experienced software engineers and other technology talent to further increase our technological capabilities. While we focus on development of technologies that can be commercialized and integrated into our service offerings in the short term, we also invest in the research and development of testing technologies for the medium and long term in preparation for the next generation and cutting-edge products and services. In addition, we are developing upgrades of our key technologies, including our E-testing platform, and our MTS and EzTest platforms. Our total expenses for research and development were RMB27.7 million, RMB36.8 million and RMB36.5 million ($5.7 million) in the fiscal years ended March 31, 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively.

 

D. Trend Information

 

Other than as disclosed elsewhere in this annual report, we are not aware of any trends, uncertainties, demands, commitments or events for the period from April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2016 that are reasonably likely to have a material adverse effect on our revenues, income, profitability, liquidity or capital resources, or that caused the disclosed financial information to be not necessarily indicative of future operating results or financial conditions.

 

E. Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

 

We do not currently have, and do not expect in the future to have, any off-balance sheet arrangements or commitments. In our ongoing business, we do not plan to enter into transactions involving, or otherwise form relationships with, unconsolidated entities or financial partnerships established for the purpose of facilitating off-balance sheet arrangements or commitments.

 

F. Tabular Disclosure of Contractual Obligations

 

Contractual Obligations and Commercial Commitments

 

The following table sets forth our contractual obligations as of fiscal year ended March 31, 2016:

 

 

 

Payment Due

 

 

 

Total

 

Within 1 Year

 

1-3 Years

 

3-5 Years

 

More than 5 Years

 

 

 

(In thousands of RMB)

 

Operating Lease Obligations (1)

 

47,574

 

11,516

 

23,722

 

12,336

 

 

Unconditional purchase Obligation (2)

 

4,954

 

3,917

 

1,037

 

 

 

 


(1) Our operating lease obligations are comprised of our office lease obligations for our offices in China. These office leases expire at different times over the period from the date of this annual report through May 2020, and will become subject to renewal. We will evaluate the need to renew each office lease on a case-by-case basis prior to its expiration.

 

(2) On August, 11, 2011, we entered into an agreement with a consulting company which granted us a license to market, distribute, sell, promote, demonstrate, supply, and install and support the consulting company’s products in Mainland China for 10 years. Each party may terminate this agreement at any time for any reason by giving the other party not less than twelve months written notice provided that the termination date shall not be earlier than the fifth anniversary of this agreement unless either party is in breach of this agreement.

 

Indebtedness

 

We currently do not have any outstanding debt, debt securities, contingent liabilities, mortgages, or liens.

 

G. Safe Harbor

 

This annual report contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. See “Introduction—Forward-Looking Statements.”

 

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ITEM 6. DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEES

 

A. Directors and Senior Management

 

The following table sets forth certain information relating to our directors and executive officers as of the date of this annual report. The business address of each of our directors and executive officers is 1/F East Gate, Building No. 2, Jian Wai Soho, No. 39 Dong San Huan Zhong Road, Chao Yang District, Beijing 100022, China.

 

Name

 

Age

 

Position

Kevin Xiaofeng Ma

 

52

 

Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer

Andrew Yan

 

58

 

Director

Zhilei Tong

 

41

 

Director

Hope Ni

 

44

 

Director

Alec Tsui

 

67

 

Director

Shelly Jiang

 

41

 

Interim Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Finance

Alex Tong

 

53

 

Vice President of Business Development

 

Kevin Xiaofeng Ma is co-founder, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of our company. Prior to co-founding our company, Mr. Ma co-founded Dynamic Technology Corporation and served as its chief executive officer from 1996 to 1998. From 1990 to 1996, Mr. Ma served as a general manager in the Hainan High-Tech Industry International Cooperation Center. Previously, Mr. Ma gained experience as a vice president at the Beijing MDI High-Tech Center, as a director of Beijing Zhongjia Integrated Intelligent System Engineering, and as a reporter for China Radio International. Mr. Ma is a member of the board of directors of a number of private enterprises with operations in China, which do not compete with our business. Mr. Ma graduated from Nanjing University with a bachelor’s degree in economics.

 

Andrew Yan is a director of our company, and is an independent director pursuant to Nasdaq Stock Market Rule 5605(a)(2). He is the founding managing partner of SAIF Partners IV, III and SB Asia Investment Fund II L.P., and president and executive managing director of Softbank Asia Infrastructure Fund. Before joining Softbank Asia Infrastructure Fund in 2001, Mr. Yan was a managing director and the head of th