Beer Diplomacy: Another Investment Follows a Visit by Xi Jinping – China Real Time Report – WSJ

After pulling a pint for Chinese President Xi Jinping last year, an iconic English pub has now pulled in Chinese investors.

The Plough at Cadsden was purchased by a London-based investment company that the broker, Christie & Co., described as a Chinese company. Terms weren’t disclosed.

The purchase, by SinoFortone Investment, came after Mr. Xi shared a beer with former U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron at the pub.

Unknown is how his visit may have led to the purchase. But it is the latest deal to follow the Chinese leader’s movements.

On the same day Mr. Xi visited the pub, he also joined Mr. Cameron on a visit to the Manchester City soccer club, in the north of England. The following month a Chinese consortium said it had invested $400 million for a minority stake in the successful soccer club.

Closer to home, Mr. Xi’s patronage of the state-owned Qing Feng Steamed Dumpling Shop in Beijing was followed by an announcement that the restaurant chain plans an IPO. The Plough, which describes itself as “probably the most famous pub in England,” is near Chequers, the country house retreat for British prime ministers. The pub “has become quite a tourist attraction for Chinese visitors” since Mr. Xi’s appearance, Christie & Co said.

SinoFortone Investment extolled the virtues of beer diplomacy, calling pubs “the best way culturally to link people from different countries and build friendships.” The company added that “The English pub concept is growing very fast in China.” SinoFortone has also invested £100 million ($1.28 million) in London Paramount Entertainment, a large theme park proposed for construction on the Swanscombe Peninsula in North Kent. The deal was announced while Xi Jinping was in the U.K.

Source: Beer Diplomacy: Another Investment Follows a Visit by Xi Jinping – China Real Time Report – WSJ

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