Chinese tech giants Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. (BABA) and Tencent Holdings Ltd. have struck a deal for the second time this year to combine rival startups. Tencent-backed Dianping Holdings Ltd., a review site similar to Yelp.com (YELP), and Alibaba's Meituan.com, a Chinese version of Groupon.com, said Thursday, Oct. 8, they will combine to form a single company, though they will continue to operate as separate brands. The 'companies will join forces to enhance their respective market positions and growth prospects,' they said. The deal will also serve to lessen competition in the so-called online-to-offline sector in China, where both companies have been burning through cash reserves in a battle, often with each other, to attract users. The deal marks the second time this year that companies backed by Alibaba and Tencent have agreed to combine, following February's $6 billion combination of rival taxi-hailing services. Terms of the deal were not released.