Groupon China's Interface: An Example of Minimal Localization

Wed, 03/16/2011 - 13:58

Groupon China posted their first deal today. This gives us a good chance to check out what they've done with the interface. 

It's obvious that Groupon China (, has chosen to make as few changes as possible. They've maintained a very similar design and brand image with their parent site, The changes they have made reflect the different players in the Chinese Internet ecosystem, most notably the choice of social networks. 

While makes use of Facebook and Twitter, features QQ Microblog, QQ Kongjian, Sina Microblog, Kaixin, Renren and Douban. This makes perfect sense since there are no two social networks in China that dominate the market like Twitter and Facebook do in the West. QQ has been given special attention in the blue sub-header bar, as users can sign in to using their QQ accounts, allowing over 600 million active QQ users quick access to QQ is Groupon's partner in China, so even in the lists of sharing icons, QQ's platforms are displayed first, even though QQ's microblog is less important than Sina's microblog 

Another notable difference in Gaopeng's interactions with other platforms is their choice of map provider. While integrates with Google Maps, integrates with Baidu Maps.  

At first I was wondering why they made changes to several other page elements, such as the display of pricing and discount information. But it seems these aren't modifications for the China market, but are actually part of the template used for other Groupon sites, such as Groupon France and Groupon Argentina

Below are screenshots of (on the left) and 

Groupon China Screenshot Screenshot

"Gaopeng" is either an absolutely excellent or absolutely awful name. I'll tell you which it is in my next post, and why. :) For now, it's time to sleep. 



I wonder if they'll they get their lunch eaten by a local company that copies the design/concept wholesale and works better with government regulators and business.

Given how many Groupon competitors there are in Canada/US, is the market over there already flooded?

Yes, they're are loads of competitors in China already. I think Groupon has a chance though. Many Groupon competitors in China have focused on certain niches or differentiated their business model. It's super competitive. 


Groupon's partnership with QQ was a good move, assuming QQ really does put some muscle behind it and will give them the support with business development that they will need.


Checkout, that's not owned by Groupon and the cloniest clone I've seen. :)  

Hilarious, it's the wild west.

Tait - Interesting post on the changes to the UI for Groupon in China. What I'm really interested in knowing is if Groupon is maintaining its "cheekiness" in terms of its writing style. In the U.S., what makes me read Groupon ads is the incredibly engaging and fun content they write. Are they doing the same thing in Chinese?

I tried to translate a page using Google Translate - I bet you can imagine how well that worked (NOT!).

Thanks. Val

Hi Val,

I'm Chinese, and I think the contents of Groupon in China is good, because it has all the details of the discounts/prodoucts/retautants in the items.... and the pictures are good too.

But the writing style is not special as the "cheekiness" way in U.S., it's just like the other group-buy websites in China. Thanks:)


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