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360Buy Opens a Hotel Booking Site, Now Has a Full Online Travel Service

Steven Millward

China’s second-largest e-commerce site, 360Buy, continues its very aggressive expansion today with the launch of a hotel booking site. It’s quite a break away from the company’s usual focus on books, electronics, and clothing, and is a significant threat to the country’s main travel services, Ctrip (NASDAQ:CTRP - News), Elong (NASDAQ:LONG - News), and Qunar. The B2C e-commerce site started selling plane tickets last summer, and so now it has augmented its offering to the point that it has a fully-fledged travel service.

The new portal, at hotel.360buy.com, also includes discounted daily deals on hotel bookings, making this something of a challenge to the country’s leading group-buying sites, Lashou, and Meituan.

360Buy said in a press release accompanying the launch that is has 20,000 hotels on the new site, across mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau.

In recent months we’ve seen the company make acquisitions, plan to open an e-book platform, and launch a luxury brand clothing store. It’s all a part of 360Buy’s stated aim to expand well beyond its initial product range and challenge Alibaba’s Tmall.com, the current market leader, for top spot in China. It may seek to IPO in the US, if economic conditions improve, in 2012.

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