Thayer Jin Jiang Interactive Corp, the first joint venture hotel Internet marketing company to operate on the Chinese mainland, was launched in Shanghai yesterday.

The US$3 million firm will set up a central reservation network connected directly to the hotel's property management system, as well as an advanced hotel marketing system.

US-based Thayer Lodging Group owns a 50 percent stake in the joint venture with Jin Jiang International, Shanghai's largest hotel chain/travel agency.

Frederic W. Malek, chief executive officer with TIG Global under the Thayer Group, said they will provide Jin Jiang a Web system, technologies and managerial expertise to help the company compete with international counterparts such as the Marriott and Hilton.

China's mainland owns 280,000 hotels. About 10,000 are star ranked. Less than 1 percent of Chinese hotels, however, are run by professional hotel management companies.

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