Alibaba launches online group shopping in Hong Kong, Taiwan

E-commerce giant launches daily deals service in the markets amid the rise of aggregators

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 April, 2013, 4:42am

Alibaba Group, the mainland's largest e-commerce services provider, has extended the reach of its market-leading daily deals group-shopping business into Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The company's two popular e-commerce operations, consumer-to-consumer online retail giant Taobao Marketplace and group-buying specialist Juhuasuan, jointly launched yesterday the Juhuasuan Overseas group-shopping platform for the two markets.

Its entry comes as the number of online daily deals players in Hong Kong has fallen, while so-called group-buying aggregators have become more in demand.

Aggregator Yahoo HK Deals, part of internet company Yahoo's local operations, surpassed Groupon Hong Kong last year to become the city's leading online group-shopping platform.

Aggregators consolidate information on available daily deals from other group-buying portals while online daily deals players arrange exclusive promotions.

Daphne Lee, the director of Taobao International Business, said Juhuasuan Overseas "will complement the online shopping experience at Taobao Marketplace and Tmall.com for our more than two million registered users in Hong Kong and Taiwan".

Besides receiving discounts on premium products and services, users of Juhuasuan Overseas will be able to search Taobao Marketplace's database of more than 800 million product listings.

The group-shopping platform will feature between 12 and 20 new deals each day in popular product categories, including women's apparel, children's toys and clothing, home furnishings and consumer electronics accessories.

"We believe the group-buying markets in Hong Kong and Taiwan are big enough for all players to grow," Alibaba spokeswoman Florence Shih said.

Alibaba's Juhuasuan, which started in March 2010, remained the mainland's top group-shopping platform last year, with 47.8 per cent market share in the fourth quarter, according to e-commerce research firm Dataotuan.com Users in Hong Kong and Taiwan can log in to Juhuasuan Overseas using their Taobao username and password, and pay for purchases using Visa, MasterCard or JCB credit cards. Products are delivered in about two days after each deal ends.