The growing number of influential Weibo commentators are increasingly opening their own online shops or promoting products.
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Another company growing internationally and through consolidation is Performance Marketing Brands, the parent company of Ebates.com, which enables online shoppers to browse discount offers from more than 1,000 online retailers. In August, the company launched Ebates.ca with 500 retailers and brands offering deals to Canadian online shoppers. That followed the 2011 acquisition of online coupon provider FatWallet, a deal which led to the creation of Performance Marketing Brands.
"There is strength in size and space and efficiencies," says Ebates.com CEO Kevin Johnson. "There's been that first wave of consolidation, and I think there will be more, but not at the same pace."