Tencent invests in Dianping for better O2O

Updated: 2014-02-19 17:23

By HE WEI in Shanghai (chinadaily.com.cn)

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Tencent Holdings Ltd, China's largest Internet firm by market value, has bought a minority stake in a local life information provider, as part of a recent bid to merge its online resources with offline businesses.

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The investment gives Tencent a 20 percent stake in Shanghai-based Dianping.com, the country's most recognized ratings and reviews site, according to a media briefing on Wednesday.

The tie-up is aimed at fostering the "leading online-to-offline ecosystem in China", leveraging Dianping's high quality offline merchants' network and Tencent's social communications platforms such as WeChat and QQ, according to a statement from Tencent.

"Mobile Internet has profoundly changed the local life and O2O market. Cooperating with Tencent will help us provide better user experience and merchant service capability, accelerating our national expansion, especially in tier-three and tier-four cities," said Zhang Tao, chief executive officer of Dianping.com.

Martin Lau, president of Tencent, believes the partnership reiterates the company's "open platform strategy" by collaborating with vertical category leaders to promote better services via mobile devices.

Founded in 2003, Dianping positions its business model as a mixture of Yelp Inc and Groupon Inc, and offers both restaurant reviews and group-buying services across 2,300 cities in China.

It boasted 90 million monthly active users and generated more than 30 million reviews by the end of 2013, according to company data.

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