The partnership was made official following the signing ceremony in Shanghai on September 18 with Jin Jiang’s parent company, publicly listed Jin Jiang International (Holdings) Co Ltd, acquiring an 81% stake in Plateno.
Jin Jiang is well established in China’s upscale, midscale and economy hotel segments with brands that include J.Hotel, Jin Jiang, Kunlun, Rock Garden (Yan Hua Yuan) and Jin Jiang Inn, to name a few. Earlier this year, the company also acquired France’s Louvre Hotels Group (LHG) from Starwood Holdings incorporating the brands, Golden Tulip, Première Classe and Campanile.
Over the past two years, Plateno has acquired 17 brands with over 400 midscale and upscale hotels either in operation or under construction. Its diverse brand portfolio includes Lavande, Maison Albar, H12, Portofino, James Joyce Coffetel, ZMAX, 7 Days Inn, 7 Days Premium, µ Hotel and China’s first hotel brand designed for women, Xana Hotelle among others.
The significant partnership of Jin Jiang, LHG and Plateno effectively forms a combined portfolio of over 6,000 hotels with more than 640,000 guest rooms in 55 countries across all regions – ranking it among the world’s top five hotel groups.
Plateno also has the largest membership platform in the industry, with four million WeChat followers, growing at a rate of a million a month. Together, the total membership of the powerful union is set to surpass 100 million.
While the partners will continue to operate their respective brands independently, they plan to develop a central booking and customer relationship management system to optimise channel and revenue management “so benefits of membership can be integrated to sustainably enhance the customer experience”.
A joint statement says this cooperation “will help facilitate integration of the three group’s back-end systems, improve their operational efficiency, share information of domestic and foreign suppliers, and effectively utilise the supply chain resources at home and abroad so that an industry platform with much better efficiency can be built”.
The ultimate goal of the strategic cooperation is “to create a leading and competitive international group with global brand influence in the world”, the statement added.
Chairman of Jin Jiang, Yu Minliang, said: “The collaboration will not only make both sides more motivated to reach their strategic objectives, but also gain advantages in integrating the upstream and downstream industry chains as well as in globalisation of services… exploiting synergy and complementing each other to create more opportunities in global development and international operation.”
Plateno’s Co-Chairman and Chief Brand Architect, Alex Zheng said: “Jin Jiang has the most complete industry chain in the tourism business and Plateno possesses the biggest membership platform and the largest number of hotel brands, while both are the best examples of Chinese hospitality groups expanding business overseas.
“This strong combination helps to form a stronger joint force in global market expansion and to provide our members with more streamlined services for their outbound business and leisure travels.”
Notifying staff of the deal, he elaborated: “The main message is the global hospitality landscape is about to be significantly transformed through this strategic cooperation.”
He said the emergence of a “great, global-oriented” Chinese hospitality group among the world’s top five signals that “a new chapter has begun and the world’s hotel business is finally seeing a strong Chinese player!”
The partners foresee further major expansion in the international hotel market as “the most competitive, innovative and dynamic global hotel group”.
Mr Zheng added: “We have another dream – that in every beautiful destination in the world, there will be a Chinese-run hotel so that Chinese customers will always feel a sense of belonging wherever they go and will hear familiar greetings in Chinese and be served a warm bowl of congee whenever they want. That dream is fast becoming a reality, and that reality is here!”