“As a company, we, CapitaLand, are trying to find ways to work together [with competitors and potential disruptors], be it in our commercial, shopping mall or serviced apartments businesses,” Yeo told EdgeProp.my.
He said potential collaborations with other parties could resemble its partnership with Tujia.com, the largest online accommodation sharing platform in China.
Ascott has invested USD 50 million (RMB 211.66 million) in Tujia.com though a consortium in 2015 and formed a joint-venture with the online portal with an initial capital of USD 40 million to establish a serviced residence brand called Tujia Somerset in China.
“From an investment perspective, we are making money [as the valuation has gone up]. But more importantly, we also get a seat on the board, which allows us to see what is happening [in the company] and participate in the equity and their growth. We came together to build the offline brand Tujia Somerset, which makes use of their distribution channel and our Somerset brand’s guidelines to put a physical product in the market,” he said.
Besides Tujia Somerset, Ascott also has 15,000 units of serviced apartments listed on Alibaba’s online travel service platform Fliggy.
The apartments are located across over 20 destinations popular among Chinese travelers such as Singapore, Bangkok, Tokyo, Paris, and London.
Yeo noted that Ascott also does not rule out the possibility of acquiring an existing building in Malaysia to refurbish and rebrand into one of its serviced residences.
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