Now, It’s Groupon.cn’s Turn
Gaopeng, the JV between Groupon and Tencent managed to weather through all the missteps like shutting down branch sites, shrinking payroll and consumer complaints over counterfeit products, and now it’s Groupon.cn(or 团宝网, groupon.com.cn)’s turn to face a new wave of group buying drama in China.
Though the company’s domain name resembles its American counterpart, it actually was registered by Ren Chunlei, founder and CEO of groupon.cn, and the site has nothing to do with Groupon.com, the originator of group buying service. It’s just one of the many Chinese copycats that happen or lucky enough to register a nice domain name that relates to Groupon.com. That’s all.
And apparently, a decent domain name is a far cry from the guarantee of a successful business, if the founding team are fuzzy-headed enough to splash money towards marketing (alleged RMB 550 million in 2011) without a slice of awareness of cost control under ultra-competitive market conditions while the company only raised about RMB 200 ~ 300 million. And according to unconfirmed allegation, none of these numbers are believable.
Couple days ago the site is rumored to go bankrupt and its founder Mr. Ren has disappered, Ren denied so but admitting facing financial problems and according to one of his weibo posts he’s “in Shenzhen and is trying to raise some money” there.
After more than 1000 less-known daily deal sites vaporized in last year, now, it’s the big guys’s turn. And it isn’t over yet. Groupon.cn is just a starter.
55Tuan to Go Public When Market Pickup
55Tuan founder Xu Maodong disclaimed rumors claiming its IPO plan will be undermined due to underwriter’s sudden quit. The site planned to go IPO in the second quarter of this year, according to people familiar with the matter while Lashou, another Chinese groupon also postponed its IPO to April of this year.