Briefing: Ctrip eyes Europe amid rising domestic competition

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国内竞争加剧 携程提速出海步伐 – Beijing Business Today

What happened: Ctrip, China’s biggest online travel agent, is planning to expand its businesses to Europe in 2019, CEO Sun Jie announced at the company’s annual meeting. Ctrip has been plotting its global expansion over the past few years, first focusing on securing a firm foothold in Asia markets.

Why it’s important: The company revealed that since it launched its global strategy, the proportion of its overseas users has been climbing. Ctrip has more than 300 million registered users and nearly half of its monthly active users come from outside of China. The company acquired UK travel fare aggregator Skyscanner in 2016 and trip recommendation site the following year. The intensified competition in the Chinese online travel agency industry has prompted many homegrown companies to seek opportunities abroad to increase profits. Stringent regulations targeting online platforms have also played a role. Last year, authorities proposed a set of sweeping rules urging online platforms to improve safety and emergency plans, and better vet and manage their on-the-ground service providers.