My daughter is learning Mandarin, and so are lots of other people in the West, believing it will help them find a better job. China's neighbours, however, don't necessarily feel the same way about the Chinese language. This BBC piece looked at how some Malaysian families drive their children miles to expensive private schools over the border in Singapore, because they feel that their children are not getting enough exposure to English in Malaysian schools. In Vietnam, too, there is great interest in learning English, partly because of ongoing political tension with China. What attracts people as much as anything else to English is pop music and Hollywood films.
Here's the BBC article.