The South China Morning Post reports that since 2013, the three Chinese internet majors — Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent (BAT) — have made a combined US$75 billion of investments in acquiring strategic partners, according to an HSBC research note in November. The BAT group has emerged as the dominant force in mergers and acquisitions on the mainland, with deals last year in highly competitive segments — mobile ride-hailing app, online classifieds, online travel and online-to-offline (O2O) services. Of that total, 66 per cent was made in e-commerce and nine per cent in O2O local services. HSBC lists the tools of the O2O business as promotions, discounts and pre-ordering.
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