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Opinion
Michael Schuman

Good Reason to Beware Chinese Buyers

Their motivations aren't entirely market-based. Scrutiny of their bids shouldn't be either.
Starwood may find it hard to resist Anbang's latest offer.

Starwood may find it hard to resist Anbang's latest offer.

Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg

You have to give credit to China’s Anbang. Only days ago, the Chinese insurance group was shoved aside in its long quest to acquire U.S. hotel operator Starwood. A rival suitor, U.S. hotelier Marriott, had recaptured Starwood's affections with a sweetened bid. Undeterred, Anbang roared back on Mar. 26 with an even juicier offer. Obviously, the company is not easily denied.

At first glance, there would appear to be little reason for concern over which company wins the bidding war for Starwood. Who runs hotels doesn’t seem like a matter of grave consequence to the U.S. economy. And the fact that Chinese companies are looking to invest in the U.S. should be seen as a big positive. Foreign investment, no matter what the source, can help create jobs.