Tencent made a series of adjustments to its ecommerce arms over the past years, and now it’s the company’s disordered group buying efforts’ turn to receive some treatment.
After moves like acquiring FTuan.com, setting up a JV with Groupon (Gaopeng.com) for China and launching its own effort tuan.qq.com, Tencent currently owns three almost similar group buying initiatives in China with little differentiation. It’s about the time to consolidate these efforts, starting with one brand/gateway strategy. From now on, all traffics to FTuan will be directed to Gaopeng.com while the domain name tuan.qq.com will be moved to Gaopeng.qq.com which features Gaopeng in its URL. The website also highlights that QQ Group buying service is now operated by Gaopeng.com.
Li Ping, the former CEO of Ftuan becomes CEO of Gaopeng and will continue to manage the whole package.
Mr. Lin revealed that eyeing 55tuan making profit from its 55Mall business, Gaopeng would also follow suit with similar service but without charge. It could be a good way to pull in more revenue. Group buying in China is still a business of low margin at about between 8% and 10%.
He also believe that mobile would be the new driving force in the future, given Weixin’s 300 million users and fast growth, Gaopeng was looking into the platform for new opportunities to sell deals. Gaopeng now accommodates a mobile division staffed by over 100 working on leveraging Weixin’s open platform.