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Internet Group Buying Service Ends In China

Chinese group buying service website Didatuan.com will formally close its group buying business on March 31, 2014, and will transform its brand to a new business model in the future.

Founded by Song Zhongjie, former sales general manager of Google China, in July 2010, Didatuan.com completed its integration with Velo, a Chinese coupon provider, at the beginning of 2013. After the integration, the new company continued to use the Didatuan brand and Song took the chief executive officer position in the new company.

Didatuan.com previously received investments from IDG, KPCB, NEA, Greylock, and Northern Light Venture Capital.

By January 2014 China had 213 group buying websites, which were 281 less than September 2013. So the highly saturated sector is downsizing and stopping businesses. Many of these businesses deal with Chinese retailers, who are notorious for long receivable cycles, not adhering to posted promotions, and often not likely to sign exclusive agreements with group buying sites. So investors have often been throwing money at poor management, poor executive, and ultimately a bad business model that does not operate the same in China as elsewhere in the world.

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