China’s top e-commerce player, Alibaba, also runs the nation’s leading daily deals site. Run under the familiar Taobao brand name and URL as Juhuasuan , the site is today expanding to include customers and daily deals in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Centered around a new overseas site at hk.ju.taobao.com, the number of offers right now is very limited, but that will expand over time. The main Juhuasuan deals site has several thousand product listings at any given time, so it might be a while before relevant deals are made available to new users in Hong Kong and Taiwan. ( UPDATED the stat about product listings to correct a mistake). This new version of Juhuasuan will focus on deals for things like clothing, homeware, mother and baby products, consumer electronic accessories, and children’s toys. Travel and “lifestyle” deals will appear in a few weeks’ time, though it’s not clear if that will cover food/restaurants. But it will be an interesting challenge to Groupon in both Hong Kong and Taiwan. The new site has ‘traditional’ Chinese characters, which is the script used in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Just last week we were talking to Daphne Lee, the director of Taobao international business, who told us how Alibaba is keen to expand its various e-commerce offerings to Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and across Southeast Asia, though there’s no word yet of the whole site being made available in English or other languages. In today’s announcement, Daphne said:
[W]e firmly believe will enhance and complement the online shopping experience at Taobao Marketplace and Tmall.com for our more-than two million registered users in Hong Kong and Taiwan. In 2012, we continued to improve upon platform infrastructure and introduced new features such as the Alipay Card to make online shopping more convenient for Hong Kong and Taiwan consumers. Users can expect an even more diverse and comprehensive set of new and localized features and services to be rolled out in 2013.
This is the second consumer-oriented Alibaba site to venture overseas after the afore-mentioned expansion of the C2C Taobao shopping site. The Juhuasuan overseas service is promising delivery of its items in one or two days. For travel and lifestyle deals, QR codes or serial numbers will be employed so that shoppers can collect their deal from a retailer. In our most recent daily deals industry stats, Taobao Juhuasuan has 47.8 percent market share by revenue - that’s way ahead of the indie Groupon clone Meituan with 13.1 percent share.
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