Before the Olympics, a Parade of Companies

The New York Times looks at the American companies that are pouring into Beijing to fill the retail space created by the city’s Olympics makeover:

With the new supply of high-quality real estate, more American companies have been heading into Beijing, seeking to expand their presence in one of the world’s fastest-growing markets. A less-stringent regulatory environment for business is also helping to clear the path; there are fewer ownership restrictions, for example, for foreign businesses in certain industries. “The city is expanding at such a pace, it’s creating new opportunities every day,” said Edwin Fuller, the president and managing director of international lodging for Marriott International, whose hotel brands include JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Ritz-Carlton and Renaissance Hotels.

In the two years leading up to the start of the Games, Marriott International will have opened eight new hotels, totaling 3,000 rooms, including a JW Marriott and Beijing’s second Ritz-Carlton. Both the JW Marriott and the Ritz opened late last year in China Central Place, a new mixed-use development in the Central Business District. Companies already established in China are expanding in Beijing, including McDonald’s, Staples, Starbucks and Nike, while others are entering for the first time, or venturing into more direct investments.

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