Marriott’s Select Service Partner Pursued Other Deals After Signing Fairfield Agreement (Select Service Growth in China, Part 2)

(Signing ceremony from Marriott press release, 9/13/16)

In a previous post, we discussed how Marriott made a deal with Chinese hotel company Dossen to expand the select service Fairfield brand in China. We explained that Marriott’s deal came nearly two years after a similar deal made by Hilton with Plateno Hotels to grow the Hampton brand, and that the Marriott deal proposed far fewer hotels than the Hilton deal.

Two other concerning features about Dossen stand out. Although it has grown in the past few years, Dossen is several times smaller than Plateno and its parent. In addition, since signing the Fairfield agreement with Marriott, Dossen has pursued other development deals in China and announced its intention to expand to Europe.

What capacity does Dossen have to simultaneously expand the Fairfield brand in China and pursue other development deals?

Dossen outstripped by Hilton’s partner Plateno

Hilton’s partner in its Hampton development plan, Plateno, far outstripped Marriott’s partner, Dossen, in terms of hotel rooms.

In 2014, the year that Hilton and Plateno signed their Hampton development deal, Hotels Mag ranked Plateno as the world’s 7th largest hotel chain, with 442,490 rooms. Dossen (then known as Eastern Crown) was ranked at 38, with 33,863 rooms.[1]

In 2015, Plateno merged into Jin Jiang International, forming China’s largest hotel company. Under the merger agreement, Plateno would continue to operate its brands independently.[2] By 2016, Jin Jiang had become the 5th largest global hotel company at 602,350 rooms.[3] That year, Eastern Crown renamed itself Dossen[4] and had moved up to 23 on the global hotel rankings list with 70,865 rooms. [5]

Dossen’s Other Development Plans: New Properties in China, and Expansion to Europe

After signing the Fairfield development deal with Marriott in February 2016, Dossen has announced other development plans.

In May 2017, Dossen signed a deal with Dusit International, a Thai hotelier, to operate 40 branded resorts and residences under the Dusit Princess label across China. Dossen aimed to sign at least 40 DusitPrincess properties throughout China within the next five years, with 27 properties expected to open before 2022.[6] On its website, Dusit listed 5 open properties in China, and another 5 under development.[7]

Dossen has also announced plans for a major expansion into Europe. CEO Hansen Zhao stated that the European expansion would be at the center of a push to make Dossen China’s fifth-largest hotel company.[8]

How will Dossen simultaneously expand the Fairfield brand in China and pursue other development deals?

 

[1] “Hotels 325,” Hotels Mag, July/August 2015.

[2] “Jin Jiang completes merger with Plateno,” Hotel News Now, 10/2/15. http://hotelnewsnow.com/articles/27985/Jin-Jiang-completes-merger-with-Plateno.

[3] “Hotels 325,” Hotels Mag, July/August 2017.

[4] Jeremy Tredinnick, “Dossen Hotel Group plans global expansion,” Business Traveler, 11/8/16. https://www.businesstraveller.com/accommodation/2016/11/08/dossen-hotel-group-plans-global-expansion/.

[5] “Hotels 325,” Hotels Mag, July/August 2017.

[6] “Dusit International forms strategic partnership with Dossen International Group in China,” Dusit International (press release), 5/23/17. http://dtc.listedcompany.com/newsroom/20170523-dtc-news1-en.pdf.

[7] See Opened hotels, Dusit International, retrieved 3/26/18. https://www.dusit.com/findahotel?status=opened; and Development hotels, Dusit Internaitonal, retrieved 3/26/18. https://www.dusit.com/findahotel?status=coming-soon.

[8] Terence Baker, “China’s Dossen embarks on midscale, European push,” Hotel News Now, 3/21/17. http://hotelnewsnow.com/Articles/126606/Chinas-Dossen-embarks-on-midscale-European-push.

论中国精选服务酒店商业合作协议和目标发展量,万豪均逊色于希尔顿 (中国精选服务业增长,第一部分)

2017年3月,万豪执行副总裁兼全球发展官Tony Capuano告诉投资者,国际精选服务可能是公司未来房间增长最具吸引力的机会之一。[1] 万豪在世界上人口最多的国家-中国发展精选服务是决定国际精选服务增长的核心。

2016年,万豪签署协议,决定在中国发展其万枫酒店精选服务品牌。 使用当地酒店连锁集团为合作伙伴与希尔顿为发展其汉普顿品牌所做出的类似商务交易如出一辙。 然而,万豪的交易是在希尔顿酒店交易达成的两年后,而且,希尔顿提议发展的酒店的数量超过万豪酒店提议数量的两倍。

这样的差距对万豪中国精选服务业增长前景释放出什么样的信号?

通过与中国最大的经济品牌合作,汉普顿品牌得以迅猛扩张。

2014年10月,希尔顿宣布与铂涛集团签署了一项授权协议,以在中国开发汉普顿品牌。[2] 据希尔顿集团称,铂涛集团在中国300个城市拥有3,000多家酒店,以及拥有8000万会员的中国最大的酒店忠诚度计划。[3] 在一份2016年发布的新闻稿件中,希尔顿表示该公司计划在十年内开张400个汉普顿酒店。[4]

自2015年12月开设第一家酒店以来,希尔顿汉普顿的数量级在急速增长,[5] 现希尔顿在其网站上已列出了29个中国汉普顿酒店。[6] 2018年3月,希尔顿和铂涛集团宣布他们已在中国签署了第200家酒店协议。[7] 希尔顿宣布,预计2018年将在中国另开业50家汉普顿酒店。[8]

中国万豪万枫酒店的屏幕截图,5/31/18 [9]

中国希尔顿汉普顿酒店的房产截屏,5/31/18。[10] 数字表明每个地点的汉普顿酒店数量。

万豪以寻求商业合作来建立万枫酒店品牌的战略与希尔顿的品牌交易如出一辙,但目标没有那么雄心勃勃。2016年2月,万豪宣布与东呈国际集团(前身为东方皇冠酒店集团)达成开发协议,协议联手在中国引进“Fairfield by Marriott®”(万枫) 酒店品牌。 该协议的目标是在五年内签署140家酒店,其中100家预计将于2021年开业。[11]

第一家万枫酒店于2017年7月开业。[12] 12月,万豪表示,另有8家万枫酒店计划在2018年在中国开业。[13] 截至2018年5月,三家已开业的万枫酒店已列在万豪网站上,还有另外一家酒店待6月开业[14]

万枫酒店发展落后于汉普顿酒店弥合差距的计划是什么?

根据希尔顿和万豪宣布的品牌目标,汉普顿将继续拥有比万枫更大的影响力。

投资者应当询问以下有关万豪在中国的精选服务增长的问题:

  • 为什么万豪等待两年才建立类似希尔顿交易的商业伙伴路径?
  • 为什么万豪酒店预计发展的万枫酒店数量远低于希尔顿预计发展的汉普顿酒店数量?
  • 万豪将为其在中国的另一个服务品牌寻求类似的合作协议吗?

 

[1] Transcript of 2017 Security Analyst Meeting, Marriott International, 3/21/17, p. 37. http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/MAR/4828073936x0x935483/44036211-62F7-4112-80D6-E1218E591E06/MAR_SAM_Transcript_FINAL_3-21-17.pdf.

[2] “Hilton Worldwide Signs Exclusive License Agreement for Major Expansion Of Hampton By Hilton Hotels In China,” Hilton Worldwide, 10/30/14 (from Google Cache, page cached 5/28/18). http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:NRE0BAqa8MgJ:newsroom.hilton.com/index.cfm/news/hilton-worldwide-signs-exclusive-

[3] “Hilton Worldwide Signs Exclusive License Agreement for Major Expansion Of Hampton By Hilton Hotels In China,” Hilton Worldwide, 10/30/14 (from Google Cache, page cached 5/28/18). http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:NRE0BAqa8MgJ:newsroom.hilton.com/index.cfm/news/hilton-worldwide-signs-exclusive-

[4] “Hampton by Hilton Expands in China” [Infographic], retrieved 4/23/18. http://newsroom.hilton.com/assets/HAMP/images/newsroom/2016/Q1/Mar/HamptonChinaInfographic_HR.jpg. Infographic accessed from “Hampton By Hilton Opens Flagship Hotel In China,” Hilton News Room, 3/25/16. http://newsroom.hilton.com/index.cfm/news/hampton-by-hilton-opens-flagship-hotel-in-china.

[5] “The Hampton By Hilton China Story,” Hampton by Hilton Global Media Center, retrieved 4/23/18. http://news.hampton.com/index.cfm/misc/china.

[6] Profiles of Hampton China properties, retrieved 5/31/18. http://newsroom.hilton.com/hampton/properties.

[7] “Hilton and Plateno Reach Major Milestone for Future Hampton by Hilton Hotels in China,” PR Newswire, 3/21/18. https://en.prnasia.com/releases/apac/hilton-and-plateno-reach-major-milestone-for-future-hampton-by-hilton-hotels-in-china-205286.shtml.

[8] “Hampton by Hilton Begins 2018 Welcoming Seven New Properties; Announces More Than 580 Hotels in the Global Pipeline,” Hampton Global Media Center, 2/23/18. http://news.hampton.com/index.cfm/news/hampton-by-hilton-begins-2018-welcoming-seven-new-properties-announces-more-than-580-hotels-in-the-global-pipeline-.

[9] Hotels in China filtered by brand: Fairfield Inn and Suites (map view), Marriott.com, retrieved 5/31/18. http://www.marriott.com/search/filterSearch.mi.

[10] Hampton by Hilton properties (map view), retrieved 5/31/18. http://newsroom.hilton.com/hampton/properties

[11] “Marriott International and Eastern Crown Partner to Launch “Fairfield by Marriott®” a New Affordable Mid-range Hotel for Travelers Across China,” Marriott News Center (press release), 2/17/16. http://news.marriott.com/2016/02/marriott-international-and-eastern-crown-partner-to-launch-fairfield-by-marriott-a-new-affordable-mid-range-hotel-for-travelers-across-china/.

[12] “The Fairfield by Marriott Brand Premiers in China with Fairfield by Marriott Nanning Nanhu Park,” Marriott News Center (press release), 7/11/17. http://news.marriott.com/2017/07/fairfield-marriott-brand-premiers-china-fairfield-marriott-nanning-nanhu-park/.

[13] “Marriott International’s Select-Service Hotels Tier Are Primed For Unprecedented Growth In Asia-Pacific With Exciting New Openings In 2018,” Marriott News Center (press release), 12/13/17. http://news.marriott.com/2017/12/marriott-internationals-select-service-hotels-tier-primed-unprecedented-growth-asia-pacific-exciting-new-openings-2018/

[14] Hotels in China filtered by brand: Fairfield Inn and Suites, Marriott.com, retrieved 5/31/18. http://www.marriott.com/search/filterSearch.mi.

Marriott Lagged Behind Hilton in Select Service Partnership Deal and Targeted Fewer Openings (Select Service Growth in China, Part 1)

In March 2017, Marriott Executive Vice President and Global Development Officer Tony Capuano told investors that international select service might be one of the most compelling opportunities for the company in terms of future rooms growth.[1] Marriott’s ability to grow select service in China, the world’s most populous country, is a key component of international select service growth.

In 2016, Marriott signed a deal to grow its select service Fairfield brand in China. The use of a local partner with hospitality experience mirrored a similar deal made by Hilton for its Hampton brand. However, Marriott’s deal came two years after Hilton’s, and the number of proposed Hilton properties outnumbered Marriott properties more than 2-to-1.

What does this gap signal about Marriott’s prospects for select service growth in China?

Swift growth of Hampton brand through partnership with largest Chinese economy brand

In October 2014, Hilton announced that they had signed a licensing deal with Plateno Hotels Group to develop the Hampton brand in China.[2] According to Hilton, Plateno had a portfolio of over 3,000 hotels in 300 cities across China, as well as China’s largest hotel loyalty program including 80 million members.[3] A 2016 press release indicated that the company planned to open the 400 Hamptons over a decade.[4]

Hilton’s Hampton growth has been swift: since opening their first property in December 2015,[5] Hilton now lists 29 Hamptons in China on their website.[6] In March 2018, Hilton and Plateno announced that they had signed their 200th hotel deal in China.[7] Hilton announced that it expected to open nearly 50 additional Hampton hotels in China in 2018.[8]

Screenshot of Fairfield by Marriott properties in China, 5/31/18 [9]

Screenshot of Hampton by Hilton properties in China, 5/31/18. [10] The numbers indicate the number of Hampton hotels in each location.

Marriott’s partnership to build Fairfield brand echoed Hilton deal, but with less ambitious target

In February 2016, Marriott announced a development deal with Dossen International Group (formerly Eastern Crown Hotels Group) to bring the “FairfieldSM by Marriott®”brand to China. The agreement targeted having 140 hotels signed in five years, of which 100 are expected to be opened by 2021.[11]

The first Fairfield Inn opened in July 2017.[12] In December, Marriott stated that 8 more Fairfield properties were scheduled to open in China in 2018.[13] As of May 2018, Marriott listed 3 open Fairfield properties in China on its website, along with another opening in June.[14]

Fairfield properties lagged behind Hamptons – what is the plan to bridge the gap?

Based on the brand targets announced by Hilton and Marriott, Hampton will continue to have a greater presence than Fairfield in China.

Investors should be asking the following questions about Marriott’s select service growth in China:

  • Why did Marriott wait two years to create a partnership similar to Hilton’s?
  • Why is Marriott’s projected number of Fairfield properties so much lower than Hilton’s projected number of Hamptons?
  • Will Marriott pursue a similar partnership agreement for another one of its select service brands in China?

 

[1] Transcript of 2017 Security Analyst Meeting, Marriott International, 3/21/17, p. 37. http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/MAR/4828073936x0x935483/44036211-62F7-4112-80D6-E1218E591E06/MAR_SAM_Transcript_FINAL_3-21-17.pdf.

[2] “Hilton Worldwide Signs Exclusive License Agreement for Major Expansion Of Hampton By Hilton Hotels In China,” Hilton Worldwide, 10/30/14 (from Google Cache, page cached 5/28/18). http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:NRE0BAqa8MgJ:newsroom.hilton.com/index.cfm/news/hilton-worldwide-signs-exclusive-

[3] “Hilton Worldwide Signs Exclusive License Agreement for Major Expansion Of Hampton By Hilton Hotels In China,” Hilton Worldwide, 10/30/14 (from Google Cache, page cached 5/28/18). http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:NRE0BAqa8MgJ:newsroom.hilton.com/index.cfm/news/hilton-worldwide-signs-exclusive-

[4] “Hampton by Hilton Expands in China” [Infographic], retrieved 4/23/18. http://newsroom.hilton.com/assets/HAMP/images/newsroom/2016/Q1/Mar/HamptonChinaInfographic_HR.jpg. Infographic accessed from “Hampton By Hilton Opens Flagship Hotel In China,” Hilton News Room, 3/25/16. http://newsroom.hilton.com/index.cfm/news/hampton-by-hilton-opens-flagship-hotel-in-china.

[5] “The Hampton By Hilton China Story,” Hampton by Hilton Global Media Center, retrieved 4/23/18. http://news.hampton.com/index.cfm/misc/china.

[6] Profiles of Hampton China properties, retrieved 5/31/18. http://newsroom.hilton.com/hampton/properties.

[7] “Hilton and Plateno Reach Major Milestone for Future Hampton by Hilton Hotels in China,” PR Newswire, 3/21/18. https://en.prnasia.com/releases/apac/hilton-and-plateno-reach-major-milestone-for-future-hampton-by-hilton-hotels-in-china-205286.shtml.

[8] “Hampton by Hilton Begins 2018 Welcoming Seven New Properties; Announces More Than 580 Hotels in the Global Pipeline,” Hampton Global Media Center, 2/23/18. http://news.hampton.com/index.cfm/news/hampton-by-hilton-begins-2018-welcoming-seven-new-properties-announces-more-than-580-hotels-in-the-global-pipeline-.

[9] Hotels in China filtered by brand: Fairfield Inn and Suites (map view), Marriott.com, retrieved 5/31/18. http://www.marriott.com/search/filterSearch.mi.

[10] Hampton by Hilton properties (map view), retrieved 5/31/18. http://newsroom.hilton.com/hampton/properties

[11] “Marriott International and Eastern Crown Partner to Launch “Fairfield by Marriott®” a New Affordable Mid-range Hotel for Travelers Across China,” Marriott News Center (press release), 2/17/16. http://news.marriott.com/2016/02/marriott-international-and-eastern-crown-partner-to-launch-fairfield-by-marriott-a-new-affordable-mid-range-hotel-for-travelers-across-china/.

[12] “The Fairfield by Marriott Brand Premiers in China with Fairfield by Marriott Nanning Nanhu Park,” Marriott News Center (press release), 7/11/17. http://news.marriott.com/2017/07/fairfield-marriott-brand-premiers-china-fairfield-marriott-nanning-nanhu-park/.

[13] “Marriott International’s Select-Service Hotels Tier Are Primed For Unprecedented Growth In Asia-Pacific With Exciting New Openings In 2018,” Marriott News Center (press release), 12/13/17. http://news.marriott.com/2017/12/marriott-internationals-select-service-hotels-tier-primed-unprecedented-growth-asia-pacific-exciting-new-openings-2018/

[14] Hotels in China filtered by brand: Fairfield Inn and Suites, Marriott.com, retrieved 5/31/18. http://www.marriott.com/search/filterSearch.mi.

继陷邮件门影响:万豪酒店暂时被中国主要旅游网站下架   

万豪于1月份在中国引发全国争议后,其数字战略被迫做出改变。 我们登载了该事件如何导致万豪的中文网站被封两月,且网站恢复上线后,却缺失了直接预订功能的报道。

西方媒体未报道的是邮件门事件后,万豪酒店在一月暂时被中国主要的旅游网站,美团网和大众点评网下架。我们在2018年5月24日取得的独家验证表明,在美团网和大众点评网上可搜索到万豪酒店。[1][2]

美团网和大众点评网是中国新兴联盟的旅游网站,占据了94%的在线市场 – 比万豪的合作伙伴飞猪占据更优势的地位,飞猪仅占不到2.5%的在线市场。

美团网和大众点评网下架万豪酒店

2018年1月12日,澎湃新闻网报道,在1月份万豪邮件失误事件后,不仅万豪酒店遭到客户和会议组织者的抵制,万豪旗下品牌酒店也被美团点评经营的预订网站下架。[3] 1月12日,澎湃新闻网的记者在网站上搜索了万豪以及如万怡,万丽等几个万豪品牌酒店,均没有搜到任何结果。[4] 新华社在同一天报道了美团网和美团应用程序上下架万豪酒店的新闻。[5]

在往期文章中,我们介绍了美团网和大众点评网。 自2015年起,与其他网站合并推出以来,美团点评已成为中国网上住宿预订行业的领军者,在2016年,占据了超过16%的市场份额。相比之下,万豪的在线旅游社的合作伙伴飞猪的市场占有率不到2.5%。[6]

万豪被下架时间虽短,却让其失去了争取大份在线旅游市场的机会。

 

2016年中国在线住宿市场份额(按交易量计算)。 资料来源:艾瑞咨询

在这样的大环境下:在线旅游整合或给万豪施压

在往期文章中,我们探讨了由百度和腾讯支持的在线旅游社企业如何组建联盟霸占中国在线住宿预订总量的94%以上。[7] 美点评位于该联盟中:它得到了腾讯和至2012年起的携程合作伙伴Priceline集团的支持。 万豪的在线旅游社合作伙伴飞猪不在该联盟之内。

万豪与其前合作合伙携程的关系也分崩离析,携程是中国主要的在线旅游社。2017年,携程在其网站把所有万豪酒店予以排名降级。冲突似乎持续了很长时间。 2018年4月初,也就是携程首次降级排名万豪酒店近一年后,在携程网上搜索上海酒店时,其首页上仍未显示有万豪酒店。[8]  在携程网的隶属旅游网站-去哪儿网和艺龙旅游网的上海酒店列单中,均未见万豪酒店踪影。[9][10]

占据优势市场地位的联盟让万豪在中国处居劣势。

 

 

[1] Meituan, retrieved May 24th, 2018, http://bj.meituan.com

[2] Dianping, retrieved May 24th, 2018, https://www.dianping.com

[3] Sina (2018, January 12th), 知名企业退订万豪更换年会地点,大众点评、美团等集体屏蔽, retrieved May 8th, 2018, http://news.sina.com.cn/o/2018-01-12/doc-ifyqptqv8449294.shtml

[4] Sina (2018, January 12th), 知名企业退订万豪更换年会地点,大众点评、美团等集体屏蔽, retrieved May 8th, 2018, http://news.sina.com.cn/o/2018-01-12/doc-ifyqptqv8449294.shtml

[5] Xinhua News (2018, January 12th), 国内在线旅游运营商开始下架万豪酒店产品, retrieved May 30th, 2018, http://www.xinhuanet.com/travel/2018-01/12/c_1122250663.htm

[6] iResearch, 2017年中国在线旅游度假行业研究报告, p. 20, retrieved April 25th, 2018, http://report.iresearch.cn/report_pdf.aspx?id=3025

[7] iResearch, 2017年中国在线旅游度假行业研究报告, p. 20, retrieved April 25th, 2018, http://report.iresearch.cn/report_pdf.aspx?id=3025

[8] Ctrip, retrieved April 2nd, 2018, http://www.ctrip.com/

[9] Qunar, retrieved April 2nd, 2018, https://www.qunar.com/

[10] eLong, retrieved April 2nd, 2018, http://www.elong.com/

More fallout from Marriott’s email gaffe: Marriott temporarily delisted by major Chinese travel site

After Marriott engendered a national controversy in China in January, its digital strategy was forced to change. We’ve already covered how the incident led to Marriott’s Chinese-language website being shut down for two months, and how the site returned without a direct-booking feature.

One effect of the incident, unreported by Western media, was that Marriott hotels were temporarily delisted in January by Meituan-Dianping, a major Chinese travel site. Our independent verification, done on May 24th, 2018, indicates that Marriott properties are now searchable on Meituan.com and Dianping.com.[1] [2]

Meituan-Dianping is part of an emerging alliance of Chinese travel sites that captured 94% of the online market – a superior position to Marriott’s partner, Fliggy, which held less than 2.5%.

Marriott Delisted by Meituan-Dianping

On January 12th, 2018, Thepaper.cn reported that following the January incident, not only were Marriott hotels boycotted by customers and convention organizers, Marriott-branded properties were also delisted from booking sites operated by Meituan-Dianping.[3] Journalists for Thepaper.cn searched the sites for 万豪 (Marriott) and several Marriott brands such as 万怡 (Courtyard by Marriott) or 万丽(Renaissance) but came back with no results on January 12th.[4] The delisting of Marriott properties on Meituan.com and the Meituan app was reported by Xinhua News on the same day.[5]

We discussed Meituan-Dianping in a previous post. Since its 2015 launch from the merger of other sites, Meituan-Dianping has become a major player in the Chinese online lodging booking industry, occupying more than 16% of the market in 2016. For comparison, Fliggy, Marriott’s OTA partner, occupied less than 2.5%.[6]

Marriott’s delisting, however temporary, deprived the company of access to a substantial portion of the online travel market.

2016 Chinese Online Lodging Market Share (by Trade Volume). Source: iResearch

Putting it in context: online travel consolidation could put pressure on Marriott

We explored in a previous post how OTA companies backed by Baidu and Tencent have begun to form an alliance that captures more than 94% of the total trade volume of online lodging bookings in China.[7] Meituan-Dianping is part of the alliance: it is both backed by the Priceline group, partner of Ctrip since 2012, and Tencent. Marriott’s OTA partner, Fliggy, is on the outside of this alliance.

Marriott already saw its relationship with its former partner, the major OTA site Ctrip, unravel; the latter downranked all of Marriott properties on its websites in 2017. The conflict seems to have had long term impact. In early April 2018, nearly one year after Ctrip first downranked Marriott hotels, a search for hotels in Shanghai on Ctrip returned no Marriott hotels on the first page.[8] Marriott hotels were similarly absent from the Shanghai hotel listing of the Ctrip affiliated travel websites Qunar and eLong.[9] [10]

Marriott is at a disadvantage against an alliance that maintains a superior market position.

 

[1] Meituan, retrieved May 24th, 2018, http://bj.meituan.com

[2] Dianping, retrieved May 24th, 2018, https://www.dianping.com

[3] Sina (2018, January 12th), 知名企业退订万豪更换年会地点,大众点评、美团等集体屏蔽, retrieved May 8th, 2018, http://news.sina.com.cn/o/2018-01-12/doc-ifyqptqv8449294.shtml

[4] Sina (2018, January 12th), 知名企业退订万豪更换年会地点,大众点评、美团等集体屏蔽, retrieved May 8th, 2018, http://news.sina.com.cn/o/2018-01-12/doc-ifyqptqv8449294.shtml

[5] Xinhua News (2018, January 12th), 国内在线旅游运营商开始下架万豪酒店产品, retrieved May 30th, 2018, http://www.xinhuanet.com/travel/2018-01/12/c_1122250663.htm

[6] iResearch, 2017年中国在线旅游度假行业研究报告, p. 20, retrieved April 25th, 2018, http://report.iresearch.cn/report_pdf.aspx?id=3025

[7] iResearch, 2017年中国在线旅游度假行业研究报告, p. 20, retrieved April 25th, 2018, http://report.iresearch.cn/report_pdf.aspx?id=3025

[8] Ctrip, retrieved April 2nd, 2018, http://www.ctrip.com/

[9] Qunar, retrieved April 2nd, 2018, https://www.qunar.com/

[10] eLong, retrieved April 2nd, 2018, http://www.elong.com/

随着中国对领土主权立场更加强硬,万豪是否仍有回旋余地?

1月,万豪在发给中国会员的邮件中,暗示台湾,香港和澳门是与中国独立分开的国家,在中国互联网信息办公室暂时关闭万豪网站及其移动应用程序之后,万豪随后立即发表了措辞谦卑的歉文。

4月,中国民航管理总局指示36家国际航空公司更正其网站,以反映中国对台湾主权的立场,并准确显示香港和澳门归属中国领土。[1]

万豪毫无保留的道歉会使企业丢失对于国际运营的美企而言在未确凿的领域的灵活性吗?

多样标注仍然存在

万豪首席执行官阿恩·索伦森(Arne Sorenson)对电子邮件失误发表的谦文中,他列举了万豪为纠正所犯错误已采取的举措。 其中包括,“我们审查了可能存在相同误导性的网站和应用程序,以确保标注准确无误”。[2]

然而,万豪北美(美国和加拿大)网站上的酒店目录仍然把中国与澳门和台湾分开列出。[3]

万豪酒店目录亚洲板块将中国,澳门和台湾列为独立国家。[4]

阿恩·索伦森本人针对不同听众发表过对中国领土主权不一致的观点。在回应分析师关于2018年第一季度收益报告中,索伦森列出了中国出境旅游的最大市场,其中包括澳门和香港。 该名单还包括印度尼西亚,泰国和澳大利亚,列单混淆带略这些中国地区与其他国家之间的区别。[5]

中国加强执法

一些国际企业勉强执行中国政府对领土划定的新规。今年5月,《华尔街日报》报道,中国民用航空局发函表示,仍有一些航空公司违反中国有关正确标识各地区的法律,并表示除非他们立即遵守规定,否则将承担处罚责任。[6]

中国外交部一直呼吁在华经营的外国企业尊重中国国家的主权和领土完整,“无论美国说什么都不能改变世界上只有一个中国的立场,香港,澳门和台湾是中国不可分割的领土”。中国外交部发言人耿爽说。[7]

据《商业内幕》称,几家主要航空公司已在其网站上更改了对台湾的标注。 5月,《商业内幕》最先发现马来西亚航空公司在其预订表格中不再将台湾标注为国家。 《环球邮报》的一名记者也发现了加拿大航空公司在台湾命名方面的转变:所有过往把台湾列为国家的出处都被中国的缩写“CN”所取代。 汉莎航空公司和英国航空公司在网站上不再将台湾与中国分开。[8]

白宫在一份声明中尖锐地批评中国:“唐纳德·特朗普总统反对美国的政治正确性。 他将支持美国人抵制中国共产党将中国政治正确性强加给美国企业和公民。”[9]

如果中国将针对航空公司的管理政策施用于像万豪这样的美国酒店企业,那么这将意味着万豪在其美国网站上的相关国家标注也将发生变化。

 

[1] Trefor Moss, “China’s Plane ‘Nonsense’ or Sovereign Right? The Airline Map Flap,” Wall Street Journal, 5/7/18. https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-plane-nonsense-or-sovereign-right-the-airline-map-flap-1525696597.

[2] “Statement from Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International, Inc.,” Marriott News Center (press release), 1/11/18. http://news.marriott.com/2018/01/statement-from-arne-sorenson-president-and-ceo-marriott-international-inc/.

[3] Hotel Directory, Marriott.com, retrieved 5/30/18. https://www.marriott.com/hotel-search.mi.

[4] Hotel Directory, Marriott.com, retrieved 5/15/18. https://www.marriott.com/hotel-search.mi.

[5] Marriott International First Quarter 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript, 5/9/18, p. 16. https://marriott.gcs-web.com/static-files/0eae8e59-7bad-4991-881d-b2778424c00f.

[6] Trefor Moss, “China’s Plane ‘Nonsense’ or Sovereign Right? The Airline Map Flap,” Wall Street Journal, 5/7/18. https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-plane-nonsense-or-sovereign-right-the-airline-map-flap-1525696597.

[7] Vicky Xiuzhong Xu, “China hits back after White House slams territory warning to global airlines as ‘Orwellian nonsense’,” ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), 5/7/18. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-07/china-retaliates-after-white-house-slams-its-warning-to-airlines/9734026.

[8] Tara Francis Chan, “Four major airlines quietly changed their references to Taiwan — and it shows just how much power China has over foreign companies,” Business Insider South Africa, 5/16/18. https://www.businessinsider.co.za/air-canada-malaysia-airlines-references-to-taiwan-2018-5. The references to Taiwan are not consistent on the British Airways and Malaysia Airlines websites. On British Airways’ route network directory, the company includes Taiwan as a separate country (see Route Network Country List, British Airways, retrieved 6/6/18. https://www.britishairways.com/en-us/information/flight-information/our-route-network). Malaysia Airlines has a destination page for Taipei titled “Taipei, ROC” (“Taipei, ROC,” Malaysia Airlines, retrieved 6/6/18. https://www.malaysiaairlines.com/us/en/destinations/asia/flights-to-taiwan/flights-to-taipei.html).

[9] “Statement from the Press Secretary on China’s Political Correctness,” White House, 5/5/18. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/statement-press-secretary-chinas-political-correctness/.

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

In January Marriott communicated with Chinese customers in a manner that suggested that Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau were countries separate from China.  Marriott quickly issued an abject apology but not before China’s Cyberspace Administration demanded that Marriott temporarily shut its website and mobile app to Chinese residents.

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.[1]

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?

Various labeling systems remain

In Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson’s fulsome apology for the email blunder, he listed steps that Marriott had taken to correct the error. This included, “We also reviewed the other areas on our websites and apps where this type of functionality might exist to make sure the labeling is correct.”[2]

However, a look at the hotel directory on Marriott’s North American (US and Canada) website shows that Marriott still lists China separately from Macau and Taiwan.[3]

The Asia section of Marriott’s hotel directory lists China, Macau, and Taiwan as separate countries.[4]

Arne Sorenson himself has described Chinese regions differently to different audiences. In the Q1 2018 earnings report call with analysts, Sorenson listed the biggest markets for Chinese outbound travel as including Macau and Hong Kong. The list also included Indonesia, Thailand, and Australia, eliding the distinction between these Chinese regions and other countries.[5]

China steps up enforcement

Some international companies have struggled to fully comply with new Chinese rules related to the labeling of territories.  In May, the Wall Street Journal reported that a letter sent by the Civil Aviation Administration of China said some airlines were still guilty of violating the laws of China related to correct labeling of various territories and said they would be liable for punishment unless they swiftly comply.[6]

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has called for foreign companies operating in China to respect the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity: “Whatever the US said cannot change the fact that there is only one China in the world and Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan are indispensable parts of Chinese territory,” Geng Shuang, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said.[7]

Several major airlines have changed their references to Taiwan on their websites, according to Business Insider. Malaysia Airlines no longer refers to Taiwan as a country on its booking form, a change first noticed by Business Insider in May. A Globe and Mail journalist also spotted Air Canada’s shift in its naming of Taiwan: all mention of Taiwan as the country had been replaced by “CN,” the abbreviation of China, with no mention of Taiwan. Lufthansa and British Airways changed their websites to no longer refer to Taiwan separately from China.[8]

The White House sharply criticized China in a statement: “President Donald J. Trump ran against political correctness in the United States. He will stand up for Americans resisting efforts by the Chinese Communist Party to impose Chinese political correctness on American companies and citizens.”[9]

If China applied the airline policy to US-based hotel companies like Marriott, that would imply changes in Marriott’s reporting of countries on its US website.

 

[1] Trefor Moss, “China’s Plane ‘Nonsense’ or Sovereign Right? The Airline Map Flap,” Wall Street Journal, 5/7/18. https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-plane-nonsense-or-sovereign-right-the-airline-map-flap-1525696597.

[2] “Statement from Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International, Inc.,” Marriott News Center (press release), 1/11/18. http://news.marriott.com/2018/01/statement-from-arne-sorenson-president-and-ceo-marriott-international-inc/.

[3] Hotel Directory, Marriott.com, retrieved 5/30/18. https://www.marriott.com/hotel-search.mi.

[4] Hotel Directory, Marriott.com, retrieved 5/15/18. https://www.marriott.com/hotel-search.mi.

[5] Marriott International First Quarter 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript, 5/9/18, p. 16. https://marriott.gcs-web.com/static-files/0eae8e59-7bad-4991-881d-b2778424c00f.

[6] Trefor Moss, “China’s Plane ‘Nonsense’ or Sovereign Right? The Airline Map Flap,” Wall Street Journal, 5/7/18. https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-plane-nonsense-or-sovereign-right-the-airline-map-flap-1525696597.

[7] Vicky Xiuzhong Xu, “China hits back after White House slams territory warning to global airlines as ‘Orwellian nonsense’,” ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), 5/7/18. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-07/china-retaliates-after-white-house-slams-its-warning-to-airlines/9734026.

[8] Tara Francis Chan, “Four major airlines quietly changed their references to Taiwan — and it shows just how much power China has over foreign companies,” Business Insider South Africa, 5/16/18. https://www.businessinsider.co.za/air-canada-malaysia-airlines-references-to-taiwan-2018-5. The references to Taiwan are not consistent on the British Airways and Malaysia Airlines websites. On British Airways’ route network directory, the company includes Taiwan as a separate country (see Route Network Country List, British Airways, retrieved 6/6/18. https://www.britishairways.com/en-us/information/flight-information/our-route-network). Malaysia Airlines has a destination page for Taipei titled “Taipei, ROC” (“Taipei, ROC,” Malaysia Airlines, retrieved 6/6/18. https://www.malaysiaairlines.com/us/en/destinations/asia/flights-to-taiwan/flights-to-taipei.html).

[9] “Statement from the Press Secretary on China’s Political Correctness,” White House, 5/5/18. https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/statement-press-secretary-chinas-political-correctness/.

万豪董事会成员米特·罗姆尼(Mitt Romney)多次强硬抨击中国

万豪首席执行官阿恩·索伦森Arne Sorenson在针对1月份电子邮件事件的致歉函中明确表示,“万豪国际尊重并支持中国的主权和领土完整。”考虑到该事件导致万豪与中国之间的紧张关系,索伦森承诺将工作重点放在确保万豪酒店的中国客户感受到尊重。[1]

截至2018年,米特罗姆尼已在万豪董事会任职累计17年,比任何不属于万豪家族的董事会成员任职时间都长。[2] 然而,在竞选总统期间,他屡次对中国进行强硬抨击,支持向台湾军售,并提议在太平洋地区建立美国军队来对抗中国。

在各大企业逐与中国努力保持微妙外交政策的时代,米特罗姆尼会是万豪酒店的理想大使吗?

罗姆尼支持向台湾出售武器,对中国采取激进态度

2011年,奥巴马政府宣布升级台湾军用飞机的计划,遭到中国政府的强烈抗议。[3]

米特罗姆尼谴责政府的这一举动,并表示,“奥巴马总统拒绝向台湾出售新型军用飞机,再次证明奥巴马总统在外交政策上的领导不力。过去三十年来,每一任美国总统,不论是共和党总统或是民主党总统,都肯定了我们在协助台湾防御的立场上所带来的利益。面对中国密集的军事建设,美国需要在亚洲有最强大的合作伙伴关系。[4]”台湾执政党国民党副主席蒋孝严赞许了罗姆尼对台湾军售的立场, 称之为“好消息”。[5]

罗姆尼指控中国盗窃和开展“沉默”的贸易战

在2012年的总统大选期间,罗姆尼声称中国正在进行一场掩人耳目的贸易战:“贸易战进行的悄无声息,而他们正在赢得胜利。”[6]

罗姆尼在回答有关如何制衡中国以避免21世纪冷战的问题时表示,“他们不能侵入我们的计算机系统并从我们的政府和公司中窃取专利,外观设计和知识产权,然后再复制,伪造它们并将它们出售给全世界”。[7]

罗姆尼在竞选总统期间的贸易政策主旨是“对抗中国”。[8]他拟定的‘第一天总统行政命令清单’中的一项包括“制裁中国不公平贸易行为”,指示美国财政部在半年度报告中将中国列为汇率操纵国,如果中国不迅速上调其汇率的话,将指示商务部评估对中国进口产品的反倾销税。” [9]

在2012年竞选期间,罗姆尼在推文中说中国窃取了美国的知识产权。[10]

在2018年参议员竞选期间,罗姆尼在特朗普总统向中国提出征收1000亿美元新关税后表示:“我认为总统领导的一些政策会唤醒我们在中国的朋友,让他们意识到像往常一样做生意的方式必须改变”。“多年来,中国利用美国人疏于防范的态度,在两国贸易交易中一直作弊”。[11]

万豪董事会成员和前美国贸易代表苏珊施瓦布Susan Schwab也对中国的贸易政策表示担忧

罗姆尼并不是万豪董事会中唯一对中国贸易政策表示担忧的成员。 作为美国贸易代表苏珊施瓦布在美国要求世界贸易组织(WTO)解决磋商与中国贸易争端时表示,“我们不安地发现中国似乎仍在采取世界贸易组织的非法措施来促进其从纺织品,冰箱到啤酒和花生的产品出口。 我们今天去世界贸易组织,决心利用所有可用资源来打击旨在以不公平地牺牲美国工人,农民,牧场主,制造商和知识产权所有者为代价来推广中国品牌产品的产业政策。”[12]

在2008年达沃斯世界经济论坛上,施瓦布指出:“我们与中国存在很大的贸易逆差,我认为这样的贸易失衡是不可持续的。 两国贸易逆差的程度可归因于贸易政策,即表现在非法壁垒,不公平补贴,侵犯知识产权,假冒,盗版。 贸易政策,这才是真正的问题。”[13]

索伦森的歉函中提到承诺确保让万豪中国客户感受到尊重。那万豪为什么仍然保留一个公然对中国采取激进态度的董事会成员呢?

 

[1] “Statement from Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International, Inc.,” Marriott News Center, 1/11/18. http://news.marriott.com/2018/01/statement-from-arne-sorenson-president-and-ceo-marriott-international-inc/.

[2] Form DEF-14A, filed by Marriott International, SEC, 4/4/18, p. 24. https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1048286/000119312518085273/d539777dpre14a.htm.

[3] Chris Buckley, “China steps up condemnation of U.S. over Taiwan arms,” Reuters, 9/22/11. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-taiwan/china-steps-up-condemnation-of-u-s-over-taiwan-arms-idUSTRE78L6SU20110922

[4] Mitt Romney, “Statement by Mitt Romney on Taiwan,” University of Santa Barbara – The American Presidency Project, 9/21/11. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=97912.

[5] Tony Liao and Elizabeth Hsu, “U.S. presidential candidate supports arm sales, Taiwan Relations Act,” Focus Taiwan, 8/29/12. http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aipl/201208290023.aspx.

[6] “Transcript And Audio: Third Presidential Debate,” NPR, 10/22/12. https://www.npr.org/2012/10/22/163436694/transcript-3rd-obama-romney-presidential-debate.

[7] “CBS News/NJ debate transcript, part 1,” CBS, 11/13/11, p. 10. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cbs-news-nj-debate-transcript-part-1/10/.

[8] “Believe In America: Mitt Romney’s Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth,” Romney for President, 2011, p. 69. https://grist.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/believeinamerica-planforjobsandeconomicgrowth-full.pdf.

[9] “Believe In America: Mitt Romney’s Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth,” Romney for President, 2011, p. 7. https://grist.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/believeinamerica-planforjobsandeconomicgrowth-full.pdf.

[10] Mitt Romney (@MittRomney), “China steals our intellectual property and @BarackObama does nothing. We must protect American innovation. Video: http://mi.tt/nT7cBB,” Twitter, 10/13/11, 6.58 AM. https://twitter.com/MittRomney/status/124484116782649346.

[11] Dennis Romboy, “Trump threat of $100 billion tariffs will ‘wake up’ China, Mitt Romney says,” Deseret News, 4/5/18. https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900015093/trump-threat-of-dollar100-billion-tariffs-will-wake-up-china-mitt-romney-says.html.

[12] “United States Files WTO Case Against China Over Illegal Support for Chinese Famous Brands,” US Trade Representative, 12/18/08. https://ustr.gov/about-us/policy-offices/press-office/press-releases/archives/2008/december/united-states-files-wto-case-against-chi.

[13] “USTR: Trade Deficit With China ‘Unsustainable’,” Dow Jones Select, 1/24/08.

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

Public domain image released by the U.S. Navy

In his statement of apology for the January email incident, Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson stated unequivocally, “Marriott International respects and supports the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China.” In light of the tensions between Marriott and China, Sorenson pledged to focus on making sure Marriott’s Chinese guests feel respected.[1]

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.[2] 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.

In an era when corporations increasingly have to craft a delicate foreign policy with China, is Mitt Romney Marriott’s best ambassador?

Romney Supported Arms Sales to Taiwan, Adopted Aggressive Posture Towards China

 In 2011, the Obama administration announced a plan to upgrade Taiwan’s military jets. The Chinese government vigorously protested the arms sales.[3]

Mitt Romney lambasted the administration’s move, and stated, “President Obama’s refusal to sell Taiwan new military jets is yet another example of his weak leadership in foreign policy. Every American president for the past three decades – both Republican and Democrat – has recognized our interest in helping Taiwan defend itself. In the face of China’s intensive military buildup, the United States needs the strongest possible partnerships in Asia.”[4] John Chiang, a vice chairman of Taiwan’s ruling Kuomintang, applauded Romney’s stance on arm sales to Taiwan, calling it “good news.” [5]

Romney Accused China of Theft, and of Conducting a ‘Silent’ Trade War

During the 2012 presidential election, Romney claimed that China was carrying on a trade war under the radar: “It’s a silent one and they’re winning.”[6]

Romney said, in response to a question about how he would manage China to avoid a 21st century Cold War, “They can’t hack into our computer systems and steal from our government. They can’t steal from corporations. They can’t take patents and designs, intellectual property, and– and– and– and duplicate them– and duplicate them and counterfeit them and sell them around the world.”[7]

A tenet of Romney’s trade policy during his Presidential campaign was “Confronting China.”[8] One of the items on his list of executive orders for Day One included “An Order to Sanction China for Unfair Trade Practices,” which “Directs the Department of the Treasury to list China as a currency manipulator in its biannual report and directs the Department of Commerce to assess countervailing duties on Chinese imports if China does not quickly move to float its currency.”[9]

During the 2012 election campaign, Romney tweeted that China stole U.S. intellectual property.[10]

During his 2018 Senate campaign, Romney said after President Trump proposed $100 billion in new tariffs on China: “I think the president is leading with some policies that will wake up our friends in China and they’ll recognize that business as usual is going to have to change.” “China over the years has taken advantage of the attitude in America, which is we haven’t watched very closely and they’ve been cheating.”[11]

Marriott Board Member and former US Trade Representative Susan Schwab has also cited concern about China’s trading policies

Romney is not the only member of Marriott’s board to express concern about China’s trade policy.  As US Trade Representative, Susan Schwab stated when the US requested World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement consultations with the People’s Republic of China, “We were disturbed to find that China still appears to be using WTO-illegal measures to promote its exports, ranging from textiles and refrigerators to beer and peanuts.  We are going to the WTO today because we are determined to use all resources available to fight industrial policies that aim to unfairly promote Chinese branded products at the expense of American workers, farmers, ranchers, manufacturers and intellectual property owners.”[12]

In 2008 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Schwab noted: “We have a very large and, I would argue, unsustainable trade imbalance with China. To the extent that the imbalance could be attributed to trade policy – meaning illegal barriers, unfair subsidies, violations of intellectual property rights, counterfeiting, piracy – then that’s a real problem.”[13]

Sorenson’s apology included a commitment to making sure Marriott’s Chinese guests feel respected. Why has Marriott kept a board member who has taken an aggressive public stance against a key Marriott market?

 

[1] “Statement from Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International, Inc.,” Marriott News Center, 1/11/18. http://news.marriott.com/2018/01/statement-from-arne-sorenson-president-and-ceo-marriott-international-inc/.

[2] Form DEF-14A, filed by Marriott International, SEC, 4/4/18, p. 24. https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1048286/000119312518085273/d539777dpre14a.htm.

[3] Chris Buckley, “China steps up condemnation of U.S. over Taiwan arms,” Reuters, 9/22/11. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-taiwan/china-steps-up-condemnation-of-u-s-over-taiwan-arms-idUSTRE78L6SU20110922

[4] Mitt Romney, “Statement by Mitt Romney on Taiwan,” University of Santa Barbara – The American Presidency Project, 9/21/11. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=97912.

[5] Tony Liao and Elizabeth Hsu, “U.S. presidential candidate supports arm sales, Taiwan Relations Act,” Focus Taiwan, 8/29/12. http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aipl/201208290023.aspx.

[6] “Transcript And Audio: Third Presidential Debate,” NPR, 10/22/12. https://www.npr.org/2012/10/22/163436694/transcript-3rd-obama-romney-presidential-debate.

[7] “CBS News/NJ debate transcript, part 1,” CBS, 11/13/11, p. 10. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/cbs-news-nj-debate-transcript-part-1/10/.

[8] “Believe In America: Mitt Romney’s Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth,” Romney for President, 2011, p. 69. https://grist.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/believeinamerica-planforjobsandeconomicgrowth-full.pdf.

[9] “Believe In America: Mitt Romney’s Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth,” Romney for President, 2011, p. 7. https://grist.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/believeinamerica-planforjobsandeconomicgrowth-full.pdf.

[10] Mitt Romney (@MittRomney), “China steals our intellectual property and @BarackObama does nothing. We must protect American innovation. Video: http://mi.tt/nT7cBB,” Twitter, 10/13/11, 6.58 AM. https://twitter.com/MittRomney/status/124484116782649346.

[11] Dennis Romboy, “Trump threat of $100 billion tariffs will ‘wake up’ China, Mitt Romney says,” Deseret News, 4/5/18. https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900015093/trump-threat-of-dollar100-billion-tariffs-will-wake-up-china-mitt-romney-says.html.

[12] “United States Files WTO Case Against China Over Illegal Support for Chinese Famous Brands,” US Trade Representative, 12/18/08. https://ustr.gov/about-us/policy-offices/press-office/press-releases/archives/2008/december/united-states-files-wto-case-against-chi.

[13] “USTR: Trade Deficit With China ‘Unsustainable’,” Dow Jones Select, 1/24/08.

Who are Marriott’s key owners in China?

Marriott’s growth in China will depend on partnerships to build and operate hotels. But who are these partners?

We have compiled a list of six key owners of Marriott hotels in China. The following graphic is a summary of their respective Marriott hotels portfolio.

Overall, these six companies combined developed around 16% of all Marriott hotels in China.  Marriott divides its hotels brands into three tiers: luxury, premium, and select.[i] The following graphic summarizes the percentage of existing Marriott hotels in China owned by the six companies, broken down by tiers.

We believe this is the first English-language list produced of Marriott’s Chinese partners. This list doesn’t include Dossen, the hotel company which signed an agreement to develop Marriott’s Fairfield brand in China; that deal will be explored in depth in a future series.

 

R&F Properties

  • Number of Marriott Hotels Owned: 14
  • Number of Marriott Hotels in Development: 4

R&F Properties was part of the elite group of Chinese real estate developers known as the “Five South China Tigers” for their aggressive business style. R&F listed on the Hong Kong Exchange in 2005. [ii] The company made a number of significant high-profile purchases in 2017, including the purchase of 73 of Wanda’s mainland hotels and its London hotel project.[iii] [iv] In March 2018, R&F Properties reportedly purchased one of HNA’s Hainan properties; HNA declined to comment on the reported purchase.[v]

 

Greentown China

  • Number of Marriott Hotels Owned: 9
  • Number of Marriott Hotels in Development: 2

Greentown China is the tenth largest real estate developer in China in terms of contracted sales.[vi] The company’s top 3 shareholders were the state-owned China Communications Construction Group, the Wharf Holdings, and founder Song Weiping.[vii] Greentown China reportedly was on the verge of bankruptcy in 2015, before the China Communications Construction Group became the largest shareholder.[viii]

 

Greenland Holdings

  • Number of Marriott Hotels Owned: 6
  • Number of Marriott Hotels in Development: 3

Greenland Holdings is the sixth largest real-estate developer in China in terms of contracted sales in January 2018.[ix] In the U.S., Greenland constructed the massive Metropolis condo and hotel complex in downtown Los Angeles.[x] In 2016, Greenland affiliate Shanghai Yunfeng Group Co. was in default on 2 billion yuan of privately placed notes after the triggering of early repayment clauses.[xi] In 2017, the company revealed that its subsidiaries in the Liaoning Province had overdue loans of around $69.2 million.[xii]

In March 2018, the company put two buildings in the Metropolis complex up for sale; the CEO of Greenland’s US subsidiary expected completion of the final tower in 2019.[xiii] In April 2018, Nikkei Asian Review reported that the group’s shares fell 5.7% after reporting a 19% drop in first-quarter contracted sales at 5.7 billion yuan.[xiv]

 

Jinmao

  • Number of Marriott Hotels Owned: 6
  • Number of Marriott Hotels in Development: 1

China Jinmao is the property arm of the state-owned chemical group Sinochem.[xv] One of the real-estate group’s most famous properties is the Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai, at one point Shanghai’s tallest building.[xvi] In October 2017, the Hong Kong office of Jinmao reportedly was searched by Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) as part of an investigation into bribery; the company’s CFO was asked to visit the ICAC office. The company stated that neither the company nor any of its units are subjects of the investigations.[xvii] JP Morgan downgraded the company to ‘neutral’ from ‘overweight’ and stated, “Without clarity on any of the details, we believe corporate governance risk will remain high and advise investors to be cautious on the name.”[xviii]

 

Powerlong

  • Number of Marriott Hotels Owned: 6
  • Number of Marriott Hotels in Development: 1

Powerlong, a conglomerate with real estate interests,[xix] was founded in 1992 by Hoi Kin Hong, father of the current CEO Hoi Wa Fong.[xx] The company listed on the Hong Kong Exchange (HK.1238) in 2009.[xxi]

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) fined two units of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China for their role in the Powerlong IPO, for which they had acted as joint sponsor and joint lead manager.[xxii] According to the law firm Deacons, the investigation followed from an anonymous complaint which alleged that ICBCI Securities procured nominee accounts to subscribe for Powerlong’s offer shares and that such subscriptions were financed by Powerlong.[xxiii] The findings of the SFC were summarized by Reuters:

“The SFC said the two units of ICBC failed to conduct so-called “know-your-client” due diligence on some buyers of Powerlong shares to make sure they were independent of the issuer.

The regulator also said that some buyers were offered margin financing in excess of the buyers’ net worth in a bid to prevent the listing from falling through.”[xxiv]

In particular, Deacons reported that the SFC investigation revealed that some of the placees were friends and families introduced by Powerlong. [xxv]

 

HNA

  • Number of Marriott Hotels Owned: 4
  • Number of Marriott Hotels in Development: 4

HNA was founded in 1993 by Chen Feng as a provincial airline company under the name Hainan Airlines.[xxvi] [xxvii] The company has evolved into a colossal global conglomerate through a series of debt-financed foreign acquisitions – the company held $150 billion of assets in 2016.[xxviii] A prolific deal-maker, HNA purchased a 25% stake in Hilton Worldwide and a 10% stake in Deutsche Bank.[xxix] However, news reports state that HNA has been facing an increasing amount of pressure from its lenders after missed payments in January 2018.[xxx] [xxxi] The company has been looking to sell various parts of its foreign assets since then: it has sold approximately one-fifth of its holding in Deutsche Bank, and announced that it plans on selling all or part of its holdings in Hilton in April 2018.[xxxii] [xxxiii]

 

[i] Marriott International, FORM 10-K (Fiscal Year 2016), p. 5, retrieved May 3rd, 2018, https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1048286/000162828018001756/mar-q42017x10k.htm

[ii] R&F Properties, Group Profile, retrieved May 1st, 2018, http://www.rfchina.com/template/Yabout.aspx

[iii] Caixin (2018 March 20th), R&F Expects $126 Million Revenue This Year From Former Wanda Hotels, retrieved May 3rd, 2018, https://www.caixinglobal.com/2018-03-20/rf-expects-126-million-revenue-this-year-from-former-wanda-hotels-101223819.html

[iv] Bloomberg (2018, January 16th), Dalian Wanda Sells Its London Towers, retrieved May 1st, 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-16/dalian-wanda-is-said-to-sell-london-homes-hotel-project-to-r-f

[v] Ecns.cn (2018, March 21st), HNA sells assets across China, retrieved May 1st, 2018, http://www.ecns.cn/business/2018/03-21/296563.shtml

[vi] South China Morning Post (2018, January 2nd), Top Chinese developers tighten grip on housing market despite overall slowdown, retrieved May 1st, 2018, http://www.scmp.com/property/hong-kong-china/article/2126531/top-chinese-developers-tighten-grip-housing-market-despite

[vii] South China Morning Post (2017,  April 18th), Chinese developer Greentown China Holdings expects 2017 to be a window for land acquisitions, retrieved May 1st, 2018, http://www.scmp.com/business/article/2088213/chinese-developer-greentown-china-holdings-expects-2017-be-window-land

[viii] South China Morning Post (2017,  August 28th), Developer Greentown sees dramatic turnaround in fortunes after major disposals, retrieved May 1st, 2018, http://www.scmp.com/business/companies/article/2108539/developer-greentown-continues-enjoy-dramatic-turnaround-fortunes

[ix] South China Morning Post (2018, January 2nd), Top Chinese developers tighten grip on housing market despite overall slowdown, retrieved May 1st, 2018, http://www.scmp.com/property/hong-kong-china/article/2126531/top-chinese-developers-tighten-grip-housing-market-despite

[x] Los Angeles Times (2017, July 13th), Massive Metropolis condo complex ushers in a new era of residential development in downtown L.A., retrieved May 2nd 2018, http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-metropolis-phase-one-20170713-story.html

[xi] Bloomberg (2017, August 29th), China’s 4th Biggest Builder Discloses Overdue Debt, retrieved May 2nd, 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-29/china-s-4th-biggest-builder-discloses-overdue-debt-in-first-half

[xii] Bloomberg (2017, August 29th), China’s 4th Biggest Builder Discloses Overdue Debt, retrieved May 2nd, 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-29/china-s-4th-biggest-builder-discloses-overdue-debt-in-first-half

[xiii] Los Angeles Downtown News (2018, March 5th), Two Buildings in Metropolis Hit the Market, retrieved May 2nd, 2018, http://www.ladowntownnews.com/news/two-buildings-in-metropolis-hit-the-market/article_ea57e0e2-1e65-11e8-9ff9-6bb1438d8def.html

[xiv] Nikkei Asian Review (2018, April 11th), Hong Kong shares rise for fourth day after Yi Gang’s speech, retrieved May 2nd, 2018, https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Markets/Nikkei-Markets/Hong-Kong-shares-rise-for-fourth-day-after-Yi-Gang-s-speech

[xv] Financial Times (2017, October 24th), China Jinmao CFO asked to visit HK anti-graft agency as offices searched, retrieved May 1st, 2018, https://www.ft.com/content/74394a73-ce16-3cbe-ba29-648450f40203

[xvi] South China Morning Post (2017, October 25th), Chinese developer Jinmao searched by Hong Kong’s anti-graft agency, retrieved May 1st, 2018, http://www.scmp.com/business/article/2116899/chinese-developer-jinmao-searched-hong-kongs-anti-graft-agency

[xvii] South China Morning Post (2017, October 25th), Chinese developer Jinmao searched by Hong Kong’s anti-graft agency, retrieved May 1st, 2018, http://www.scmp.com/business/article/2116899/chinese-developer-jinmao-searched-hong-kongs-anti-graft-agency

[xviii] South China Morning Post (2017, October 25th), Chinese developer Jinmao searched by Hong Kong’s anti-graft agency, retrieved May 1st, 2018, http://www.scmp.com/business/article/2116899/chinese-developer-jinmao-searched-hong-kongs-anti-graft-agency

[xix] “Company Profile,” Powerlong, retrieved 5/3/18. http://www.powerlong.com/about/about!company.action.

[xx] Powerlong, Board of Directors, retrieved May 1st, 2018, http://www.powerlong.com/irm/irm-govern!direct.action

[xxi] The Wall Street Journal (2009, October 15th), Powerlong Posts Modest IPO Debut, retrieved May 1st, 2018, https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB125551792581984599

[xxii] Reuters (2014, May 21st), UPDATE 1-HK fines, reprimands ICBC units for role in 2009 IPO, retrieved May 1st, 2018 https://www.reuters.com/article/hongkong-icbc-fine/update-1-hk-fines-reprimands-icbc-units-for-role-in-2009-ipo-idUSL3N0O72M720140521

[xxiii] Deacons (2014, June 9th), Lesson learned from a recent disciplinary action by SFC – Don’t go too far in facilitating a share offer, retrieved May 1st, 2018, http://www.deacons.com.hk/news-and-insights/publications/lesson-learned-from-a-recent-disciplinary-action-by-sfc.html

[xxiv] Reuters (2014, May 21st), UPDATE 1-HK fines, reprimands ICBC units for role in 2009 IPO, retrieved May 1st, 2018 https://www.reuters.com/article/hongkong-icbc-fine/update-1-hk-fines-reprimands-icbc-units-for-role-in-2009-ipo-idUSL3N0O72M720140521

[xxv] Deacons (2014, June 9th), Lesson learned from a recent disciplinary action by SFC – Don’t go too far in facilitating a share offer, retrieved May 1st, 2018, http://www.deacons.com.hk/news-and-insights/publications/lesson-learned-from-a-recent-disciplinary-action-by-sfc.html

[xxvi] HNA, History, retrieved May 1st, 2018, http://www.hnagroup.com/en-us/who-we-are/development-history/

[xxvii] Financial Times (2017, June 2nd), Who owns HNA, China’s most aggressive dealmaker?, retrieved May 3rd, 2018, https://www.ft.com/content/8acfe40e-410b-11e7-9d56-25f963e998b2

 [xxviii] Bloomberg (2017, August 2nd), The Conglomerate That Troubles China , retrieved May 1st, 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-02/the-conglomerate-that-troubles-china

[xxix] Bloomberg (2017, August 2nd), The Conglomerate That Troubles China , retrieved May 1st, 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-02/the-conglomerate-that-troubles-china

[xxx] Bloomberg (2018, January 5th), HNA Units Missed Payments to More Chinese Banks, retrieved May 1st, 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-05/hna-units-are-said-to-have-missed-payments-to-more-chinese-banks-jc1t4qfi

[xxxi] Bloomberg (2018, January 24th), China’s Beleaguered HNA Group Faces a Debt Wall in Second Half, retrieved May 1st, 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-24/china-s-beleaguered-hna-group-faces-a-debt-wall-in-second-half

[xxxii] CNN (2018, April 23rd), A major Chinese investor just cut its Deutsche Bank stake, retrieved May 1st, 2018, http://money.cnn.com/2018/04/23/news/companies/hna-trims-deutsche-bank-stake/index.html

[xxxiii] Bloomberg, (2018, April 5th), HNA Wants to Sell Its $6.5 Billion Hilton Stake, retrieved May 1st, 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-05/hna-seeks-to-sell-hilton-stake-amid-global-property-selloff