SINGAPORE -- Ho Kwon Ping, executive chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings, an operator of upscale hotels and resorts based out of Singapore, is banking on China.
He expects the Chinese government will move to bolster personal spending. Banyan Tree is putting its money where Ho's mouth is. It is accelerating efforts to expand its network hotels across mainland China. This is in stark contrast to Japanese businesses, which are moving away from China.
Formerly, Ho made his mark in journalism. He was once imprisoned by the Singapore government over articles he wrote. In a city-state, where government-affiliated companies are an influential presence, his entrepreneurial manner is unusual.
A Japan enthusiast, Ho displays kimono in his office.
Though he previously thought of acquiring traditional ryokan inns in Japan, he put the plan on ice because of the country's attitude to business. Even so, he said that it might be possible to operate service apartments in Japan.
People in Japan's tourism sector are watching for Ho's next move.