Auto Test Center Opens in the UK

A world class auto powertrain test centre, with investment from China’s Changan Automobile, was unveiled on Tuesday in the British Industrial City of Birmingham despite continuing uncertainty caused by Brexit.

Zhang Xiaoyu, Director of Changan’s Blue Core NE Powertrain Platform, said that Birmingham was chosen as the start of the company’s global powertrain research and development journey because the UK is the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution with an innovative spirit and an abundance of talent resources.

The test centre is designed to test automotive powertrains, including engines and transmission.

The centre can be used to test Changan’s engine products for conventional cars as well as power systems for hybrid electric vehicles and pure electric vehicles

Tim Pile, chair of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership, said Chinese investment has helped the region grow and created jobs needed for the renaissance of the region.

BOC’s Branch in Athens

The Bank of China (BOC), one of China’s four biggest lenders, has received approval from the Bank of Greece, the country’s central bank, to set up a branch in Athens, the capital of Greece.

The branch has completed procedures including regulatory approval and business registration, according to a statement on the BOC website.

Thus far, the BOC has set up overseas institutions in 59 countries and regions, it said.

Greece, which is a member of the European Union, a eurozone country and a full member of the China-Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs) cooperation mechanism, has signed an MOU with China over cooperation in the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI).

Bilateral cooperation in diverse fields has been expanding in recent years, the statement said.

The establishment of the Athens branch is said to be a practical measure of the BOC to support the BRI and promote the construction of the Belt & Road financial arteries.

Huazhu to buy German Hotel

China’s Huazhu Group is buying the Steigenberger hotels as it seeks to extend its global reach with the addition of one of Germany’s most well-known upmarket chains.

Huazhu, already the world’s fifth-largest hotel group by market capitalisation, is paying 700 million euros ($781 million) in cash for Steigenberger parent Deutsche Hospitality.

Huazhu, based in China and listed in New York, operates hotels using a franchise model and leasing properties, opens 1,000 hotels each year. The acquisition will add to its more than 5,000 hotels.

Deutsche Hospitality operates 118 hotels and has 36 further hotels under development, with a focus on Europe. It has plans to increase its total number to 250 by 2024.

“With the help of Huazhu, that number will be realised before 2024, said Huazhu Chief Executive Jenny Zhang.