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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Group-buying firms look to Taobao

By He Wei (China Daily)

13:53, December 26, 2011

SHANGHAI - Group-buying business Groupon Inc's successful listing may be heartening news to most of its domestic counterparts as they endeavor to transform their existing business models after suffering stretched cash-flows and setbacks on the capital market.

Wanting to cash in on the success of taobao.com, the country's top online marketplace by registered user, a number of group-buying sites have gained footholds on its business-to-customer (B2C) arm, Taobao Mall.

Small and medium-sized operators, such as manzuo.com, 55tuan.com, ftuan.com, recently joined the Taobao platform, providing discount coupons for services ranging from catering to entertainment.

In its latest discount event on Dec 12, Taobao's online trading recorded some 4.3 billion yuan ($672 million) in revenue. As a result, sales of many group-purchase sites through the Taobao channel have been brisk, various company sources revealed, without disclosing the exact figures.

According to Feng Xiaohai, chief executive officer of manzuo.com, entry into other e-commerce sites has become a rite of passage for web-based retailers trying to recreate their brands.

"We hold an open attitude toward embracing other platforms because the recognition of our brands is not confined to visiting our own website alone," Feng told China Daily. He said discussions with other portals such as 360buy.com are still under way.

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