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March 4, 2011

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Discount coupon row between DQ and Meituan

THE battle about coupons between Dairy Queen, the United States-based ice-cream chain store, and, one of the most popular group purchase websites in the country, has lasted for four days and is set to continue. The two companies, however, promised that consumers wouldn't suffer.

On Monday, Meituan released a group purchase package, saying that buyers can get a DQ coupon, valued at 50 yuan (US$7), for 29 yuan. By yesterday, the package had sold out, and more than 12,000 consumers all over the country took the offer. The coupon will last a month from March 10.

DQ, however, published a statement on its website, saying that the company has "never cooperated with 'the third party' to promote a group purchase," and the coupon would not be accepted.

Yesterday, the customer service hotline of told Shanghai Daily that the coupon is valid and consumers need not worry. In a statement published yesterday by Beijing-based Sankuai Technology Co Ltd, the website's owner, said they had reached a written agreement with DQ, so they "were shocked" by DQ's statement. The website said it would "take action" if DQ scraps the contract unilaterally.

Meituan said the dialogue with the company was still going on, and it promised that they will give refunds if the coupon is rejected at any DQ outlets.

DQ yesterday issued another statement, saying that the deal mentioned was "fake and invalid."

The statement, however, didn't say whether the coupon would be accepted, but said that they will try to protect consumers' rights, along with The -communication will go on, and the argument is expected to be settled soon, said the company.


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