Google Launches Group Deals Aggregator in China
Group buying works by offering discounted deals on products and services.
In China, Group buying sites are very popular. And because they are so many, consumers end up hoping from one site to another to check who has the best offer. Google has come up with a solution to put everything into a single site for easy research and shopping.
After pulling back from its operations in China more than a year ago, Google returned and launched a new portal called Shihui that allows users to search for local deals on so called “group-buying” websites. This search feature is experimental, aiming to help people find deals through China’s group buying sites. The site allows users to search for deals via category, location, price, group buy brands, and the size of the discount, in the top menu bar.
Shihui allows the Google to tap into the expanding market without establishing its own group buying company in China. Groupon, a US company that launched its own Chinese site struggled with the competition.
The group buying market in China is far different from the one in the U.S. The rules and regulations in China are also different than in other markets which usually cause difficulty for international companies that have yet to understand the way China operates. Google faced difficulties in securing a bigger hold of the country’s market. China’s prevalent censorship of the Web has also played a role. Google sites such as YouTube, Google Plus and Gmail have been blocked by the government so it cannot be used to spread anti-government contents. Since Shihui relates to e-commerce, China’s Internet censors won’t be giving too much attention to it. It’s unlikely that Google Shihui will get blocked
Understanding the local trend is one of the keys for international web companies to succeed in China. Now, the big question is.. Will Google succeed in a country where many internet companies have struggled?