The wider launch, spotted by Tech In Asia, is being operated through a new website (hk.ju.taobao.com) and will offer timely deals on women’s and men’s apparel, homewares, mother and baby product, consumer electronic accessories, children’s toys and more.
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The original Juhuasuan website (ju.taobao.com) feels a great deal livelier than its sister service, with a more visual home screen and navigation sidebar for discovering new daily deals. Product pages, however, share the same real-time counter and price information, so there’s at least a bit of design consistency across both.
Juhuasuan leverages the 800 million product listings available through the Taobao Marketplace, so it might take a while before all of these are offered to its new customers in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Nevertheless, it’s a notable expansion and shows that Alibaba is keen to invest in new and potential markets.
Daphne Lee, director of Taobao International Business, said: “Users can expect an even more diverse and comprehensive set of new and localized features and services to be rolled out in 2013.”
Dataotuan, a daily deals aggregator in China, estimated in February that Juhuasuan was among the nation’s top three providers at the end of 2012. Alongside rivals Meituan and Dianping, the trio accounted for over half (55 percent) of industry revenue.
Juhuasuan and its owner Alibaba will be looking for growth in part, to stave off any future competition from Groupon. The deal-of-the-day website, founded in 2008 and headquartered in Chicago, was ranked just 12th in China at the end of 2012 with a 1.7 percent marketshare.
Groupon has international experience though and an almost unparalleled brand awareness overseas. The company is trying to strengthen its position in China at the moment through a different daily deals website, called Gaopeng, the result of a joint-venture with Tencent. Back in June, both companies announced that it would be merging with its larger rival FTuan, putting additional pressure on Juhuasuan.
The Alibaba-owned daily deals site shouldn’t be too concerned though. Dataotuan estimated that it had a pretty substantial grip on the Chinese market during the fourth quarter of 2012, taking up 88.1 percent of total revenues.
Regardless of how well it performs in Hong Kong and Taiwan, that state of affairs is unlikely to change anytime soon.
Image Credit: MIKE CLARKE/AFP/Getty Images