Rumor, Foursquare to Acquire Jiepang to Enter China

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So two hottest sites, Groupon and Foursquare b0th are seeking the way to enter Chinese market at the beginning of 2011. We’ve confirmed Groupon’s move into China two days ago, and today we got the rumor that Foursquare is coming as well.

Spotted by a reader, on Quora an anonymous user commented on the question, Should Foursquare buy Jiepang as a China entry strategy?

Sources say that negotiations are already underway

That sounds fairly interesting. We also contacted Jiepang management level and the person neither confirmed nor denied it.

Hmm..so how much do you believe it?

If there was a deal, then for Foursquare, it’s a cool one

Jiepang is now the most active check-in service in the local market. Its recent partnership with merchants such as Starbucks and release of its own API look quite promising. It has the potential to become the truly leader, so if Foursquare wanted to come, buying Jiepang will make its life in China much easier. On the other hand, since the Chinese LBS market is at very early stage, I guess any Chinese LBS’s valuation would not be that high (at least it does not like those groupon clones). So if, only if the deal was done, it would be a cool one for Foursquare.

Jiepang, K.ai, Sifang, Qieke

However, it does not make much sense

Jiepang took less than a year to become the lead, and also from what I see, they have a very passionate team and its finance should be in good health. And there is so much to be explored in Chinese LBS market since it is very young. A huge potential is waiting for them, why should they consider selling itself to a foreign guy who knows nothing about China and is still looking for a sustainable revenue model (it’s not like Groupon). I think the negotiation would be too early, for both parties.

Let’s see what both parties would say in next a few days.

  • http://twitter.com/thepekingorder Jeremy Webb

    From a LBS marketer's perspective, I would like to see it happening. International check-in campaigns often come up in brainstorms. Right now Jiepang isn't so robust abroad.