Groupon has launched GaoPeng.com, a China affiliate, the company has announced. The company is funded by Groupon, Tencent Collaboration and a fund co-owned by Alibaba founder Jack Ma.This is potentially absolutely huge. Groupon’s international expansion has been the most aggressive of any tech company we can think of, and they’ve been grasping for a China strategy for a while, from buying up local competitors, which didn’t really work, to opening their fully-owned local site, which never works.
And of course, meanwhile, Groupon clones have been exploding all over China — imagine the heat of Groupon clones plus the heat of China. Groupon have got the best partners in this deal: Tencent is China’s largest social network (and one of the world’s most valuable companies) and Jack Ma is the founder of Alibaba, the e-commerce leader in China.
Foreign companies never succeed in China without a local partner, and the world’s biggest social commerce company found as partners the biggest social network and biggest commerce entrepreneur. Maybe Groupon will crack the code of winning in China.