Today brings some interesting news surrounding GroupOn’s launch plans in China. Rumor has it that the company has chosen to go with the domain name “www.gaopeng.com” for its China site (as yet to be launched).
More interesting still a quick check of domain registrar site whois.net reveals the name as registered by a ‘Yun Ouyang’ of ‘Shenzhen Tencent Computer System Ltd.’. If gaopeng is indeed the name of the GroupOn China site to be, this could be seen as confirmation of its partnership with Tencent, a very smart decision considering the pockmarked history of US internet companies launching businesses in China.
The name change is thought to be a China localization strategy, as very few of the locals would be able to associate with the English “groupon” name. The choice could also be seen as a response to disassociate itself from the hordes of GroupOn clones in China, that normally choose to go with some variation of the Chinese word for group-buying, “TuanGou”/“团购” (Meituan, Cooltuan, FTuan, etc.). More than anything else, it sends a clear message to leading GroupOn-like sites in China, who may have once had hopes of acquisition (most ostensibly groupon.cn).
Even with large resources and a great partner behind it, GroupOn faces fierce competition from entrenched competitors who are gearing up for a fight with the group-buying giant. Will GroupOn be able to be successful in China?
About the Author
An entrepreneur at heart with a passion for stimulating change for good. Proficient in Korean, and Mandarin, and currently working on Japanese, Nnamdi is positioning himself as a key liaison in the emergence of the worldwide market in East Asia.