Rumor: Tencent Acquires Mobile Loyalty Startup to Ramp up O2O Initiative

Rumor has it that Tencent had stealthily acquired a Beijing-based mobile loyalty solution provider dubbed Tongcard to ramp up its O2O initiative, according to local portal site Sina Tech. The latest prey in Tencent’s shopping basket would be integrated into Tencent’s Ecommerce of Life Service division.

Founded 6 years ago, Tongcard provides CRM solutions and marketing services to its clients. According to its website, the company has established partnership with more than 6,000 restaurants and health care institutions with over 5 million daily active users. It raised several rounds from investors including DFJ Dragon and Shenzhen VC Group.

Tencent always had a thing for the online-t0-offline business for its revenue potential. By acquiring Tongcard, the “greedy penguin” could incorporate Weixin and Tongcard’s offerings to better serve local merchants. As long as local businesses who play the most important role in the so-called O2O market are satisfied and are willing to corporate with Tencent, Tencent could then have a better chance to win over consumers from the likes of Alibaba and Baidu, both made huge efforts to gold mine the new territory.