Hilton Shanghai Jing An is Rebranded as
The Kunlun Jing An
Shanghai, China — Upon expiry of the management contract on December 31, 2017, Hilton Shanghai Jing An will be rebranded as The Kunlun Jing An, and will be managed by Jin Jiang Premier Hotels. The rebranding represents another important step Jin Jiang takes to build up Chinese luxury hotel brands.
The rebranding of a hotel in a city like Shanghai is not uncommon, but the evolution and transformation of this hotel in particular is a microcosm of the city’s remarkable development.
The Rebranding is Natural and Reasonable
The rebranding of the Hilton Shanghai represents the next step in its transformation; it is the natural progression of one of the most iconic and nostalgic hotels in Shanghai's history.
A joint venture enterprise established in accordance with the vision of the Shanghai Municipal Party Committee and the Municipal Government, the building of the Hilton Shanghai was funded by a Hong Kong enterprise, on land contributed by Jin Jiang. The upcoming rebranding takes place at the end of the contracted period which, as is the norm in international practice, is marked by the handover from Hilton to Jin Jiang.
In the 40 years since China's Reform and Opening Up Policy was initiated, Jin Jiang has welcomed a portfolio of international hotel management companies, including Hilton, Marriott, InterContinental, Accor and Okura, to manage some of the most recognized hotels in Shanghai including Hilton Shanghai, Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund, Double Tree by Hilton Shanghai Pudong, Renaissance Shanghai Yangtze, InterContinental Shanghai Pudong and Fairmont Peace Hotel. As owner of these hotels, Jin Jiang's aim was to study and to learn from the advanced management philosophies of these internationally renowned hotel groups.
Since its restructuring in 2003, Jin Jiang has expanded its portfolio of hotels from 105 to more than 7,700, with the number of rooms increasing to 800,000 from 24,000. Its hotel business has expanded from 31 domestic provinces and cities to more than 550 cities in over 60 countries globally, and its loyalty club now boasts almost 100 million members. Meanwhile, Jin Jiang has embraced the national "Going Global" strategy, growing from a regional company into an international hotel group ranking fifth in the world by incorporating the "Global Distribution, Multinational Operation" into its business model. In the first half of 2017, net shareholder profit of Jin Jiang Hotels listed stock increased by 37.87% year-on-year.
The combination of these initiatives – attracting global expertise while expanding its footprint globally – has allowed Jin Jiang not only to accrue experience, but also to cultivate the talent necessary to begin creating its own international-standard luxury hotel brands. According to Yu Minliang, Jin Jiang International Group Party Secretary and President, Jin Jiang is committed to the "13th Five-Year Plan," as required by the Shanghai Municipal Party Committee and the Municipal Government. It is focused on deepening the reform of State Owned and State Funded Enterprises and on accelerating their global development, and on making breakthroughs in brands, quality and efficiency while building the domestic "Jin Jiang" brand into an internationally renowned one. The rebranding of The Kunlun Jing An is an important step in this process, in which the city of Shanghai accelerates the creation of independently developed luxury hotel brands.
From the market perspective, the rebranding is also a natural evolution. The entry of Hilton and other international brands into China had historical reasons: during the period of Reform and Opening Up, China needed international hotel brands to serve guests from overseas who were starting to visit the country. Today however, an increasing number of hotel owners, managers, and guests come from within the domestic market. It is inevitable for Chinese hotel brands to become more prevalent, in turn reflecting the progression of high-end, modern lifestyles and trends, and embodying Chinese culture and innovative services.
A New Strategy Forms After the Rebranding
According to Lv Haiyan, Jin Jiang International Group board member and Chairman of Jin Jiang Premier Hotels, as the management company of the hotel, Jin Jiang Premier Hotels is committed to creating internationally recognized Chinese luxury hotel brands by passing down the values of traditional Chinese culture, while combining them with modern lifestyles. At Jin Jiang Premier Hotels properties, including at The Kunlun Jing An and at Hongqiao Jin Jiang Hotel, guests from around the world will experience a unique dining culture, an exquisitely designed ambiance, and most importantly the company’s core service philosophy “To the Best of My Ability.”
Jin Jiang's philosophy for maintaining the original brand image of the Hilton Shanghai Jing An. To create a luxury brand with Chinese characteristics.
Future renovation plans for The Kunlun Jing An will be based on guest feedback, Mr. Lv Haiyan remarked: "After nearly 30 years in operation, many of the hotel’s hardware and facilities are unable to meet the needs of today's guests. Though this certainly needs to change, greater emphasis should be placed on 'soft strength.' Traditional Chinese hospitality requires us to be attentive to our guests and retain them by being neither haughty nor humble. Our actions should reflect our courtesy toward our guests. How to cultivate and infuse these qualities is the most important practice of the new hotel.
"Perhaps the best way to manifest the elements of Chinese culture, is by eliminating anything other than what is absolutely essential and returning to the most basic elements. By seeing paintings and decorations, by smelling fragrances, by tasting teas and food, by listening to music and by touching furniture and other objects. By engaging the five senses, you can feel as if you’ve stepped into a different world from the moment you step into the hotel."
The Kunlun Beijing, which opened in 1986, is the first five-star hotel designed and built by Chinese, and managed by Jin Jiang. For many years, The Kunlun Beijing has been listed among the best hotels in the Chinese capital, where there is a concentration of international hotel brands. On introducing the Kunlun brand to Shanghai, Mr. Lv Haiyan expressed acknowledges that Shanghai will be challenging. Domestic and international brands can be found all across the service industry in Shanghai; every detail of the Kunlun brand should be refined and polished to compete successfully and win acclaim from guests.
Rebranding Leads to Urban Transformation
Quiet changes often contain profound meaning. In a certain sense, this rebranding mirrors the industrial development and transformations which are taking place in Shanghai.
Shanghai is becoming a global center of innovation and evolution for luxury brands. According to Mr. Yu Minliang, Jin Jiang is building "One Center and Three Platforms" to enhance core competitiveness, by focusing on a strategy for building Shanghai into a global center of technological innovation. The Global Innovation Center for Jin Jiang Hotels, with dual headquarters in Shanghai and Europe, will play four functions— industry research, brand innovation, design engineering and capital incubation, and will regularly launch replicable new hotels with achievable financial returns, hotels which combine the cultures of China and the West.
"Three Platforms" featuring Internet + Sharing Economy
The Internet and the Sharing Economy: developing the "Three Platforms."
Jin Jiang’s WeHotel global sharing platform, facilitates loyalty membership point accrual and mobile payment services by focusing on key elements of today’s sharing economy: intelligent hotels, the mobile internet, service sharing platform, and consumer finance. Centralized global procurement platform for the Jin Jiang, Plateno, and Vienna brands allows procurement resources to be pulled together, but also to streamline the process, strengthening profitability and core competitiveness while enhancing the marriage of design + "Made in China." Finally, the company’s global hotel finance sharing platform allows the integration of funds and capital which adapt more fully to international financial control practices; Vienna Hotels has already begun this integration.
Jin Jiang's focus on creating five independent, five-star luxury hotel brands, "J Hotel," "Yan Garden," "Jin Jiang," "Kunlun" and "Royal Tulip," is a realization of these At present, Hongqiao Jin Jiang Hotel, The Kunlun Jing An and The Kunlun HuaTing, along with the upcoming J Hotel Shanghai Tower and Yan Garden Shanghai, will be the representative properties of these up and coming Chinese luxury hotel brands.
With the rebranding of Hilton Shanghai as The Kunlun Jing An, Shanghai's road to high-end, innovative development is has begun.