We tend to write about daily deals sites in China shutting down, not opening up. So this week’s quiet launch of a new deals portal run by Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU), China’s top search engine, is a bit of a novelty. The new ‘Baidu Group Buy‘ site, to translate its name very literally, currently only serves up deals in Beijing and seems to be a beta release. We reached out to Baidu HQ in Beijing, but a representative couldn’t comment on this new roll-out.
It’s not Baidu’s first venture into Groupon territory. The search company already has a deals aggregator site (using the same brand name, which is confusing), and previously ran the You’a Tuangou site before that got spun off and left to You’a to run. And so the new Baidu Group Buy is the company’s main challenge to a wealth of local rivals for food, fashion, and leisure deals.
As we observed recently, a deals site in China now needs in excess of $32 million in revenue per month in order to be considered a top player. Alibaba’s Juhuasuan dominates the sector with 47.8 percent market share, with Meituan second (13.1 percent), and Dianping third (8.6 percent). Groupon’s China site, Gaopeng languishes in ninth place in this most recent market share data:
(UPDATE: Corrected the ‘$32 million’ figure mentioned above after a correction was issued from our original source).
(Hat-tip to Techweb (article in Chinese) for spotting this)