Feng Xiao Hai, founder and CEO of China’s first group buying site, Manzuo.com, believes group buying platforms have a strong future in China, despite Groupon’s tepid stock performance and a proliferation of domestic competitors in China.
In less than a year and a half, Feng said, Manzuo mushroomed from a one-room company with just six employees, to one of China’s strongest group-buying sites, with more than 1,000 employees.
China’s huge geographical spread allows group buying sites like Manzuo to localize its products in ways few other platforms can, Feng explained, citing the examples of massage coupons localized for areas in southern China and boutique clothing coupons for urban areas.
Feng said that internet startups in China require little capital, but much devotion, and a clear-headed business plan. While many tech companies pushed haphazardly towards IPO’s last year, Manzuo held back, understanding that the timing wasn’t strategically helpful.
In today’s internet climate, a sites success depends on the eyeballs it can attract, Manzuo said. China’s booming internet market, paired with consumption trends ticking upwards heralds a bright future for group buying sites, he said.