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Hony, JD.com lead $148 million investment in travel firm Tuniu
文章来源:Reuters         更新日期: 2014-12-15 12:00
SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Investment firm Hony Capital and e-commerce firm JD.com Inc have led a $148 million round of investment into Chinese travel company Tuniu Corp, tapping into the country's fast-growing tourism market.

Hony and JD.com invested $50 million each, while Tuniu rival Ctrip.Com International Ltd injected $15 million, with Tuniu's chief executive and chief operating officer investing $16.5 million each, according to a press release on Monday.

Tuniu's COO Alex Yan said the investment would help the firm widen its reach in fast-growing lower-tier Chinese cities, and would help fund investments into travel technology and mobile operations.

"With these efforts, we are confident that Tuniu will further expand our market share and strengthen our industry leadership," he said.

Chinese tourists are set to spend $155 billion on trips abroad this year, according to the China Tourism Academy. Brokerage CLSA estimates this spending could triple by 2020 when around 200 million Chinese tourists will venture overseas.

The investment brings JD.com, the country's number two e-commerce firm, into closer competition in the tourism sector with larger rival Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

Alibaba invested 2.81 billion yuan ($454 million) in a hospitality technology provider in September to help it develop its Taobao travel business. 

China's domestic tourism sector raked in 2.9 trillion yuan ($468.5 billion) in 2013 with 3.25 billion domestic tourists, according to government data. 

U.S.-listed Tuniu, which operates in over 120 countries, made a net loss of around $17 million in the third quarter of the year, compared to a $2 million loss in the same period in 2013.

($1 = 6.19 Chinese yuanrenminbi)