Chinese AI Firm Sets Up in Singapore and More Asia Real Estate Headlines

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Yitu founder Zhu Long has the AI guy look down cold

Leading today’s roundup of property news, a Chinese artificial intelligence firm has opened a new office in Singapore and plans to hire up to 60 researchers. Also in the headlines, Colliers is marketing a package of seven hotels across Thailand’s tourist hotspots, in one of Asia’s biggest hotel portfolio deals. A new retail partnership highlights Asia’s online-to-offline mania, and the Cambodian government has some thoughts about alleged Chinese money-laundering through the country’s property market. Read on for all the details.

China AI Firm Yitu Sets Up in SG for Global Expansion

Chinese artificial intelligence company Yitu Technology plans to hire 50 to 60 researchers in Singapore as it opens its first international office in Singapore.

“We see Singapore as a springboard to enter more markets in this region — for example, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia,” Lance Wang, Yitu’s general manager of South-east Asia, Hong Kong and Macau, said on Tuesday (Jan 23) at the opening of the Singapore office in Asia Square. The firm’s research and development centre will be set up later, and Yitu’s target is for 90 per cent of the staff there to be local hires. Read more>>

Portfolio of Seven Thailand Hotels Up for Sale

Seven hotels in Thailand’s four key tourism destinations are up for sale with an indicative price of $230,000 per key, marking one of the largest hotel portfolio deals in Asia worth a total of $388.24 million.

Colliers International, a global real estate services firm and advisor to this deal, said on Monday that the portfolio consists of four hotels in Phuket and one each in Bangkok, Hua Hin and Koh Samui. With 1,688 rooms in combination, the hotels have an average occupancy rate of 80 percent. Six are managed by AccorHotels and one by Marriott International/Starwood. Read more>>

Chinese Luxury Platform Secoo Ties Up with Parkson

NASDAQ-listed Secoo Holding Limited, Asia’s largest online integrated upscale products and services platform, announced that it has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Parkson Retail Group, the retail division of the Malaysian Lion Group, to drive omni-channel services that will take both companies’ online-to-offline initiatives to the next level.

Secoo and Parkson will offer products on each others’ websites, and integrate their online-to-offline business resources to enable customers to make orders online and pick up products at either brand’s offline stores. Both companies will also offer their products in Secoo’s experience centers and Parkson’s stores. Read more>>

Cambodia Rejects Report on Chinese Money Laundering

The spokesman for Cambodia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs hit back at news reports about Chinese investors laundering their money through Cambodia’s real estate market on Monday, calling them “baseless.”

Sounry was apparently referring to a New York Times article published January 9 about the boom in Chinese interest in Cambodian real estate and the opportunities that Cambodia’s cash economy presents for money laundering. One analyst quoted in the article said the lax controls among Cambodian banks allow Chinese buyers to launder cash from criminal activities through Cambodian real estate. Read more>>

Chinese Media Told To Downplay HNA, Wanda Debt Woes

Chinese media outlets were told not to play up the financial and debt problems of big Chinese conglomerates such as HNA Group and Dalian Wanda Group, according to two sources briefed on the instructions issued by the authorities.

The instructions issued a few weeks ago were not a ban on coverage of specific companies, but a reminder that media reports should not help stir or spread market panic, the sources said. Read more>>

Tune in again tomorrow for more news, and be sure to follow @Mingtiandi on Twitter, or bookmark Mingtiandi’s LinkedIn page for headlines as they happen.

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