When Wochacha, a QR code-based offline price comparison app, hired over one hundred people to collect price data at every supermarket in first-tier cities — which is called “sweeping streets”, the board of its parent company opposed thinking it was a waste of money.

Back then Wochacha wasn’t an independent company, but an application developed by Galaxycore, a company in CMOS image sensor business, in order to make its hardware more competitive. The latter CEO of Wochacha, Zhao Lixin, managed to have the division for developing applications spun off from its parent company and established a new company in January 2010.

Now the team of its supermarket price investigators has more than three hundred members. “Not a single tool app would do such a stupid thing like what we did. And it’s late even if anyone would like to do that now. Offline price data is Wochacha’s core competence that took a long time to accumulate, like the rating and review data Dianping has accumulated by sweeping streets in a long time”, Zhao Lixin was proud of the data. (source in Chinese)

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Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com