"All of the Chinese group buying companies, none of them are profitable. Everyone is sort of like a sinking ship," said Du Yinan, the CEO of 24Quan, on Tuesday. "If no one reaches profitability by a certain time, everyone will die."
China's group buying market exploded last year, with many of the sites using a business model similar to that of Groupon in the U.S. The country now has 5,085 group buying sites, according to Tuan800.com, an Internet portal that aggregates Chinese group buying deals.
Business executives and analysts, however, expect the market will gradually be reduced to a few leading sites that are able to survive over the long-term.
Wang Xing, CEO of Chinese group buying site Meituan, echoed the view and believes 99.9 percent of all China's group buying sites will die out. "So 5,000 times 0.001 percent. That should be five. Five is enough for the China market," he said.
Wang and Du gave their views on the market while speaking at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in Beijing. "We have a single digit margin, that's normal here," Wang said. "By the end of next year, we may be able to see it at 10 to 15 percent."