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90% of China’s daily deals go through just 10 sites [report]

This is interesting. The wave of Groupon clones that hit China a few years back have consolidated to the degree that 90% of the country’s daily deals go through just 10 sites.

In fact, a report by Chinese deals aggregator Dataotuan suggests that the top three providers (Juhuasuan, Meituan and Dianping) lay claim to a massive 55% of the market.

As is the case with a number of Western sites in China, Groupon has bee unable to replicate the success of its clones in the country, with just 1.7% market share. While Groupon might not be faring as well in the country as it does in other markets, it can take comfort from the fact that the space is at least still growing in China.

According to Dataotuan, the number of deals, average revenue, average price and the number of sales per deal all saw gradual growth last year. A forthcoming merger with FTuan, Tencent’s QQTuan aggregator, could also help Groupon find its way out the doldrums.

The most bought deals in 2012, says Dataotuan, were movies, Hotpot and drinks/desserts, with various sites specialising in different kinds of deals. Juhuasuan, for instance, specializes in product deals, and grabbed 88.1% market share in the segment last year.

The consolidation of China’s group-buying space is perhaps inevitable. While the model is relatively easy to set up, it’s not that easy to sustain, even in an online market growing as fast as China’s has. Even the largest players can sometimes struggle.

Groupon’s woes both in its native US and in other countries around the world, have ironically seen it become the model of how not to do group-buying rather than the successful business that so many tried to emulate just a few years ago.

Dataotuan collects data from 60 different daily deal sites across 243 cities in China.

Author | Nur Bremmen: Staff reporter

Nur Bremmen: Staff reporter
Nur is an enigma with a passion for creating words. He recently entered a love affair with technology and chorizo sausages. He travels a lot -- you catch him, if you can, at a Silicon Cape event every now and again. More