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Regus to open 150 more centers by 2013

Updated: 2010-10-23

Office services giant plans to expand presence in China

BEIJING - Luxembourg-based Regus, a provider of workplace solutions, said on Thursday that it expects to open 150 business centers in China by 2013, tripling its presence in the country.

The company, which has been in China for 15 years, has launched its 40th center in the China World Tower 3 in the capital's Central Business District (CBD).

A new center in Shanghai, at Aurora Plaza in Pudong district, will open in December.

Worldwide, the company has 1,100 business centers in 85 countries. About 800,000 customers use its centers every day. With dimensions of around 200 square meters, a business center offers a meeting room, offices and services including Internet and telephone lines and can serve about 170 people from about 50 companies at the same time.

"To keep up with increasing demand for new ways of working, we plan to expand rapidly and dramatically," said Mark Dixon, Regus chief executive officer.

"China is a major development market for us and we expect to grow by 30 percent by the end of the year and increase our network to 150 business centers by 2013."

The company's network now covers key cities across China, including Beijing, Chengdu, Dalian, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, Macao, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Taipei.

"As the region's economic recovery accelerates after the global financial crisis, we are seeing growing demand for flexible working solutions that enable businesses to operate more cost-effectively and efficiently," added Dixon.

Changing trends in working methods signal a market growth for the company. "Not only international, but also local multi-national, small- and medium-sized enterprises, and startups have used our flexible and mobile working methods," said Zhang Peng, regional director of Regus.

A survey by the company suggests that an office-based company can save up to 60 percent of its budget by using its services.

By Wang Zhuoqiong

According to the company's bi-annual Regus Business Tracker survey - which interviews more than 10,000 businesses worldwide - 62 percent of those interviewed in China said they plan to add new staff in 2011, compared with 36 percent for the rest of the world.

As the speed of recovery gains momentum, more companies will seek to attract talent by offering employees the flexibility to work how they want, be it in traditional offices, working from home or by providing access to business lounges while on the road, Zhang said, adding that the identification of demand and appropriate allocation of business centers is the major challenge.

Having opened a regional office in China last August, John Fargis managed to set up his office as soon as he walked into a Regus business center at Pacific Century Place in the CBD.

"The workspace solution service at the center has allowed us to get things started quickly and efficiently so we can focus on our main business," said Fargis, executive vice-president of sales and general manager of Kaseya, a Switzerland-based IT automation software company, which has used Regus globally including its centers in South Korea and Hong Kong.

"Many of the day-to-day challenges associated with the office set-up are things Regus handles very effectively and consistently."

For global companies, consistency in office service across countries is of great importance.

"No matter what country you go to, you know your workspace needs are well taken care of and it offers a lot of flexibility too," he said. "I am sure Chinese companies considering international expansion will become increasingly interested in such services."


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