According to owner George Chen, E-Ha’s goal is simple. Take advantage of China’s wide use of cell phone text messaging to offer discounts and get diners into restaurants, particularly on slow nights. Start in Shanghai and hope that it can spread from there.
E-Ha lets users search online for Shanghai restaurants by cuisine, neighborhood, price and ratings. The service concentrates on finding discounted meals.
On the mobile end, users can request restaurant recommendations by text message and then book a table from their cell phone.
Still the project faces considerable challenges.
For example, in preparation for the Olympics, the Chinese government cracked down on text messaging.
The order shut down E-Ha’s text messaging service, forcing the start-up to reapply for an operating license. By the time E-Ha was able to resume its service a few weeks later, it had lost momentum.
It also required users to reprogram their cell phones with a new number. Now it is trying again.
Source: SF Gate San Francisco Chronicle
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