Alibaba becomes the fourth largest shareholder of Groupon

Updated: 2016-02-17 16:48

By Meng Jing(

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Alibaba becomes the fourth largest shareholder of Groupon

The Groupon website is seen on Thursday, November 8, 2012. [Photo/IC]

E-commerce conglomerate Alibaba Group Holding Ltd pushed further in overseas expansion by investing a large stake in a United States-headquartered daily deals site Groupon.

Alibaba recently bought nearly 33 million shares of the Nasdaq-listed Groupon Inc. The purchase is about 5.6 percent of Groupon shares outstanding, enough to make Alibaba the fourth largest shareholder, according to FactSet data.

The stock of Groupon surged about 40 percent in trading on Tuesday, which came after Alibaba disclosed its investment in a SEC regulatory filing last Friday.

Alibaba didn't disclose the amount of its investment in Groupon.

Analysts said the investment in the Chicago-based Groupon has something to do with Alibaba selling a stake in the Chinese group buying player Meituan-Dianping.

Eyeing China's booming online-to-offline sector, including plenty of daily deals related services such as restaurant booking and movie ticket buying, Alibaba is in need of a strong alliance to fight against its rivals Tencent Holdings Ltd and Baidu Inc.

"Koubei, the group-buying website backed by Alibaba, is relatively small when it comes to a fight with the Tencent-backed Meituan-Dianping," said Lu Zhenwang, an independent Internet expert and the chief executive officer of the Shanghai-based Wanqing Consultancy.

"Through investing into Groupon, Alibaba is expected to get some technology support, such as improving the experience of booking seats at restaurants, from the US group-buying pioneer," he said.