I remembered that back in February, I had a conversation with some friends from Google discussing on what Google could do in China. We were talking about Group buying service, and I said that’s market Google China should look into, but instead of doing a Groupon liker, a group-buying aggregator site might be the best and easiest entry for Google China. And in a meeting with Marissa Mayer when she visited Shanghai with a group of young product managers, she also asked for advice on Google’s focus in China, I said one is Android market, the other is an aggregator service for Chinese group-buying.
Today, Google China really launched its group-buying aggregator service, called Shihui. Using Shihui, users can search for the deals on a couple of local group-buying sites by cities, categories, price etc. It’s not a complicated service, but it’s neat and convenient.
Baidu has its group-buying aggregator launched in June this year. According to a friend from Meituan management team, he said Baidu’s and 360′s aggregators are now the top 2 bringing them the traffic. Startups like Tuan800 seems doing ok too. As for aggregator’s business model, it’s simply the Ads model, i.e. group-buying sites need pay in order to be featured on aggregators.
Understanding the local trend is one of the keys for international web companies to succeed in China. I love Google China’s effort on Shihui, but maybe next time, they can get these sort of Local ideas executed earlier and faster.