Groupon expands into China
Groupon has opened a site called GaoPeng.com in China, bringing their approach to the group buying model to China (and the Chinese market) for the first time. China is the world's fastest growing economy and Groupon is arguably one of the fastest growing tech companies out there right now. It should be pretty darned interesting to watch a quasi-capitalist culture interact with a quasi-collectivist business model. In case you need a topic for your next Econ paper, I just gave you one. So this could be absolutely bananas huge or fail miserably.
The Gaopeng.com website will initially cover Beijing and Shanghai before expanding to other major Chinese cities, Chicago-based Groupon said in an e-mailed statement today. Tencent Holdings Ltd., China's biggest Internet company, and Yunfeng Capital, a private equity fund started by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Chairman Jack Ma, are other investors in Gaopeng, according to the statement, which didn't provide details of the shareholding.
Groupon's Gaopeng.com will face competition in attracting Internet shoppers from Chinese group-buying services including Lashou.com and Meituan.com. Online retail sales in China almost doubled last year to 513.1 billion yuan ($78 billion) and will probably double again in the next two years to 1 trillion yuan, Xinhua News Agency reported Jan. 18.