Groupon in JV with Tencent to take on US$2.4bn Chinese market

28 Feb 2011

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E-commerce phenomenon Groupon has signed a partnership deal with Chinese portals Tencent and Yunfeng to launch a group buying portal in China called GaoPeng.com. The Chinese group buying market could be worth US$2.4bn this year.

The new service will initially focus on Beijing and Shanghai but will be expanded across other major cities.

GaoPeng.com is already accepting email registrations from local shoppers and area merchants with a view to launching daily deals in March.

“GaoPeng aims to introduce a sophisticated group-buying business model and an international service standard to the market. We hope to work together with other local group-buying portals to jointly develop this emerging market, which will ultimately benefit the consumers and merchants in China,” Yun Ouyang, head of GaoPeng, said in a statement.

The Groupon Effect

The thrift-commerce movement led by Groupon, Living Social, Yelp and others has taken the online world by storm and – it could be said – has been born out of the recession, where cash-poor people simply don’t want to stop living. The other real boon of the Groupon effect is ordinary businesses in cities across North America can barely keep up with all the business being driven to their premises.

Groupon – a play on the words group and coupon – brings business directly to the door of local businesses. Groupon’s market is primarily composed of young, educated female customers and its deals focus on health, fitness and beauty products.

After spurning a $6bn offer from Google and taking on $950m in venture capital, three-year-old Groupon is now planning an imminent $15bn initial public offering.

It recently made history for achieving the largest financing round for a start-up after it raised $950m in investment from Greylock Partners, Kleiner Perkins, T. Rowe Price and Morgan Stanley.

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com