SoftBank and Hony invest $500m to expand WeWork in China

WeWork
One of WeWork's current co-working office spaces in Shanghai. Image credit: WeWork

WeWork, SoftBank and Chinese private equity firm Hony Capital have announced a new $500 million investment dedicated solely to fueling WeWork’s growth and expanding its operations throughout China.

The investment vehicle, led by Hony Capital and a subsidiary of SoftBank, created an entity that will operate under the name WeWork China. WeWork will be responsible for the management and operations of the Chinese entity, while SoftBank and Hony Capital will each own a minority stake.

With the support of local teams and its partners, WeWork will continue looking for new space in cities with existing mature businesses, while also exploring new regions with potential for innovation and growth.

The investment will enable WeWork China to expand its operations into new cities next year and increase its current footprint in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai on an accelerated timeframe. In the immediate term, the Chinese company will continue building its local team and attracting new talent to join in its mission and help facilitate this unprecedented expansion.

“Since coming to China only a year ago, we’ve been able to establish a vibrant community of creators and companies – and we’ve only just begun,” said WeWork CEO Adam Neumann. “With Hony Capital and SoftBank’s financial support and deep expertise in the region, we’ll substantially grow our membership base in China and make WeWork the preeminent workspace solution and community in greater China.”

Neumann added, “We believe that by also increasing our presence in China, we will help to attract more foreign investment and companies into China.”

In greater China, WeWork currently operates in eight locations. By the end of 2017, it is expected to have about 15,000 members in China.

The company is also creating a digital operating system for physical space that leverages data and technology at each point in the building process so it can make better sourcing decisions, improve its designs, build faster and smarter, and ultimately improve the lives of the people working within its buildings.

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