China Construction Bank, the country’s largest mortgage lender, established a partnership with Hanting Hotels Tuesday to issue a co-branded credit card, the Oriental Morning Post reported. The “deluxe” budget hotel chain, which was launched in 2005 by Ji Qi, a former executive from Ctrip.com and budget hotel chain Home Inn, is marketed as an upscale budget hotel experience. Ji also launched Hanting Express Inns earlier this year, targeted at a similar price range to competing budget chains like Home Inn. The National Development and Reform Commission's "2006 China Budget Hotel Investigation Report" shows that budget hotels in China only occupy about 3% of the hotel sector, compared to around 60% in America, indicating great space for development. Meanwhile, CCB has accumulatively issued more than 11 million credit cards, making it the largest credit card issuer among the big four state-owned commercial banks, the newspaper said.

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