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Lalu to begin expansion into China in June

TAIPEI -- The Shining Group (鄉林集團), a high-end Taiwanese developer, will open its first hotel under its luxury Lalu (涵碧樓) brand in China in June, the opening salvo in an ambitious plan to build 30 Lalu hotels in China over the next 10 years.

The new hotel will be located in Qingdao in Shandong Province, and will be followed by the opening of another Lalu brand hotel in Nanjing at the end of this year or early next year, the group said in a statement released Monday.

The Taichung-based Shining Group opened its signature Lalu hotel in Sun Moon Lake in 2002 at a cost of NT$1.86 billion (US$61.4 million), hoping not only to provide luxury accommodation in the scenic area but also to build its reputation as a developer of luxury properties.

With limited opportunities for expansion in Taiwan, Shining Group chairman Lai Cheng-i (賴正鎰) has said his company plans to open 30 Lalu brand hotels in China within 10 years, a strategy he calls the “1030 Project.”

Investments are currently being made in Qingdao, Nanjing, Chengdu in Sichuan Province and Guilin in the Guangxi Autonomous Region, Lai said.

The Qingdao Lalu will hold its first recruitment fair on March 15-16, during which it plans to hire 350 people to fill positions ranging from middle level managers to front-line employees, according to the developer.

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