Photographer: Xinhua News Agency/Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images

WeWork Joins SoftBank, Hony for $500 Million China Expansion

WeWork Cos., the co-working company that’s said to be the world’s fifth most-valuable startup, is partnering with two of its backers for a $500 million investment to expand its business in China.

WeWork will be responsible for the management and operations of WeWork China with SoftBank Group Corp. and Hony Capital each owning minority stakes. The funds will enable it to expand its footprint in greater China beyond Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, the company said in a statement Thursday

The expansion is the latest in Asia for WeWork as it takes its model of co-working spaces to new markets beyond its U.S. home. This month it announced a venture with SoftBank in Japan and the New York-based company is said to be in talks to rent a building in Hong Kong’s nightlife district of Lan Kwai Fong.

WeWork, which is said to be valued at about $20 billion, faces competition in China from rivals who have similar names and have already built out networks of office space. UrWork is a local operator with a valuation of $1.3 billion as of May and 78 offices across 20 cities.

UrWork has backing from Sequoia Capital China, Sinovation Ventures and Tianhong Asset Management Co., a fund backed by financial services giant Ant Financial. Other operators include COWORK, MyDreamPlus and also SimplyWork.

— With assistance by David Ramli

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