Business / Companies

Online travel agency joins forces with mobile phone giant

By Shi Jing ( Updated: 2015-10-29 17:02

Amsterdam-based online travel agency, owned by online travel giant Priceline Group, has joined forces with China’s largest telecommunications carrier, China Mobile Communications Corporation, to integrate customers, products, services and distribution channels of both companies.

Under the deal, a China Mobile user will be rewarded with a minimum 1 GB of domestic mobile data traffic after booking a hotel room on through a mobile phone. China Mobile users in Shanghai will receive a minimum 2 GB of domestic mobile data traffic. This service will cover the 800-million-plus users of China Mobile. is also seeking cooperation with China Eastern Airlines, Air China, China Merchants Bank and Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China Ltd to provide comprehensive transportation and financial services.

"Outbound trips have grown rapidly in China in recent years. With the statistics that China Mobile obtains, we will be able to predict the potential consumer behavior and recommend suitable accommodation," said Oliver Hua, managing director of Asia Pacific.

While mainly caters for outbound trips, the company has noticed a growing number of Chinese consumers booking hotel rooms for domestic trips. At present, technology savvy young consumers who prefer self-guided tours and managerial level business travelers are groups which have expanded most significantly, according to Hua.

"When we first entered the Chinese market, most customers were from first-tier cities. But over time, we have seen more demand from lower-tier cites. We believe that lower-tier cities will become the driving power of the online travel booking business in China," he said.

Hua also pointed out that the key to success for Internet companies is to focus on areas they specialize in rather than a diverse business portfolio. The swap and partnership between International Ltd and rival Qunar Cayman Islands Ltd is good news for the industry which has long suffered from price wars, said Hua.

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