Lotte hotel projects suspended following business slump in China

Lotte Hotel World, Seoul Jamsil, South Korea

Shanghai's Lotte Group has suspended two projects in its hotel expansion plans in China—one in Shenyang, Liaoning Province and another in Chengdu, Sichuan Province—a Lotte China senior executive told the Global Times. Lotte did not explain the reason for the suspensions of the projects the company invested in alone. 

The 530-guestroom Shenyang hotel was expected to open in November 2019. Meanwhile, the Lotte executive explained that the company is in talks with third parties on two other hotel projects in East China's Shandong Province, but there is no concrete launch date for those. 

Lotte is looking to expand its footprint in a number of overseas markets, including Russia and Japan in the second half of this year. By the end of 2050, 1,000 hotels are set to open globally. "Lotte has not yet decided on development plans in China. But I think that Lotte's development in China should hinge on the market, and we will make plans based on market changes in China," the executive told the Global Times. 

The executive revealed that Lotte's business has been crawling in China since the second quarter of 2017 began, especially in retail. In recent months, business has been crushed numerous times after it continued with a land swap deal in February to let U.S. troops deploy the THAAD missile defense system in South Korea, Time reported.

In response, China closed about 80 of Lotte’s 99 supermarkets in the country and major online markets, like Alibaba’s Tmall, have pulled Lotte products from their sites. South Korea’s Pulse reported that Lotte would lose about $66 million in March from supermarket location closures alone.