While Expedia has taken a step back in China by severing ties with its eLong subsidiary, the Priceline Group and TripAdvisor are increasing their commitments in China despite losing a bunch of money there.
After all the publicity over the last week about Expedia Inc. selling its eLong stake to Ctrip, and the Priceline Group increasing its stake in Ctrip, TripAdvisor announced a new global brand name, Mao Tu Ying, for its China travel sites.
Mao Tu Ying, the company states “is a phonetic word play combining the Chinese characters for owl and journey.” TripAdvisor is known for its owl logo. The tagline is “Experience the world through different perspectives.”
TripAdvisor operates four sites for Chinese travelers: a Taiwan site; a mainland China site, Daodao.com, which is changing its brand to Mao Tu Ying; a site launched in March in simplified Chinese for overseas Chinese living beyond Chinese censors i.e. the Chinese firewall, and Kuxun.com, a metasearch site in mainland China.
TripAdvisor entered China in 2009 by launching a media site under the Daodao brand and acquired a local metasearch site, Kuxun.com, later that year.
In seeking to extend its reach to Chinese travelers inside and outside of the country, TripAdvisor is consolidating the site under the Mao Tu Ying brand, with the exception of Kuxun.com.
Chinese users worldwide notched more than 60 million sessions to these sites in the first four months of 2015, TripAdvisor states.
In addition to the debut of the new TripAdvisor brand for China, the company updated its mobile app for Chinese travelers, featuring support for Apple Watch and a native iPad experience.
Tailored for China, the app includes WeChat integration and travel guides in Chinese.
While Expedia has taken a step back in China by severing ties with its eLong subsidiary, the Priceline Group and TripAdvisor are increasing their commitments in China.
Expedia was and TripAdvisor is investing in China despite financial losses there.
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Photo credit: TripAdvisor is rebranding its China travel sites to Mao Tu Ying, a wordplay based on the Chinese characters for 'owl' and 'journey.' TripAdvisor