Qianpin.com, a newly-founded O2O service raised RMB hundreds of millions (US$ 15 million) from Sinobo Group. Founded by former Baidu-er Yuan Peng, the Beijing-based company is positioned as an ecommerce platform for local businesses centered around life services.

“You get me wrong if you consider us a group buying service.” Yuan emphasized, “We’re focusing on online-to-offline model whereas group buying is just the primary form of O2O. What we’re working on is a online shopping mall for local businesses without material items or logistics burden.”

Qianpin.com went online on 18th, Aug. of this year with over 300 staff in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. As of now the company has partnered with more than 1,000 local businesses to offer life services ranging from restaurants, entertaining services to beauty salon and so on.

To be honest, I just can’t help associating the site to group buying service when checking it out – btw, the homepage definitely reminds me of Dianping.com. After playing with it for a while, it left me with the impression that it is just group buying service plus coupons aggregator with a brand page to feature service provider.

Apart from deals, the site hosts a brand profile page to feature deal provider with details such as telephone number, address, introduction and so on. Isn’t Dianping major in this? I personally see slim chance for Qianpin to compete with Dianping in that realm.

The emergence of group buying in China gives rise to O2O business model. A bunch of startups have been exploring in that forefront, including several projects curated by Chinese incubator Innovation Works, Meishidaren, Jiudiandaren and Buding Coupons, to name a few.