A recent report indicate that China’s group-buying sites have shut down since the industry peaked and only 10 major players will survive an ongoing reshuffle. During the past year, more than 2,000 of the sites in China closed and the top 20 websites occupied 96 percent of the overall market share, leaving the 3,800 smaller players fighting for the remaining 4 percent.
While the number of group-buying websites hit 3,909 since December last year, there are about 100,000 complaints, mostly about selling fake or non-existing products. This has in part driven accelerated integrations of smaller sites with bigger players, who usually maintain more consolidated ties with vendors. Small and medium-sized operators, such as manzuo.com, 55tuan.com and ftun.com have recently joined the Juhuasuanplatform, a creation by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., providing discount coupons for services ranging from catering to entertainment. It is also striving to set a standard for the group-buying industry. It plans to introduce measures such as protection of customer rights, price monitoring and third-party quality supervision.
“Juhuasuan’s open platform will help integrate useful resources and squeeze out market bubbles”, said Su Huiyan, a senior analyst with iResearch.
“Localized services, from restaurant coupons to movie tickets, will be a huge market and may account for transactions worth billions of yuan in the coming few years,” said Yan Limin, general manager of Alibaba’s group-buying business.