CapitaLand’s wholly-owned serviced residence business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), continues its aggressive expansion by forging a strategic alliance with Dongfu Investment Development Corporation – a real estate subsidiary of China State Construction Engineering Company (CSCEC), China’s largest state-owned construction and infrastructure builder.
Through this partnership, Ascott will have the first right to manage apartments currently under development as well as future projects to be built by Dongfu Investment. Both parties will draw on each other’s capabilities, resources, brands and sales network to expand in China.
Dongfu Investment’s parent company, CSCEC, is ranked 37 amongst Fortune’s global 500 companies with massive projects internationally from Singapore to United Arab Emirates and South America. Ascott’s partnership with Dongfu Investment follows its recent alliances with fast-growing companies such as Alibaba’s online travel site Alitrip and Tujia.com International, China’s largest online apartment sharing platform equivalent to Airbnb, as well as leading developers such as Vanke and Yuexiu.
Mr Lee Chee Koon, Ascott’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Ascott is delighted to be the first international serviced residence company to form a strategic alliance with Dongfu Investment. Ascott has forged strong alliances with industry leaders from land owners to property developers, construction firms, online platforms and tech companies. Our partners have chosen to collaborate with us due to Ascott’s strong capabilities in managing award-winning serviced residences globally for the past over 30 years. These partnerships will allow Ascott to deepen our presence and build scale in key cities; expand our network to new gateway cities; broaden our reach to even more travellers as well as create new seamless O2O (Offline-to-Online and Online-to-Offline) experiences for our guests.”
Ascott and Dongfu Investment kicked off this alliance with a management contract for the 148-unit Citadines Guoxitai Xi’an which is slated to open in 2018. The addition of Citadines Guoxitai Xi’an has further reinforced Ascott’s leadership position as the largest international serviced residence owner-operator in China, with more than 14,000 units in 24 cities market with the most number of properties.
We have recorded three consecutive years of expansive growth in the country with more than 2,000 units added year on year. In 2015, we secured over 2,500 units across 14 new properties in China. We are positive that demand for quality serviced residences will continue to grow in China, riding on the increasing domestic travel especially in the first and second tier cities.”
Mr Goh added: “Through our alliance with Dongfu Investment, we will be looking at expanding in cities such as Shanghai and Jinan, tapping on our partner’s major commercial building projects across these cities. Our latest partnership with Dongfu Investment will widen Ascott’s lead as we advance towards our target of 20,000 units in China by 2020.”
Citadines Guoxitai Xi’an is close to Xi’an’s Hi-Tech Industries Development Zone where 1,000 multinational corporations including 40 Fortune 500 companies such as Samsung, Micron, Infineon and NEC are based. The serviced residence is a 10-minute drive to the city centre. Part of a mixed-used development that also includes an office tower as well as retail outlets, Citadines Guoxitai Xi’an will offer guests a choice of studios to two-bedroom apartments as well as gymnasium, breakfast area, children’s playroom, launderette and yoga room.
Following the recent opening of Ascott Central Wuxi, at least 10 properties are slated to be opened this year in various Chinese cities including Beijing, Chongqing, Shenyang, Tianjin and Xiamen.