Haven't received any queries from govt on association with Chinese co Jin Jiang: Radisson Hotel Group, Sarovar Hotels

New Delhi: Hotel chains Radisson Hotel Group and Sarovar Hotels said they have not received any queries from government agencies after a news report claimed the two hotel chains are on the Indian government’s radar and are being seen as a possible security threat because of their links with Chinese state-owned tourism and hospitality company Jin Jiang International.

As per a news report in The Daily Guardian, the government is seeing Radisson hotels which is owned by Jin Jiang as a possible security risk, and Sarovar has also come under the scanner.

The report said the hotel chains are causing concern in the South Block and within Indian security agencies and according to the report’s ‘sources’ in the intelligence establishment, all the data of customers of India and foreign countries collected in different systems of their hotels could be misused in China.

In November 2018, a consortium led by Jin Jiang International Holdings (Jin Jiang International) announced that it had completed the acquisition of Radisson Hospitality. As per Radisson Hotel Group’s website, Radisson Hospitality is majority owned by Jin Jiang International Holdings Co, which is ultimately owned by an entity of the government of the People’s Republic of China.

In a response to ET’s queries, Radisson Hotels said it is not in receipt of any query from the government or government bodies.

“The company was founded in Minneapolis, United States of America more than 60 years ago and is currently headquartered out of Minneapolis, Brussels and Singapore. With over two decades of operations in India, our business has a rich legacy in the country,” the company said in a statement. “Our data security standards have always been at the forefront of guest and owner data protection. At Radisson Hotel Group, we are highly committed to system and data security and have ensured vigorous enforcement as per local government laws similar to all international brands,” it added.

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Headquartered in Shanghai, Jin Jiang International is owned by the Shanghai Municipal Government as per various media reports.

According to its website, it has three core businesses: hotel management and investment, tourist services and transport and logistics, and it directly/indirectly holds four listed corporations- Jin Jiang Hotels, Jin Jiang Development, Jin Jiang Investment, and Jin Jiang Travel.

Jin Jiang Hotels is listed in Hong Kong.

According to the website, Jin Jiang is a famous brand in China valued at 17.2 billion yuan.

Jin Jiang owned French chain Louvre Hotels Group has a 74% stake in Sarovar Hotels.

Ajay Bakaya, MD, Sarovar Hotels said he has not received any queries from Indian agencies on the matter.

“There is a significant difference between us and any other company including Radisson. Our ownership is Indian, and the rest of the holding is by a French company called Louvre. The Indian promoters who are also directors on the board are there in executive capacity. So, executive chairman and managing director are Indian. In the last three years, I haven’t exchanged a single email with anyone from Jin Jiang,” he said. “We have an Indian property management software system, an Indian loyalty programme and an Indian reservation system and all our data is stored in India,” he added.

In February 2015, Starwood Capital Group and Jin Jiang International Holdings confirmed that the sale of Groupe du Louvre and its 100% indirect subsidiary Louvre Hotels Group was completed.

Through Starwood affiliate Star SDL Investment Co, Groupe du Louvre was sold to the 100% Luxemburg-based subsidiary of Shanghai Jin Jiang International Hotels Development Co for an amount of €1.3 billion.

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