Koubei, the online-to-offline or O2O e-commerce platform backed by internet giant Alibaba Group Holding, expects to give overseas offline stores a sales boost and provide internet-based finance for more merchants during the “Double 12” (Dec 12) shopping festival on Monday [12 December 2016]. The company said from Dec 10 to 12, more than 1 million supermarkets, restaurants, convenience stores, cinemas and gas stations around the country will use its platform to offer discounts of up to 50 percent to users, via Alibaba’s mobile payment platform Alipay…Full Article: ECNS.cn Dec 2016

Key Point

  • In June 2015, Alibaba and Ant Financial acquired Koubei [50/50 joint venture, US$483.3 million each] to counter the Tencent-backed [see also JD.com] Meituan-Dianping online platform.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In September 2016, Yum Brands announced it secured investors for its Chinese spinoff. Primavera Capital Group would invest US$410 million while Zhejiang Ant Small & Micro Financial Services Group (Alibaba’s online payment application Alipay) would invest US$50 million.
  • In May 2016, a Shanghai court ordered Baidu (search engine) to pay CNY 3 million (~US$456,900) in damages to Dianping over copying comments and other information to Baidu controlled sites.
  • In April 2016, Eleme received US$1.25 billion in financing from Alibaba Group Holding and Ant Financial Services Group (Alibaba’s financial division). In addition, Eleme stated it would work with the online payment application Alipay (Alibaba).
  • Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Shanghai, Dianping is a restaurant-review and group-buying services platform. It has been compared as a mixture of US-based commerce sites of Yelp (restaurant review) and Groupon (e-commerce merchant). Its primary competitor in China is the Beijing-based Meituan.com (founded in 2010).

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