The big e-commerce corporations are eyeing the growing market of online-to-offline purchasing. (C) meituan.com

Alibaba, Tencent team up to control online-to-offline business

The big e-commerce corporations are eyeing the growing market of online-to-offline purchasing. (C) meituan.com

The big e-commerce corporations are eyeing the growing market of online-to-offline purchasing in China. (C) meituan.com

Who would have guessed? The two arch-rivals in China’s e-commerce sector are reportedly about to team up for a strategic alliance in local online-to-offline services. The two competitors have invested some $15 billion in two players in that particular field, Meituan.com and Dianping.com, and could lead them into a merger.

The businesses are backed by the two giants in the sector of online-to-offline services and purchasing. Comparable to Groupon in the West, it is where consumers can unite to achieve greater buying power and get discounts on jointly purchased goods and services. This segment is estimated to be worth more than $12 billion in China with Meituan controlling 52 percent of that market and Dianping some 30 percent.

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