Marriott has pursued an ‘asset-light’ strategy, wherein third parties own the hotel properties, and Marriott provides the brand and/or management services. This raises the question: who owns Marriott’s properties in China? In this post, the first in a series, we will examine the ownership structure of Marriott’s hotels in Shanghai, beginning with luxury brands.
The ownership information in this post reflects what we could obtain from public documents, largely from the Shanghai Administration of Industry and Commerce and the Hong Kong Companies Registry. Where the company does not have an English name, a translation of the company’s Chinese name is included in [brackets].
Several of the luxury Marriott hotels in Shanghai are owned wholly or in part by government entities. Additionally, several are owned in whole or in part by entities based outside of mainland China. For non-mainland China companies, the jurisdiction where the company is based is included in (italicized parentheses).
JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai at Tomorrow Square
The JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai at Tomorrow Square is ultimately owned by上海市国有资产监督管理委员会, an agency of the Shanghai government.
JW Marriott Hotel Shanghai Changfeng Park
This property is majority owned by 丁福如 (Ding Furu), who according to Singapore public records is a Singapore citizen living in Shanghai. A minority interest is held by丁佳磊 (Ding Jialei), a Chinese citizen living in Singapore.
The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai, Pudong
The Ritz-Carlton Shanghai’s ownership traces back to a company in the British Virgin Islands. Seed capital for the hotel’s immediate owner, 上海新陆一房地产有限公司, is denominated in US Dollars.
The Portman Ritz-Carlton, Shanghai
The Portman Ritz-Carlton, Shanghai is part of the Shanghai Centre, a mixed-use development which also includes apartments, offices, and retail. An article from 2001 in the Atlanta Business Chronicle states that ownership of Shanghai Centre was held by Seacliff Ltd., a joint venture between insurance giant American International Group, Japanese construction firm Kajima Corp., hotelier Shangri-La Asia Ltd., and Atlanta developer Portman Holdings.
There is a Seacliff Limited that is currently incorporated in Hong Kong. Seacliff’s board of directors includes executives from Portman Holdings (John C. Portman III), Shangri-La Asia (Lui Man Shing), AIG (John S. Whitaker), and Kajima (Keisuke Koshijima).
Of these four corporations, Shangri-La states it holds a 30% interest in the Ritz-Carlton.
The St. Regis Shanghai Jingan
The Shanghai outpost of the St. Regis brand is split between two groups of owners. Part of the hotel is owned by 光大兴陇信托有限责任公司, a corporation held by four different government entities from across China, including 中国光大集团股份公司, a public bank. The remaining interest traces back to Longtex International Limited, a company headquartered in the British Virgin Islands.
W Shanghai – The Bund
The W Shanghai – The Bund is located in the Sinar Mas Centre. Sinar Mas is an Indonesian conglomerate with holdings in paper products through subsidiary Asia Paper and Pulp (APP). The majority interest in the W Shanghai is held by APP China Holding Limited, headquartered in Mauritius. The remainder is held by HKC (Holdings) Limited, a Chinese property developer headquartered in Bermuda.
Twelve at Hengshan, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Shanghai
Ownership of the Twelve at Hengshan, a hotel in Marriott’s Luxury Collection, is in the hands of 上海市国有资产监督管理委员会, the Shanghai State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission.
The Hongta Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Shanghai
The Hongta Hotel is owned by 中国烟草总公司 (China Tobacco).
 Deanna Ting, “Marriott Is Selling More Starwood Properties to Further Its Asset-Light Strategy,” Skift, 4/4/17. https://skift.com/2017/04/04/marriott-is-selling-more-starwood-properties-to-further-its-asset-light-strategy/.
 Featured Properties, AIG, retrieved 7/9/18. http://www.aig.com/aig-global-real-estate/featured-properties.
 Matt Gove, “Portman seeks fees from partners in Shanghai project,” Atlanta Business Chronicle, 2/19/01. https://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/stories/2001/02/19/story8.html.
 Annual Return for 2017, Seacliff Limited, filed with Hong Kong Companies Registry, 11/08/17.
 Profile of John C. Portman III, Portman USA, retrieved 7/10/18. https://www.portmanusa.com/assets/lib/2015/05/19/c08c40e6a952b4e8c818b26ee2883807.pdf.
 Corporate Profile, Shangri-La Asia, retrieved 7/10/18. http://www.ir.shangri-la.com/ir/en/asia_corporate_profile.asp.
 Our Leadership Team, AIG Global Real Estate, retrieved 7/10/18. http://www.aig.com/aig-global-real-estate/our-leadership-team.
 Directors, Officers, Kajima Corporation, retrieved 7/10/18. https://www.kajima.co.jp/english/prof/officers/index.html.
 2017 Annual Report, Shangri-La Hotels, p. 24. http://www.ir.shangri-la.com/ir/en/reports/annualreports/2017/ar2017.pdf.
 Business Profile, Sinar Mas Group, 2016. http://www.sinarmas.com/en/images/download/Sinar%20mas%20Business%20profile.pdf.
 Annual Report 2017, HKC (Holdings) Limited, pgs. 3 and 11. http://www.hkcholdings.com/attachment/2018041817320200033113667_en.pdf.