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Ctrip and Alibaba collaborating over ‘gastronome economy’

Ctrip and Alibaba collaborating over ‘gastronome economy’

When you think of Chinese internet giants, Alibaba – the country’s biggest online retailer, provider of cloud computing software, and general internet entrepreneur – is the first name that comes up. But Ctrip, if you’re into travel, might not be far behind: it’s China’s biggest online travel company, and it has plans for expansion. In any case, collaboration between these two titans bodes well for whatever it is that’s being collaborated upon – and today, it’s eating. Yes, Alibaba and Ctrip want to make it easier for you to get a good meal out.

Ctrip’s share price is up 29%, and Alibaba’s 93%, year to date

SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

The two companies operate competing services in the realm of food reviewing. Ctrip has Gourmet List, a food and dining app that lists 20,000 (primarily foreign) fine dining restaurants aimed at Chinese travellers. Users can leave reviews, make comments, browse ratings, and look for discounts, on the app. Alibaba’s Koubei is a very similar service – but it’s much larger (against Gourmet List, Koubei has 1.6 million restaurants featured) and entirely local (yes, all 1.6 million are Chinese).

The two companies will now create an economy of scale by sharing information between their apps. This cooperation will “make choosing restaurants more convenient and informed for consumers,” according to Gourmet List’s Liu Xiaozhou. Given that the Chinese – now wealthier and better travelled than ever before – are becoming quite the gastronomes, the two companies could well be onto a winner!