Business and financeGulliver

Chinese firms are investing heavily in American hotels

CHINESE tourists are an increasingly common sight in America’s cities, from New York to Honolulu. About 2m Chinese visit the country each year; that figure is expected to rise to over 3m by the end of the decade. But it is not just Chinese tourists who have been enjoying American hospitality; it’s Chinese investors, too.

This week HNA Group, a Chinese firm that began life as an aviation company, announced that it is to buy a 25% stake in Hilton Worldwide Holdings. It will be the largest shareholder in the hotelier whose brands also include Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn and Conrad.

The deal is the latest in a year that has already seen substantial Chinese investment in American hotels. In April, an HNA division announced it was buying Carlson Hotels, which owns Radisson and several other brands. Last month, Anbang Insurance Group completed the purchase of 15 American hotels in a deal worth more than $5bn, including the JW Marriott Essex House in New York, the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco, the InterContinental in Chicago, a Four Seasons in Washington, DC, and two Ritz-Carlton resorts. And just last week came the news that China…Continue reading

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Conspiracy Theories in the Information Age, Part 1

One of the most volatile conspiracy theories in recent times ended with a whimper last month, when Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump made the terse statement, “President Barack Obama was born in the U.S. Period.” Though birthers may be with us always, it seems many have turned their attention to other potentially scandalous topics — and they need look no further than the Internet.

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