Chinese group buying market has been seeing a new wave of consolidation during which the bubble of bloated market burst and big guys are gobbling up the market share.
For example, Gaopeng, the JV of Groupon and Tencent, merged with FTuan in July 2012. And the new venture just completed a new round financing worth US$40 million and is considering buying out the troubled 24Quan.
Gaopeng seems to turn over a new leaf. The service once was having a flurry of troubles and is also under siege from its ferocious Chinese counterparts, including Meituan, Lashou and 55Tuan.
Now the new combo has a clearer focus: Gaopeng targeting at local services and products while Ftuan aiming at white-collar consumers. According to Lin Ning, CEO of the new company, Gaopeng and QQTuan has integrated their operation and sales force. With new departments like sales and project management being established, the strengthened team can instruct merchants online and offline to improve service quality and get itself ready for the next phase. Gaopeng is stepping up quickly, with its overall sales in September surpassing RMB 25o million (on a separate note, still nowhere near Meituan). “Gaopeng wants to continue its service with a good brand image and let consumers see our significant changes,” said Lin Ning.
Gaopeng still lags behind DianPing and Meituan. To catch up with them, the strategy Gaopeng adopted is to merge with other potential group buying sites, such as 24Quan, especially when Gaopeng now has $40 million in pocket.
China’s shrinking group buying market is experiencing the biggest shuffle ever since two years ago. It is estimated that after the turmoil, only few (maybe 4~5) are expected to survive and profit.