CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--UNITE HERE today launched a new travel website focused on hotels owned by Chinese insurance giant Anbang Insurance Group Co. Since 2014 Anbang purchased 16 high-end hotels in the United States. Although Anbang has been among the largest buyers of luxury hotels in the US, there remain significant unanswered questions about the company’s true ownership and relationship with the Chinese government.
The website – AnbangHotelTravelAdvisory.org – shines a spotlight on what the New York Times called Anbang’s “deep ties to the Chinese state” and concerns that Anbang’s purchases have raised with US security experts:
- President Obama stopped patronizing the Waldorf Astoria New York after Anbang bought it in 2014, which the Associated Press attributed to “fears of espionage.”
- Anbang pulled out of efforts to buy a California hotel near a US Navy base after the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States reportedly raised security concerns.
- Anbang reportedly retreated from efforts to buy Starwood Hotels and Resorts and Fidelity & Guaranty Life after being pressed for information about its ownership or financing.
The site also provides a partial list of Anbang-owned hotels, which will be updated periodically.
“We still don’t know who ultimately owns and controls Anbang. Before booking a stay at one of Anbang’s hotels, security minded travelers should ask: ‘Is my cybersecurity as good as the President’s?’” said UNITE HERE research coordinator Elliott Mallen.