GaoPeng.com, the localized group-buying portal funded by Groupon and Tencent, has begun accepting email registrations from local consumers, with daily deals promoting local merchants.
Beijing-based GaoPeng, “powered by Groupon”, plans to offer consumers unbeatable prices while delivering local merchants significant exposure and a steady stream of new customers. GaoPeng subscribers will get free daily emails alerting them to the deals. Initially, the service will cover Beijing and Shanghai, but will eventually be available in other major cities as well.
This long overdue group-buying portal caught a glimpse of daylight earlier this month but was forced to shut down immediately due to disputes in operations. There were controversies because most top administrators in Groupon China were foreigners, while the CEO is from Tencent. According to WSJ, however, Groupon has been holding job interviews to fill its Beijing office with local staff.
The collaboration combines Groupon’s global group-buying experience with Tencent’s in-depth knowledge of Chinese online communities. Interestingly, China Internet Watch adds that Groupon China will have a different feature in Chinese market where users can raise a group buying request with a desired price for a product.
Other big Internet companies such as Yahoo, Google, and eBay failed in China. Top that off with the hundreds of Groupon clones available in the country and it’s definitely going to be an uphill battle for the Groupon.