Weeks after the popular "Deal of the Day" website decided to yank its "Tibet" TV ad and apologize for what had come across during its Super Bowl debut as insensitivity to the plight of Tibetan people, The Wall Street Journal reports Groupon is preparing to launch in China.
Loretta Chao writes:
In a Beijing office adorned with a large Groupon sign, staff are conducting job interviews. A person in the office on Saturday said the company operates Gaopeng.com...[J]ob listings for sales, marketing, finance, customer service and other staff for Groupon have been posted by headhunters on Chinese job and university sites in recent weeks. "The largest group-buying site is hiring in Shanghai!" the ads say.
Groupon is not the first U.S.-based company to try to capitalize on China's more than 450 million Internet users, not to mention the growing popularity of group discount sites around the world. Nor will it be the last. But hopefully it can learn from those who have gone before (Google, anyone?) how to survive in such a highly-regulated environment where the culture is so different than ours.
Gaopeng.com is reportedly registered to a Chinese company that holds a stake in Digital Sky Technologies. The Russian Internet firm is one of Groupon's backers.