55Tuan always is the noisemaker in Chinese group buying market which has already been flooded with bad news. Jieshi.com, a daily deals aggregator which was just bought by 55Tuan in June of this year was reportedly shedding staff on large scale as the site is considering a significant revamp or even shutting down.
After the acquisition, Jieshi shopped another two aggregators to tap deeper into the market.
Though always in the media tuyere, it seems 55Tuan has been more than familiar with the idea of being controversial is good marketing. After all the awkward gossips such as downsizing 70%, being rejected by Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch when looking for underwriters, failing to pay up agency due to money shortage, be it rumor or scandal, 55Tuan still managed to top the list of Chinese group buying sites in terms of sales in August.
And shortly after climbing to the throne, Xu Maodong, CEO of 55Tuan.com, said that the site is swerving from daily deals to become a online platform for life service provider, while group buying offerings served as a bait for enticing customers. Xu pictured the company as a Taobao in the realms of local life services.
People who work at 55Tuan revealed that its new platform 55.com will be online since next month, with some local businesses onboard already. In the long term, 55tuan.com will work as a bridge to drive customers into 55.com, the life service marketplace.