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McDonald's says group-buy offers fake

By Zhou Wenting (China Daily)

08:24, November 15, 2011

BEIJING - McDonald's on Monday confirmed that it has not signed any deals with group-purchase companies, despite its discovery that discounts for its products were sold on one of China's most popular group-buying websites.

"We did not authorize any site to introduce offers for our products," said Weng Xiaomeng, a communications officer for McDonald's Beijing. "Our operating department will take any follow-up action to deal with this, including legal approaches."

Gaopeng, a joint venture between Groupon in the United States and Tencent in China, started offering a discount on a McDonald's set meal last week and instantly attracted 821 orders.

According to the item description, customers could save 21 yuan ($3) at any McDonald's restaurant by producing a 16-digit code sent to their cell phones by Gaopeng.

However, the fast food giant said the "special offer" is invalid, adding that it has seriously damaged customers' interests and the company's image.

"All the logos and pictures that appeared (with the website's promotion) were used without our permission," read a statement on the website of McDonald's China.

It also warned that the company will not cover any financial losses suffered by consumers who purchase set meals with the "discount".

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