Entries by Jon Sussman

As China steps up enforcement of sovereignty claims, does Marriott have room to maneuver?

In April Chinese aviation authorities directed 36 international airlines to amend their websites to reflect China’s sovereignty claims over Taiwan, and to accurately show the status of Hong Kong and Macau as Chinese territories. Did Marriott’s unreserved apology make it difficult for the company to retain some flexibility in what appears to be unsettled ground for US based companies operating internationally?

Mitt Romney, Marriott board member, repeatedly rattled sabers against China

Mitt Romney has served on the Marriott board for a cumulative 17 years as of 2018, longer than any other board member who is not part of the Marriott family. However, as a candidate for office, he has repeatedly engaged in saber rattling against China, supporting arm sales to Taiwan and proposing a US military build up in the Pacific to counter China.

Romance of the Three Kingdoms: Marriott’s China Ambitions Caught in Struggle Between Tech Giants

In a previous post, we discussed how Marriott and Alibaba agreed to promote Marriott in China through Alibaba’s subsidiary Fliggy at the same time that the partnership between Marriott and Ctrip, the leader of the Chinese online travel market, was unraveling. The competition between Ctrip and Fliggy is a microcosm of a much larger on-going battle between three Chinese tech giants: Baidu, Alibaba, and Tencent (the trio is often referred to as BAT).

Downranked by Largest Chinese Travel Agency, Marriott Tried Again with Smaller Competitor

In August 2017, Marriott International announced a joint venture with the Chinese tech giant Alibaba and its subsidiary Fliggy. Coverage in Western media outlets touted how the deal could enable Marriott to reach millions of Chinese travelers.

But the U.S. press did not report that the Alibaba deal came in the wake of a conflict between Marriott and Ctrip, the most dominant player in the Chinese online travel industry.

What deal did Marriott make with Alibaba? An Explainer

In August 2017, Marriott International announced a strategic partnership with the Chinese tech giant Alibaba. In its press release, Marriott claimed that the partners would redefine the travel experience for hundreds of millions of Chinese consumers.

Western press mentions of the deal have repeated Marriott’s rosy predictions. In this post, we break down what Alibaba is, and explain the components of the deal.