An online coupon sent via email from Groupon is pictured on a laptop screen in Los Angeles
U.S.-based discount coupon site has launched a group-buying site in China, called REUTERS

U.S.-based discount coupon site has launched a group-buying site in China, called

GaoPeng, funded by Groupon, Tencent Collaboration Fund and Yunfeng Capital, is now accepting email registrations from local consumers, with daily deals promoting local merchants debuting in March, the company said in a statement on its website on Tuesday.

We are excited to be in China collaborating with a leading Internet company and highly-respected business leaders, said Andrew Mason, founder and CEO of Groupon. We look forward to working with Tencent Collaboration Fund and Yunfeng Capital to bring Mainland China Internet users unbeatable deals from top local businesses and create new revenue streams for merchants.

Groupon said the new site will offer its subscribers discounts on eating, shopping and entertainment in Beijing and Shanghai. The company also plans to expand into other major Chinese cities.

China has more than 450 million people online but competition in its Internet market is intense. Global e-commerce services such as have struggled to gain a foothold against aggressive local rivals, according to Associated Press.

The collaboration combines Groupon's global group-buying experience with Tencent's in-depth knowledge of Chinese online communities, the statement added.

Groupon is a recognized brand name with excellent operational and sales execution capabilities. GaoPeng will learn from the international group-buying experience of Groupon while focusing on the local market in China. We are committed to catering to the local and diversified shopping needs of local customers and to the business needs of local merchants, said Yun Ouyang, head of GaoPeng.

Recently, Groupon rejected $5 billion offer bid from technology giant Google and raised $950 million from private investors in January, which it plans to use to fund its expansion.

Groupon, a 2-year-old startup based in Chicago, dangles a different bargain each day to people signed up for the service. Besides North America, Groupon also operates in South America, Europe and Asia.

Groupon employs about 3,000 people and is run by its 30-year-old founder, Andrew Mason.