Groupon Venture in China Shuts Some Offices

Groupon Inc.’s joint venture in China has closed offices in some cities and laid off hundreds of employees, according to people familiar with the situation, raising questions about the online coupon company’s strategy in a big market ahead of its planned initial public offering.

Former and current employees of the Chinese joint venture, which operates the website Gaopeng.com, say more than 10 offices around China have been closed, including one in the northern city of Tangshan where an employee said he and his co-workers were locked out last Friday after their lunch break just after being notified of the shutdown.

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