Chinese main search engine Baidu has launched its own platform similar to Groupon that will provide discounts to consumers in addition it will also allow businesses to freely promote their own group.
Baidu launched a test version of its group buying site as part of its Youa e-commerce information platform. In Chinese launguage, the site is currently called Youa Tuangou, which means “group buy”.
The Chinese company is also allowing merchants to set up their own discounted deals through its Baidu Shenbian website, which shows consumer reviews on restaurants, hotels and other places.
Google is Baidu’s biggest rival in China, is reportedly in talks to acquire the group buying site Groupon. Baidu’s new platform is showing only three deals at the moment for the Beijing area.
The concept of customers often negotiating for price is quite common in most of the Asian countries such as China and India. Teambuy.com.cn was another site to grab this trend in China which started in 2006. Users wanting to get a good deal on the same product could connect with each other and collectively bargain for a discount.
TeamBuy now has more than 3 million registered members and operates in 150 locations. The market for such sites is projected to reach 980 million yuan (US$ 147.6 million) according to Beijing-based research firm Analysys International. But it’s expected to grow annually by an average of 57 percent over the next three years. Baidu is China’s largest search engine, with a 73 percent market share.