CHINESE TRAVEL
& BOOKING PLATFORMS

It is not not an easy task to make sense of the vast landscape of travel & booking platforms on the Chinese market.

Among the hundreds of different platforms only a handful is relevant to a destination abroad - additionally each platform has a very different use case scenario.


Travel planning

Online Influencer


Hotels

Online Influencer


To make it easier to understand we have made this overview of the TOP10 industry channels and their most important features.

CTRIP

Profile

Ctrip successfully integrated the Chinese travel booking industry to provide its more than 300 million users a one-stop travel solution that hasn’t yet been matched by any other platform in China. Thanks to its vast catalogue and high profitability, the company was able to start its global expansion under a new brand - Trip.com

Strengths

Largest library of hotels and other bookable items; global brand and cooperation with destinations

Weaknesses

Limited information about destinations

Info

Founded: 1999
Headquarters: Shanghai, China
Subsidiaries: Skyscanner, Trip.com, EZ Travel

QUNAR

Profile

Qunar is committed to building an ecosystem that serves the entire tourism value chain. Unlike other booking platforms, it offers a large catalogue of high quality editorial content alongside its booking functionality.

Strengths

#1 travel search engine in China; cooperation with Ctrip, eLong and other platforms

Weaknesses

Reliance on editorial content limits the scope of destinations available compared to Mafengwo and Qyer

Info

Founded: 2005
Headquarters: Beijing, China

FLIGGY / FEIZHU

Profile

Fliggy is the youngest company on this list. It was founded by Alibaba, one of the largest companies in China, and received unprecedented levels of funding and state of the art technology from its parent company. It uses the same system of “stores” as Alibaba’s Taobao where the user purchases products directly from the provider instead of a 3rd party.

Strengths

Owned by Alibaba; different approach from other booking platforms

Weaknesses

Very limited number of profiles for destinations abroad compared to other market leaders

Info

Founded: 2016
Headquarters: Shanghai, China

Tongcheng

Profile

Tongcheng is a platform backed by Tencent (WeChat) with a tight integration with WeChat services - WeChat Wallet, Mini-programs and share function. It is the default option for all booking via WeChat. The company has recently merged with eLong (#6) and both companies are now undergoing tighter integration and expect a rapid growth over the near future.

Strengths

Strong integration with WeChat; integration with eLong

Weaknesses

Lack of travel planning information

Info

Founded: 2004
Headquarters: Suzhou, China

Mafengwo

Profile

Mafengwo is the largest travel experience sharing website in the country, covering the world's most popular tourist destinations. It specializes on providing a platform to travel community for sharing experiences. Mafengwo is in direct competition with Qiongyou (#6).

Strengths

Largest library of user generated content in Chinese

Weaknesses

Poor quality of profiles for non-Asia destinations

Info

Founded: 2010
Headquarters: China

Qyer / Qiongyou

Profile

A slightly less popular alternative to Mafengwo (#5), Qiongyou is based on a “Wikipedia-like” system where majority content is generated by users. Qiongyou covers destinations around the world and offers a profile page with user comments for each POI - from restaurants and hotels to sightseeing attractions and anything else worth seeing in the destination. This makes it, together with Mafengwo, an ideal platform for trip planning. Users can also purchase tickets and accommodation through integration with 3rd party booking platforms.

Strengths

Global coverage, advanced app, automated travel planning and recommendations

Weaknesses

General quality of profiles for less popular destinations leaves a lot to be desired

Info

Founded: 2004
Headquarters: China

Tuniu

Profile

Tuniu managed to break the traditional ways of doing travel business and emerged as a strong contender to Ctrip, the market leader in China. The platform focuses on booking services and connecting users with travel agencies.

Strengths

Innovative approach

Weaknesses

Unlike established competition the platform is currently losing money

Info

Founded: 2006
Headquarters: Nanjing, China

eLong

Profile

Elong is focused on hotel and flight tickets booking services and is a dominant player in the industry. It has recently merged with Tongcheng (#5) in hopes of expanding its services and user base.

Strengths

Vast catalogue of hotels in Asia

Weaknesses

Low quality of profiles for POIs abroad; narrow focus on booking

Info

Founded: 1999
Headquarters: Beijing, China
Subsidiaries: Sinohotel, huoche.com

Lvmama

Profile

Lvmama entered the online travel marketplace in 2008 as a platform focusing on DIY tours. Today the website offers a large spectrum of travel products for destinations around the world - from individual attraction tickets to full packaged tours.

Strengths

No direct competition thanks to its unique focus on DIY tours where users can plan their trip to the smallest details in advance

Weaknesses

A niche product prevents Lvmama from capturing larger market share

Info

Founded: 2008
Headquarters: Shanghai, China

Tripadvisor / Maotuying

Profile

As the only overseas online travel platform among the top ten travel websites, Tripadvisor has been highly relevant around the world since its establishment in 2000. In 2015, TripAdvisor launched a new brand for China - "Maotuying" and announced a series of strategic initiatives to boost the local outbound tourism market. Today it is a well known member of the Chinese online travel market, popular mainly among more experienced travelers.

Strengths

Extensive global coverage; modern website and mobile apps; popularity among experienced FITs

Weaknesses

Majority of comments and content primarily not in English; poor quality of available reviews

Info

Founded: 2000
Headquarters: Needham, USA
Subsidiaries: Seatguru

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Tourismus+Congress GmbH, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

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“It was a blast working with you and your team! You have brought our product to China."

Lisa Schmidt
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“Thank you so much for all your work and keeping everyone in the loop."

Jenny Berthling
Stockholm Business Region AB., Sweden


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China at the centre of it all.

Shanghai Jungle was founded in 2013. The company is based in Shanghai and solely focused on helping western companies, organizations and government agencies with their China marketing.

Our focus is mainly online marketing - but we also provide offline marketing, market research and other related services. Our team consists of Chinese, German, Danish and Czech nationals, which we believe enable us to both understand our clients and also the Chinese market. We currently serve more than 100 clients from 12 different countries.

Contact

info@shanghaijungle.com
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