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Zoom CEO Eric Yuan Is Giving K-12 Schools His Videoconferencing Tools For Free

On Thursday, on the heels of Zoom’s biggest day ever for downloads the day before, CEO Eric Yuan was taking the time to remotely sign up schools to free accounts of his videoconferencing software. First was a prestigious school in Silicon Valley, then two schools in the Austin, Texas area.

In fact, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan Is Giving K-12 schools in the entire US have free access to Zoom in addition to other 18 countries.

“They told me they’d connect with my team, and I said, ‘no, I’ll do that for you,’” said Yuan, reached by Zoom at the San Jose, California-area home that is now his office for the foreseeable future. “I did it manually myself.”

As the Covid-19 virus sweeps across the planet, leading to quarantined cities and shut-down schools, Zoom has emerged as one of the leading tools to keep businesses up and running and students learning. On Wednesday, the most recent day for which data is available, 343,000 people globally downloaded the Zoom app, 60,000 in the U.S. alone, according to mobile intelligence firm Apptopia — compared to 90,000 people worldwide and 27,000 in the U.S. just two months ago. (Zoom doesn’t share such numbers and wouldn’t comment on a third party report.) And overnight, having already removed the time limit from video chats using Zoom’s free service for affected regions in China and elsewhere, Yuan took another measure to help mitigate the impact of the coronavirus: he decided to remove the limit for any K-12 schools affected in Japan, Italy and the United States.

(The picture was taken on end of 2019, Eric Yuan on left, Diana Ding on right)

Students or teachers who fill out an online form using their school email addresses and are then verified by Zoom will have any accounts associated with that school’s domain also gain unlimited temporary meeting minutes, according to a site set up for the process overnight. The free Basic accounts are also available by request in Austria, Denmark, France, Ireland, Poland, Romania and South Korea, a spokesperson for Zoom said. “Given that many K-12 schools are starting closing, we decided to offer Zoom access to all K-12 schools in the country starting tomorrow,” Yuan wrote in an email overnight.

— Alex Konrad from Forbes

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