WA and China in Headlines

(A round-up from January 2018)

Jan. 5: Chinese homebuyers file lawsuit against Realogics Sotheby broker for inflating prices

Seattle TimesMike Rosenberg at the Seattle Times reported that a lawsuit had been filed by two plaintiffs from China who bought homes in Kirkland, alleging that their broker at Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty was actually working on behalf of the builder selling the homes. They were told there were multiple offers on the table and that they needed to bid more than $2 million each to buy the homes. But when they arrived in the area after the deals closed, they discovered the homes weren’t as promised, and that there had been no evidence that other buyers were interested in the homes. The plaintiffs are Jie “Gabby” Jiao, and the married couple Maoqi Zhang and Wei Fan; the defendant is Realogics Sotheby’s broker Connie Blumenthal. –WA China Watch Digest 01/06/18

Jan. 4: Starbucks spends $1.4 billion and buys 1,400 stores in East China

PSBJThe Puget Sound Business Journal reported that Starbucks closed a deal on Wednesday, spending $1.4 billion and buying 1,400 stores in East China. The Journal said Starbucks announced back in July that it would spend $1.3 billion to buy out the remaining 50% of a partnership with two other companies, or 1,300 stores, in Shanghai, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces. The acquisition on Wednesday, the Journal said, meant that Starbucks had added 100 stores in the past six months. Back then, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said, “Unifying the Starbucks business under a full company-operated structure in China reinforces our commitment the market.” The report said Starbucks now operates 3,000 stores in 136 Chinese cities, opens a new store every 15 hours. --WA China Watch Digest 01/04/18

Jan. 2: Chongqing showcased in Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration

East Day NetSeattle’s sister city Chonqing took part in the Times Square New Year's Eve Countdown celebration on Dec. 31, 2017 in New York City, according to East Day news. As the official partner city of this year’s celebration, Chongqing sent its representatives to Times Square, the crossroads of the world, promoted its famed landscape and cultural heritage, and presented the revelers with its Tongliang Dragon Dance. Along with those from Chongqing Tourism Bureau, also appearing at the ceremony were officials of the New York City, the Chinese Consulate in New York, Times Square Committee, and U.S.-China Friendship Association. A banner held up by the Chongqing group in Times Square read, “Happy New Year 2018. Chongqing, China Welcomes You!” --WA China Watch Digest 01/02/18