Ctrip (Chinese: 携程; pinyin: Xié chéng) is a mainland China-focused travel agency, which runs the eponymous Ctrip.com travel website.
Shanghai-based Ctrip was founded by James Liang, Neil Shen, Min Fan, and Ji Qi in 1999. It listed on NASDAQ in 2003 in a Merrill Lynch-led offering, raising US$75 million (4.2 million ADRs at $18 each) and then further appreciated by 86% to close at $33.94 in its first day of trading. Ctrip traded at a peak of $37.35, making it the first company since the November 2000 IPO of Transmeta to double its price in the first day of trading.
In 2006, about 70% of Ctrip’s sales came from just four cities in China: Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Shenzhen.
In May 2015, Ctrip’s owner Priceline Group announced it would be investing an additional $250 million in the company.
In 2006, Liang spoke to Bloomberg about the possibility of Ctrip buying travel companies in other Asian markets such as Hong Kong and South Korea. Ctrip already had an agreement with Taiwan-based ezTravel to cooperate in offering air tickets and hotel rooms to mainland Chinese tourists in Taiwan once tourists from the mainland became able to travel to Taiwan. As of November 2011, Ctrip holds an 8.4% stake in NASDAQ-listed Home Inns as well as a minority stake in the privately held BTC-Jianguo Hotels and Resorts. Ctrip also holds a 1.3% stake in the NASDAQ-listed China Lodging (owner of the Hanting brand). On August 6, 2014, Priceline.com, announced that it will invest $500 million in Ctrip.com International Ltd. to broaden the companies’ options in China. Priceline and Ctrip, which have had a commercial partnership since 2012, will increase their cross-promotion of each company’s hotel inventory and other travel services, the companies said today in a statement.
Ctrip is known as a proponent of scientific management in using rigorous data analysis in managerial decision making. One example of this is the randomized control trial Ctrip ran on telecommuting. Given the uncertainty over the impact of telecommuting on company profits they decided to rigorously evaluate its impact before making any management decisions. So Ctrip conducted an experiment on 242 employees involving professors at Stanford and Beijing University. The experiment found that employees randomly assigned to work at home for 9 months increased their output by 13.5% versus the office-based control group, and their quit rates fell by almost 50%. Adding in the savings from cutting office space telecommuting was found to have substantially reduced costs, leading Ctrip to roll this practice out across the firm.