SHANGHAI, Jan. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Dianping.com, a leading local lifestyle information and trading platform in China, received more than 3.5 billion page views monthly through its website and mobile devices during the fourth quarter of 2013, of which, over 75 percent originated from mobile users, according to data just released on January 8. The company's mobile apps have more than 90 million unique users.
In addition, Dianping.com CEO Zhang Tao disclosed in his 2014 new year's message to the firm's employees that in the past year, Dianping.com has shifted from an information-only platform to a dual-platform strategic architecture as an information and trading platform and restructured the organization into a series of business units.
Mr. Zhang said that the restructuring into business units helps to clearly define what Dianping's businesses are: horizontal product lines divided into information platforms such as merchant information, user comments, and merchant promotions, as well as trading platforms such as group-buying businesses, reservations, and takeaway, making it the only company that can fully meet demands of both merchants and users. The company also plans to make forays into new verticals, with the wedding and hotel sectors on the roadmap for 2014, in addition to its traditional business lines in restaurants and entertainment.
Mr. Zhang believes that O2O (online to offline), which was a hot keyword in China's online world in 2013, will continue to grow even more important in 2014, as the next big online trend in China will be the continued transformation of offline services by the Internet and especially by the mobile Internet. The next Internet giant is certain to emerge from the O2O arena.
Successful strategic transformation relies on strong support at the business level. As a representative illustration of a successful O2O application, Dianping.com's group-buying business has developed rapidly, not only by taking the No.1 position in the group-buying marketplaces in tier 1 and 2 cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, but by also strategically (and effectively) subduing its rivals. In 2014, the company expects to continue the huge lead it has against its rivals in tier 1 and 2 cities, while rolling out their full agenda in tier 3 and 4 cities.
Additionally, the Reservation Business Unit had a breakthrough in the online restaurant booking service. As of the end of December 2013, over 1.2 million restaurant reservations had been booked online through Dianping. Of those, one million of those bookings occurred in Q3 and Q4, demonstrating how the business has moved into a stage of explosive growth. The head of the business unit estimates that total bookings online in 2014 will hit the 30 million mark and that the number of bookings per month is expected to catch up with or surpass that of OpenTable, a U.S.-based listed company that is presently the world's leading restaurant reservation service provider, by the end of the year.
Furthermore, in identifying the huge potential of the hotel booking and wedding markets in China, Zhang has already undertaken several initiatives, with the aim of becoming the "Tripadvisor" of China and of building the country's No.1 wedding brand, in an move to further enhance the quality of life for its users.
Both the company's strategic transformation and its business developments have been well reflected in the data, which is one of core values at Dianping.com. As of Q4 2012, the firm was receiving more than 1.4 billion page views monthly through its website and mobile devices, while its mobile apps had more than 54 million accumulated unique users. These figures increased by 150 percent and 36 million - equivalent to the entire population of Canada - to 3.5 billion and 90 million, respectively, in Q4 2013.
Zhang added that Dianping.com plans to build on its passion and take an even more aggressive stance in 2014, in great contrast to its previous low-profile, practical image, leading to higher expectations from the industry. At the same time, he expressed his desire to hire the best that the industry can offer and even disclosed the contents of the email of the person in charge of recruitment in his new year's message for recruiting talented people.