Ascott secures China expansion spree

Somerset Gubei Shanghai is set for a 2018 opening
Somerset Gubei Shanghai is set for a 2018 opening

The Ascott Limited (Ascott), CapitaLand's wholly owned serviced residence business unit, has secured the contracts to manage nine properties with over 2,000 units in China, making inroads into new cities such as Harbin and Zhuhai, and widening its presence in Chongqing, Foshan, Shanghai and Wuxi.

Of the nine new properties, Somerset Gubei Shanghai will be the first to open in 2018, while Ascott Raffles City Chongqing and Tujia Somerset City Hub Zhuhai Serviced Residence are scheduled to open in 2019. 

Meanwhile, Ascott Jing'an Shanghai and Citadines Baoyu Riverview Harbin are targeted to open in 2020. Ascott Zumiao Foshan, Ascott Gaoxin Wuxi and Gaoxin Serviced Residence Wuxi are slated to start operations in 2021 while Ascott Hengqin Zhuhai is due to open in 2023. 

Besides Ascott Raffles City Chongqing, four other properties which are part of CapitaLand's Raffles City-branded integrated developments include operating ones such as Ascott Raffles City Beijing, Ascott Raffles City Chengdu, and Ascott Raffles City Shenzhen, as well as Ascott Raffles City Hangzhou which is slated to open in 3Q 2018.

Last year, Ascott saw a record year of growth in China as it added over 5,600 units across 28 properties, doubling the over 2,700 units across 15 properties added in 2016.

With the new signings, Ascott has exceeded its target of 20,000 units for our biggest market China three years ahead of schedule. Ascott has also seen its "strongest year" as its "global portfolio crossed 72,000 units, adding a record high of about 24,000 units within the year," said Kevin Goh, Ascott's newly appointed chief executive officer.

"In 2017, we made our foray into Handan, Xuzhou, Yichang, Kunming, and now Harbin and Zhuhai. Harbin is a key political, economic and technological centre of Northeast China while our entry into Zhuhai will entrench Ascott's business in South China, specifically the economic zone of the Pearl River Delta," said Tan Tze Shang, Ascott's managing director for China.

Ascott is also looking to grow its business to "cater to the growing group of millennials and digital natives in China," said Tan. 

"We will be opening Ascott's first lyf property in Shenzhen this year. lyf Wu Tong Island Shenzhen is designed to meet the demand for co-living spaces. We have also introduced technological initiatives across our properties in China to boost operational efficiency and enhance customer experience," added Tan.

In China, Ascott has a portfolio of over 20,000 units in more than 110 properties across 31 cities.

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