Ctrip, Didi and Fosun International
Ctrip is said to be in talks to invest USD 100 million in online restaurant discovery and food-delivery platform Zomato in a financing round, which could go up to USD 400 million and put the value of the Gurgaon-based firm to USD 1.8-2 billion. It will be Ctrip’s second strategic investment in India after it invested in Indian online travel agency MakeMyTrip.
Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing and co-working space operator WeWork are in discussion to fund Indian budget hotel brand OYO Rooms’ business in China, which will be valued at around USD 1.2 billion. If this goes forward, this deal will mark the second time Didi backs an Indian company. The first was ride-hailing service Ola in 2015.
Fosun Tourism Group, the leisure-focused travel unit of Club Med owner Fosun International, submitted its application for a listing on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong late last month. It is seeking to raise between USD 500-700 million in the initial public offering.
Chinese travelers and their Alipay spending
In the first half of 2018, Chinese nationals made 71.31 million outbound trips, a 15% year-on-year increase. The average spend per person was USD 759. The top 10 overseas destinations were Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, South Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Russia, the United States of America and Cambodia.
The average spending per Alipay user abroad jumped 43% to USD 433. The Alipay transaction volume in Russia increased 50 times this summer compared with a year ago, thanks to the World Cup. The transaction volume in Luxembourg was up 39 times and in Switzerland 18 times. In France, the average spending of Chinese tourists was almost four times above the average.
To prepare for the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020, Alipay announced collaborations with a wider range of local Japanese partners to better serve Chinese tourists in Japan. From the beginning of July to the end of August in 2018, Alipay users’ average per capita spending in Japan reached nearly USD 569, and the total transaction volume grew 165%.
Hotel brands and bookings
BTG Homeinns plans to have about 700 to 800 mid-range and high-end hotels in its portfolio by the end of the year. These hotels are expected to contribute more than 30% of the group's total revenue.
In the first half of the year, Huazhu Group, which owns and operates more than 3,000 properties nationwide, had 65% of its newly opened hotels nationwide in the mid-range and high-end categories.
Shanghai Jin Jiang International Hotel Group had a total of 1,985 mid-range hotels in June, comprising 28.22% of the group’s portfolio, compared to 24.86% at the end of last year.
Internet data monitoring firm Trustdata found that Ctrip, Meituan, Qunar, Tongcheng-eLong and Fliggy accounted for 96.4% of all online hotel bookings in the second quarter this year. The number of monthly active users for hotel booking increased 20% to 91.9 million compared to the previous quarter. Meituan Hotels was the market leader in terms of order volume and room nights, with a market share of 46.2%. Fliggy ranked No.1 in terms of “customer stickiness”.
Shiji and Alibaba’s Fliggy have achieved a hotel industry first by integrating full facial recognition for hotel check-in, including credit authorization for 50 hotels in Hainan, China. Fliggy provided reservation and customer data, and Shiji managed integration, distribution, payment gateway and on-property systems for travelers. In line with Shiji’s vision of open platforms for hotel technology, this system is designed to work with multiple PMS systems and distribution platforms.
Beijing-based Hainiaowo, a platform that provides tourist equipment rentals, has secured tens of millions of yuan in its Series A+ financing round. Hainiaowo rents out digital photography equipment for a duration of 7 to 10 days, mostly on Southeast Asia islands. It also provides travelers with in-destination telephone cards, overseas Wi-Fi, translator devices and others.
Smart hotel solution provider Systemteq has raised nearly ten million yuan in a financing round for technology development and marketing. The company is now working with Alibaba to create future smart hotels.
Intelligent in-room vending operator Fun Dora has pocketed 732,200 dollars in an angel round financing. There is a potential market for tens of millions of vending machines in hotel rooms, as China hosts up to 3 million budget hotel chains with more than 10 million rooms and 5 billion business travelers.
Visa application service app 11visa.com has received USD 8.77 million, boosting the company’s value to nearly USD 14.62 million. It currently handles visa applications to 84 countries, and 70% of the visa applications processed were for leisure travel purpose. In addition to its consumer-facing service, 11visa.com also has extended its services to corporate clients such as Tencent, Xiaomi, Didi and JD.com.