Qie Jianjun, vice president of AutoNavi (NASDAQ:AMAP), told Sine Tech lately, “There will pop up a minisite when any POI is clicked on. We’ll open the back-end system to merchants so that they can edit the webpage, post offerings or sell goods directly. Membership management features will also be available. The maps will be built to a business platform like Taobao.”

Before becoming a Taobao on maps, AutoNavi plans to become the gateway for consumers to find information about everyday life, eating, housing and transportation. “A mobile app or browser isn’t the best for lifestyle services, but maps the best entrance to all kinds of online-to-offline services”, Mr. Qie said. Now the company has had many offline merchants to join in the program and invited third-party Internet services like Ctrip to do business with those brick-and-mortar stores. As disclosed by its CEO, the company also plans to expand to other realms, vehicle dashboard and TV, with information of merchants and O2O services.

The next step is to become the Taobao on maps. The company plans to sell services and take CPS-based revenue shares to profit from the platform. “Different from Taobao, every merchant on Amap has a brick-and-mortar store. Also AutoNavi is able to push location-based information to users”, as Mr. Qie pointed out.

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Tracey Xiang

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