Groupon Officially Steps Into China, In Talk With Five Chinese Clones

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According to this news (Chinese), early this afternoon, ex-founder of Citydeal which was acquired by Groupon early this year and now Groupon’s business development director have held several meetings with five popular Chinese Groupon clones, Meituan, FTuan, Lashou, Aibang and QQTuan. (you may also read our previous article Comments and Reviews on Chinese Groupon services)

The news says Groupon met these clones one by one and the detail of each meeting can not be disclosed due to the NDA. But according to Lin Ning, CEO of FTuan who attended the meeting,  he said he could confirm that Groupon has not signed any deal with any Chinese clones.

An insider said Groupon’s visit to China this time had two purposes, firstly to understand the local market and local regulation; secondly to look for the right local partner. He said, likely Groupon will follow the same strategy when it entered Japanese market, i.e. acquiring one local clone.

Sarah Lacy of TechCrunch used to question about Groupon’ slow response to Chinese market and suggested Rob Solomon of Groupon not to underestimate the Chinese speed. And Rob said, “Over time, we will figure out China..” Now it seems that Groupon finally took one step further to China.

So what would be the next? And which one will eventually be the super lucky guy being acquired by Groupon? Probably no one knows it yet. But what’s for sure is that Chinese market could be much more costy and risky than Japanese one as the market already goes crazy.

Enjoy the following two cases:

Case One200 Smart cars were sold on Taobao’s group-buy site within only 3.5 hours! Every buyer saved rmb41,000 (~$6,190). Note that one resource said that the total number of Smart sold in China in 2009 was only around 4,000.

Case Two – Lashou is running a campaign right now to attract more attention. The biggest winner of this luck-draw promotion campaign will be given a Flat which worths rmb200,000 (~$30,198).  Only two days, 258,484 users have registered to join the draw, and still 8 days to go.