As journalists around the world scrabble to find out information about a company few - except for experts in Chinese business - know nothing about, the salient fact is that Tianjin Tianhai Investment Co Ltd, the buyer of Ingram Micro, is the front play for the real power behind the throne, HAN Group.
According to several sources including Google and Reuters, Tianjin Tianhai Investment Co Ltd - formerly Tianjin Marine Shipping Co Ltd, is principally engaged in marine transportation services. The company operates its businesses through international and domestic shipping container transportation and related business.
The Company’s major routes include International liner cargo shipping routes to South Korea and Southeast Asia, with Tianjin, Shanghai, Quanzhou and Shantou as the base ports, as well as domestic trade routes to Yingkou, Qingdao, Rizhao and Longkou, with Quanzhou and Shantou as the base ports.
It is also involved in provision of ship chartering service, shipping agency and labor dispatching service.
The majority shareholder in Tianjin Tianhai is HAN Group, and Ingram will become part of this group. What the world knows of the 23-year-old HNA Group is an entirely different matter. This a major player.
The HAN Group website offers a full profile. It concludes with these words: "HNAers will always bear in mind the vision of “constructing a world-class conglomerate with China Dream”, carry forward the entrepreneurship of “brave to explore, persist in change, continue to innovation, strive for excellence”, and make greater contribution to the society and mankind, and establish a world-class conglomerate. It is a due responsibility of 180,000 HNAers to fight for the rejuvenation of Chinese nation and contribute to realization of the China Dream."
The full profile reads: "HNA Group is a conglomerate grew and prospered against the backdrop of China’s reform and opening up. Debut flight on May 2, 1993 signifies the beginning of its undertakings. In over 20 years, it has created a miracle in the business community, successfully transforming from a traditional aviation company to a conglomerate, from Hainan Island to the globe. It is committed to create a new business culture featuring socialist values and modern corporate system, a distinct operation and management model that integrates the interests of the society and others with itself.
"HNA Group was founded in 1993. In the past two decades, it grew and prospered against the backdrop of China’s reform and opening up. Developed from a local aviation transportation operator to a conglomerate encompassing core divisions of aviation, holdings, capital, tourism and logistics, HNA Group’s business outreach has expanded from Hainan Island— the South Sea Pearl to the globe, which has assets valued at over RMB 600 billion, and has 11 listed companies. In 2015, HNA Group reaps revenues of nearly RMB 190 billion and has nearly 180,000 employees worldwide. After 20 years endeavor, HNA Group has emerged as one of the Top 4 in China’s aviation industry, ranking the 99th in China Top 500 Enterprises, and lands on the 2015 Fortune 500 for the First Time on July, 2015, ranking No. 464 with annual revenue of over USD 25.6 billions.
"As of December 2015, HNA Group has a fleet of over 820 aircrafts, serve nearly 700 domestic and international routes, fly to over 200 cities, and have served 77.4 million passengers annually. It operates and manages Hainan Airlines, Tianjin Airlines, Deer Jet, Lucky Air, Capital Airlines, West Air, Fuzhou Airlines, Urumqi Air, Beibu Gulf Airlines, Yangtze River Airlines, Guilin Airlines, My CARGO, Africa World Airlines, and Aigle Azur etc. The aviation division has been maintaining a high level of operation standard and quality. The flagship subsidiary—Hainan Airlines, has been awarded SKYTRAX 5-Star Airlines in 5 consecutive years, and keeps a record of 23 years’ safe operation. According to the “World’s Safest Airlines” released by Germany’s Jet Airliner Crash Data Evaluation Centre(JACDEC), Hainan Airlines ranks as the world’s 5th and mainland China’s first airline on the list with its zero accident rates. Deer Jet is the only professional private jet that is certified as ARGUS Platinum 5-Star and by IS-BAO, and has a leading fleet of jets in Asia.
"HNA Capital’s main businesses are leasing, insurance and trust etc. It has traditional and innovative financial services such as securities, banking, futures, fund, investment banking, insurance and wealth management etc, and has obtained licenses covering all financial industries. Its leasing business covers professional leasing in aircraft, ship, container, and infrastructure etc, and Bohai Leasing is the only listed leasing company in China’s A-share market and the world’s largest container leasing company. It is also the world’s 4th largest aircraft leasing service provider with a fleet of over 220 aircrafts. HNA's insurance business has over 1100 outlets.
"HNA Tourism is built on traditional tourism industry, it develops tourism business associated with financial and e-commerce services, promotes the integration of tourism supply chain. Its service network covers Asia, Europe and Americas, and it shares the joy with 3 million travelers every year. HNA Tourism owns Caissa Touristic, China’s Top outbound tour operator, which runs more than 200 retail stores offering over 8,000 travel products, provides 1,100 cars for rent including 500 new-energy vehicles, and manages an industrial fund of over RMB 12 billion. It also owns TransForex—China’s first non-financial institution that is qualified to provide individual domestic and foreign currency exchange service and has 52 service outlets covering 23 cities.
"HNA Hospitality Group is one of the world’s 300 largest hotel companies, the most competitive national hotel brand and the best hotel management group company. It owns and manages over 450 hotels home and abroad. Tangla Hotels and Resorts, guided by the philosophy of “originated from the East and embracing the globe”, is committed to building a world-class hotel brand.
"HNA Airport Group currently has 13 airports under its management and cooperation projects, encompassing Haikou Meilan International Airport, Sanya Phoenix International Airport, Qionghai Boao Airport, Yichang Sanxia Airport, Weifang Nanyuan Airport, Manzhouli Xijiao Airport, Anqing Tianzhushan Airport, Tangshan Sannvhe Airport, Songyuan Chaganhu Airport. In 2015, the passenger traffic reaches 35 million. Haikou Meilan International Airport and Sanya Phoenix International Airport have respectively handled over 16 million passengers annually, ranking the 19th and 18th in China. Haikou Meilan International Airport won “SKYTRAX Best Regional Airport in China” and its International Terminal also obtained “SKYTRAX 5-Star Terminal”, and Sanya Phoenix International Airport won “SKYTRAX 4-Star Airport” and “SKYTRAX World Best VIP Terminal”. Meanwhile, Airport Economic and Industrial Parks are built in Haikou, Wuhan and Sanya, with total development areas of over 20,000 mu.
"HNA Real Estate is committed to become a city services provider grounded on development and management of CBD, city infrastructure, real estate and urban complex, etc. By the end of December 2015, investments are made in over 40 cities, with 41 projects, areas of nearly 6 million square meters under construction. It holds 20 property projects including office buildings, businesses, hotels, and apartments, with an area of 867,000 square meters. HNA Real Estate is now developing the CBD of Hainan International Tourism Island with area of nearly 10,000mu and the South Sea Pearl River Man-made Island with area of over 49,000 mu.
"HNA Retail owns brands like Xi’an MINSUNG department stores, Hunan JOINDOOR supermarkets, Baoji Retailing, Shanghai Jiadeli supermarkets, Hainan Seaview International Plaza, and nearly330 outlets with operation areas of over 1.2 million square meters.
"HNA Logistics is striving to be a resource integrator and solution provider of the global logistics industry with a business scope covering modern maritime transportation, cold-chain logistics, project logistics, ship manufacture and repair, high-end equipment manufacture, precision manufacture, engineering research and development, industrial and financial investment in logistics, Internet finance, payment technology, and cross-border e-commerce.
"With over 50 ships of different kinds and an annual transportation capacity of over 46 million tons, HNA Logistics also has a subsidiary named HNA Cold Chain, which is the first listed company of NEEQ in the cold chain logistics industry, ranking the first place in the transportation companies in NEEQ. JINHAI Heavy, as one of China’s Top 10 shipbuilders, is also deemed as one of the largest mono-hull ship yards in Asia with an annual shipbuilding capability of 6 million tons and more than 40 patents by independent research and development.
"JINHAI Heavy is also listed in the first white list of shipbuilding enterprises published by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China, ranking the 8th owing to the number of holding orders. HNA Logistics owns the first integrated internet exchange of air and sea transportation in China, the biggest non-bank independent factor in the market of air and sea transportation, and China’s first internet finance platform covering all the fields. By setting foot in internet finance, payment technology, and cross-border e-commerce, enhancing the life quality of the customers continuously, and spurring the development of inclusive finance, HNA Logistics is now providing integrated solutions to businesses.
"For the past two decades, HNA Group has taken corporate social responsibility as one of its business development strategies. It holds the corporate culture of “do something for the society, and do something for others” and promotes social harmony with actions. To date, HNA Group has spent over RMB 1 billion in CSR activities.
"HNA Group has developed a series of charity innovations like Brightness Action, Wells for Hainan Arid Areas, HNA Social Innovation and Business Competition, HNA Send Love Home, and has been well-recognized by governments and the society. Over the years, HNA has been awarded “China Charity Award” for four times, “Outstanding Enterprise in China Corporate Social Responsibility List”, and “South-South Award—Corporate Social Responsibility” by the United Nations. In October 2010, HNA Group has set up a private foundation - the Hainan Province Cihang Foundation. In October 2013, HNA Group donated 20% of its equity to the Foundation, making it become the largest single shareholder of the Group, and also become an important charity platform for HNA to implement social responsibilities and gratitude to the society.
"HNAers will always bear in mind the vision of “constructing a world-class conglomerate with China Dream”, carry forward the entrepreneurship of “brave to explore, persist in change, continue to innovation, strive for excellence”, and make greater contribution to the society and mankind, and establish a world-class conglomerate. It is a due responsibility of 180,000 HNAers to fight for the rejuvenation of Chinese nation and contribute to realization of the China Dream."