A new company is attracting attention in the Chinese Internet community and offering strong competition to Alibaba, a current leader in this billion-dollar market. Wang Xing, a rapidly rising influencer providing strong competition for Alibaba’s Jack Ma, founded Meituan.com in 2010.

If support from the financial community is an indicator of a company’s strength, then Meituan.com is a strong contender for success, since Anton Levy, Chairman of General Atlantic, sits on their Board of Directors.

United States consumers may not be familiar with the type of Internet business practiced by these leading Chinese companies. It’s known as online-to-offline commerce or “O2O,” a great term to remember when you want to impress your friends in the business world.

In his role of founder and leader of Meituan.com Wang Xing is reported to have created a $7 billion valuation for his company. It’s an impressive achievement for a 36-year old businessman.

What’s interesting about the growth of Meituan, for those unfamiliar with O2O, is that its great value is built by through one smartphone sale at a time. Billions of such sales add up to a huge valuation. O2O commerce uses smartphones to discover products and services and complete the sale online. In China this business model is used to pay for taxis, food delivery, movie tickets, and even home décor items.

Once a customer has purchased their product or service online they are directed to a physical location to pick up the purchase. It’s a unique combination of a payment system and a customer barker who attracts online shoppers to a brick and mortar location.

You may think this is an odd business model, but it’s actually quite popular in the United States, used by Groupon and LivingSocial. It also represents a strategy used by major retailers to prevent show rooming and ensures that customers will make their purchases with the store that is providing them services and information.

Be on the alert for the further development of this Online-To-Offline economy well beyond the Chinese Internet economy. In the coming years, forecasters predict O2O will move beyond e-commerce and will be used to sell cultural experiences, healthcare, and financial services.