20-F 1 a13-5968_120f.htm 20-F

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 


 

FORM 20-F

 


 

(Mark One)

 

o

Registration statement pursuant to Section 12(b) or 12(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

 

 

or

 

 

x

Annual report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012

 

 

or

 

 

o

Transition report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

 

 

 

For the transition period from                  to                 

 

 

or

 

 

o

Shell company report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934

 

Date of event requiring this shell company report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 

Commission file number: 001-33853

 

CTRIP.COM INTERNATIONAL, LTD.

(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)

 

N/A

(Translation of Registrant’s name into English)

 

Cayman Islands

(Jurisdiction of incorporation or organization)

 

99 Fu Quan Road

Shanghai 200335

People’s Republic of China

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

Min Fan, President and Chief Executive Officer

Telephone: +(8621) 3406-4880

Facsimile: +(8621) 5251-0000

99 Fu Quan Road

Shanghai 200335

People’s Republic of China

(Name, Telephone, Email and/or Facsimile number and Address of Company Contact Person)

 

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of Each Class

 

Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered

Ordinary shares, par value US$0.01 per ordinary share

 

The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC*
(The NASDAQ Global Select Market)

 


*            Not for trading but only in connection with the listing on the NASDAQ Global Select Market of American depositary shares, each representing 0.25 of an ordinary share.

 

Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:

 

None

(Title of Class)

 



 

Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act:

 

None

(Title of Class)

 

Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the Issuer’s classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report, 32,354,634 ordinary shares, par value $0.01 per ordinary share.

 

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.

Yes x   No o

 

If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Yes o   No x

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.

Yes x   No o

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).

Yes x   No o

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, or a non-accelerated filer. See definition of “accelerated filer and large accelerated filer” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

 

Large accelerated filer x

 

Accelerated filer o

 

Non-accelerated filer o

 

Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:

 

U.S. GAAP x

 

International Financial Reporting Standards as issued
by the International Accounting Standards Board
o

 

Other o

 

If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow.

Item 17 o   Item 18 o

 

If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).

Yes o   No x

 

(APPLICABLE ONLY TO ISSUERS INVOLVED IN BANKRUPTCY PROCEEDINGS DURING THE PAST FIVE YEARS.)

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed all documents and reports required to be filed by Sections 12, 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 subsequent to the distribution of securities under a plan confirmed by a court.

 

Yes o   No o

 



Table of Contents

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

INTRODUCTION

 

3

FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

 

3

PART I

 

 

4

ITEM 1.

IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISERS

 

4

ITEM 2.

OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE

 

5

ITEM 3.

KEY INFORMATION

 

5

ITEM 4.

INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY

 

25

ITEM 4A.

UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

 

38

ITEM 5.

OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS

 

38

ITEM 6.

DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEES

 

52

ITEM 7.

MAJOR SHAREHOLDERS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS

 

66

ITEM 8.

FINANCIAL INFORMATION

 

69

ITEM 9.

THE OFFER AND LISTING

 

70

ITEM 10.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

 

71

ITEM 11.

QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

 

78

ITEM 12.

DESCRIPTION OF SECURITIES OTHER THAN EQUITY SECURITIES

 

78

PART II

 

 

79

ITEM 13.

DEFAULTS, DIVIDEND ARREARAGES AND DELINQUENCIES

 

79

ITEM 14.

MATERIAL MODIFICATIONS TO THE RIGHTS OF SECURITY HOLDERS AND USE OF PROCEEDS

 

79

ITEM 15.

CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES

 

80

ITEM 16A.

AUDIT COMMITTEE FINANCIAL EXPERT

 

80

ITEM 16B.

CODE OF ETHICS

 

80

ITEM 16C.

PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTANT FEES AND SERVICES

 

81

ITEM 16D.

EXEMPTIONS FROM THE LISTING STANDARDS FOR AUDIT COMMITTEES

 

81

ITEM 16E.

PURCHASE OF EQUITY SECURITIES BY THE ISSUER AND AFFILIATED PURCHASERS

 

81

ITEM 16F.

CHANGE IN REGISTRANT’S CERTIFYING ACCOUNTANT

 

82

ITEM 16G.

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

 

82

ITEM 16H.

MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURE

 

82

ITEM 17.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

82

ITEM 18.

FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

 

83

ITEM 19.

EXHIBITS

 

83

 

2



Table of Contents

 

INTRODUCTION

 

In this annual report, unless otherwise indicated,

 

(1) the terms “we,” “us,” “our company,” “our” and “Ctrip” refer to Ctrip.com International, Ltd., its predecessor entities and subsidiaries, and, in the context of describing our operations and consolidated financial information, also include its consolidated affiliated Chinese entities;

 

(2) “shares” and “ordinary shares” refer to our ordinary shares, par value of US$0.01 per ordinary share;

 

(3) “ADSs” refers to our American depositary shares, four of which represent one ordinary share;

 

(4) “China” and “PRC” refer to the People’s Republic of China, and solely for the purpose of this annual report, exclude Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, and “Greater China” refers to the PRC, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau; and

 

(5) all references to “RMB” and “Renminbi” are to the legal currency of China and all references to “U.S. dollars,” “US$,” “dollars” and “$” are to the legal currency of the United States.

 

Any discrepancies in any table between the amounts identified as total amounts and the sum of the amounts listed therein are due to rounding.

 

This annual report on Form 20-F includes our audited consolidated financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

 

On April 11, 2006, we effected a change of the ratio of our ADSs to ordinary shares from one (1) ADS representing two (2) ordinary shares to one (1) ADS representing one ordinary share. On July 31, 2007, we effected a change of the ratio of our ADSs to ordinary shares from one (1) ADS representing one ordinary share to two (2) ADSs representing one ordinary share. On January 21, 2010, we effected a change of the ratio of our ADSs to ordinary shares from two (2) ADSs representing one ordinary share to four (4) ADSs representing one ordinary share. Unless otherwise indicated, ADSs and per ADS amount in this annual report have been retroactively adjusted to reflect the changes in ratio for all periods presented.

 

FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

 

This annual report on Form 20-F contains forward-looking statements that reflect our current expectations and views of future events. These statements are made under the “safe harbor” provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You can identify these forward-looking statements by terminology such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “future,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “estimate,” “is/are likely to” or other similar expressions. We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events and financial trends that we believe may affect our financial condition, results of operations, business strategy and financial needs. These forward-looking statements include, among other things:

 

·              our anticipated growth strategies;

 

·              our future business development, results of operations and financial condition;

 

·              our ability to continue to control costs and maintain profitability; and

 

·              the expected growth in the overall economy and demand for travel services in China.

 

The forward-looking statements included in this annual report on Form 20-F are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions about our company. Our actual results of operations may differ materially from the forward-looking statements as a result of the risk factors described under “Item 3.D. Risk Factors,” included elsewhere in this annual report on Form 20-F, including the following risks:

 

3



Table of Contents

 

·              a severe or prolonged downturn in the global or Chinese economy may have a material and adverse effect on our business, and may materially and adversely affect our growth and profitability;

 

·              general declines or disruptions in the travel industry may materially and adversely affect our business and results of operations;

 

·              the trading price of our ADSs has been volatile historically and may continue to be volatile regardless of our operating performance;

 

·              if we are unable to maintain existing relationships with travel suppliers and strategic alliances, or establish new arrangements with travel suppliers and strategic alliances similar to those we currently have, our business may suffer;

 

·              if we fail to further increase our brand recognition, we may face difficulty in obtaining new business partners and customers, and our business may be harmed;

 

·              if we do not compete successfully against new and existing competitors, we may lose our market share, and our business and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected;

 

·              our business could suffer if we do not successfully manage current growth and potential future growth;

 

·              our strategy to acquire or invest in complementary businesses and assets involves significant risks and uncertainty that may prevent us from achieving our objectives and harm our financial condition and results of operations;

 

·              our quarterly results are likely to fluctuate because of seasonality in the travel industry in Greater China;

 

·              our business may be harmed if our infrastructure and technology are damaged or otherwise fail or become obsolete;

 

·              our business depends substantially on the continuing efforts of our key executives, and our business may be severely disrupted if we lose their services;

 

·              inflation in China may disrupt our business and have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations; and

 

·              if the ownership structure of our affiliated Chinese entities and the contractual arrangements among us, our consolidated affiliated Chinese entities and their shareholders are found to be in violation of any PRC laws or regulations, we and/or our affiliated Chinese entities may be subject to fines and other penalties, which may adversely affect our business and results of operations.

 

These risks are not exhaustive. Other sections of this annual report include additional factors that could adversely impact our business and financial performance. You should read these statements in conjunction with the risk factors disclosed in “Item 3.D. Risk Factors” of this annual report and other risks outlined in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Moreover, we operate in an emerging and evolving environment. New risk factors may emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for our management to predict all risk factors, nor can we assess the impact of all factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements.

 

You should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

 

PART I

 

ITEM 1.                        IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISERS

 

Not applicable.

 

4



Table of Contents

 

ITEM 2.                        OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE

 

Not applicable.

 

ITEM 3.                        KEY INFORMATION

 

A.      Selected Financial Data

 

The following table presents the selected consolidated financial information for our business. You should read the following information in conjunction with “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects” below. The selected consolidated statement of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and the selected consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2011 and 2012 have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements and should be read in conjunction with those statements, which are included in this annual report beginning on page F-1. The selected consolidated statement of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2008 and 2009 and the selected consolidated balance sheet data as of December 31, 2008, 2009 and 2010 have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements for these periods, which are not included in this annual report.

 

All ADS data have been retroactively adjusted to reflect the current ADS to ordinary share ratio for all periods presented.

 

 

 

For the Year Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2008

 

2009

 

2010

 

2011

 

2012

 

2012

 

 

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

US$(2)

 

 

 

(in thousands, except for per ordinary share data)

 

Consolidated Statement of Operation Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net revenues

 

1,482,004

 

1,988,007

 

2,881,233

 

3,498,085

 

4,158,791

 

667,532

 

Cost of revenues

 

(326,610

)

(450,603

)

(625,261

)

(805,130

)

(1,037,791

)

(166,577

)

Gross profit

 

1,155,394

 

1,537,404

 

2,255,972

 

2,692,955

 

3,121,000

 

500,955

 

Operating expenses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Product development(1)

 

(235,800

)

(308,452

)

(453,853

)

(601,485

)

(911,905

)

(146,371

)

Sales and marketing(1)

 

(286,693

)

(345,289

)

(453,293

)

(624,600

)

(984,002

)

(157,943

)

General and administrative(1)

 

(171,694

)

(196,297

)

(294,701

)

(400,876

)

(570,487

)

(91,570

)

Total operating expenses

 

(694,187

)

(850,038

)

(1,201,847

)

(1,626,961

)

(2,466,394

)

(395,884

)

Income from operations

 

461,207

 

687,366

 

1,054,125

 

1,065,994

 

654,606

 

105,071

 

Net interest income and other income

 

86,045

 

78,194

 

136,712

 

223,627

 

296,088

 

47,526

 

Income before income tax expense equity in income of affiliates and noncontrolling interest

 

547,252

 

765,560

 

1,190,837

 

1,289,621

 

950,694

 

152,597

 

Income tax expense

 

(102,914

)

(131,658

)

(205,017

)

(262,186

)

(294,526

)

(47,274

)

Equity in income of affiliates

 

 

32,869

 

66,172

 

57,525

 

34,343

 

5,512

 

Net income

 

444,338

 

666,771

 

1,051,992

 

1,084,960

 

690,511

 

110,835

 

Less: Net loss / (income) attributable to noncontrolling interests

 

(230

)

(7,797

)

(3,922

)

(8,545

)

23,895

 

3,835

 

Net income attributable to Ctrip’s shareholders

 

444,108

 

658,974

 

1,048,070

 

1,076,415

 

714,406

 

114,670

 

Earnings Per Ordinary Share Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net income attributable to Ctrip’s shareholders

 

444,108

 

658,974

 

1,048,070

 

1,076,415

 

714,406

 

114,670

 

Earnings per ordinary share(3), basic

 

13.32

 

19.62

 

29.62

 

29.92

 

20.87

 

3.35

 

Earnings per ordinary share(3), diluted

 

12.90

 

18.69

 

27.89

 

28.30

 

19.92

 

3.20

 

Cash dividends per ordinary share paid(4)

 

3.38

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5



Table of Contents

 

 

 

As of December 31,

 

 

 

2008

 

2009

 

2010

 

2011

 

2012

 

2012

 

 

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

US$(2)

 

 

 

(in thousands)

 

Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents

 

1,069,827

 

1,434,618

 

2,153,935

 

3,503,428

 

3,421,533

 

549,194

 

Restricted cash

 

6,600

 

113,150

 

224,179

 

211,636

 

768,229

 

123,309

 

Short-term investment

 

176,586

 

180,184

 

1,178,278

 

1,288,472

 

1,408,664

 

226,106

 

Accounts receivable, net

 

274,302

 

420,579

 

621,549

 

789,036

 

983,804

 

157,911

 

Prepayments and other current assets

 

95,151

 

134,318

 

355,831

 

566,188

 

999,149

 

160,375

 

Deferred tax assets, current

 

8,841

 

23,446

 

37,136

 

39,782

 

61,841

 

9,926

 

Non-current assets

 

1,010,142

 

1,850,465

 

3,545,296

 

3,362,893

 

4,026,531

 

646,303

 

Total assets

 

2,641,449

 

4,156,760

 

8,116,204

 

9,761,435

 

11,669,751

 

1,873,124

 

Current liabilities

 

626,037

 

1,158,542

 

1,880,898

 

2,568,060

 

3,910,144

 

627,621

 

Deferred tax liabilities, non-current

 

813

 

11,510

 

45,383

 

48,309

 

53,309

 

8,557

 

Long-term Debt

 

 

 

 

 

1,121,418

 

180,000

 

Total Ctrip’s shareholders’ equity

 

2,011,971

 

2,925,048

 

6,103,693

 

7,042,295

 

6,489,632

 

1,041,658

 

Noncontrolling interests

 

2,628

 

61,660

 

86,230

 

102,771

 

95,248

 

15,288

 

Total shareholder’s equity

 

2,014,599

 

2,986,708

 

6,189,923

 

7,145,066

 

6,584,880

 

1,056,946

 

 


(1)    Share-based compensation was included in the related operating expense categories as follows:

 

 

 

For the Year Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2008

 

2009

 

2010

 

2011

 

2012

 

2012

 

 

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

US$(2)

 

 

 

(in thousands)

 

Product development

 

32,666

 

33,863

 

64,254

 

98,955

 

132,583

 

21,281

 

Sales and marketing

 

18,816

 

18,864

 

33,203

 

48,191

 

55,892

 

8,971

 

General and administrative

 

77,035

 

77,802

 

145,104

 

195,645

 

243,246

 

39,044

 

 

(2)      Translation from RMB amounts into U.S. dollars was made at a rate of RMB6.2301 to US$1.00. See “Exchange Rate Information.”

 

(3)      Each ADS represents 0.25 of an ordinary share.

 

(4)      During the past five years, we distributed dividends in July 2008 in the aggregate amount of RMB112 million to our shareholders of record as of June 12, 2008, at a dividend rate of RMB3.38, or US$0.488, per ordinary share. The above U.S. dollar amounts were translated using the then prevailing exchange rate. We did not distribute any dividends to our shareholders in 2009, 2010, 2011, or 2012.

 

Exchange Rate Information

 

We have published our consolidated financial statements in RMB. Our business is primarily conducted in China in RMB. The conversion of RMB into U.S. dollars in this annual report is based on the certified exchange rate published by the Federal Reserve Board. For your convenience, this annual report contains translations of some RMB or U.S. dollar amounts for 2012 at US$1.00 : RMB6.2301, which was the certified exchange rate in effect as of December 31, 2012. The certified exchange rate on March 22, 2013 was US$1.00 : RMB6.2120. We make no representation that any RMB or U.S. dollar amounts could have been, or could be, converted into U.S. dollars or RMB, as the case may be, at any particular rate, the rates stated below, or at all. The PRC government imposes control over its foreign currency reserves in part through direct regulation of the conversion of RMB into foreign exchange.

 

The following table sets forth information concerning exchange rates between the RMB and the U.S. dollar for the periods indicated. For all dates and periods through December 31, 2008, the conversion of RMB into U.S. dollars in this annual report is based on the noon buying rate in The City of New York for cable transfers of RMB as certified for customs purposes by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. For January 1, 2009 and all later dates and periods, the exchange rate refers to the exchange rate as set forth in the H.10 statistical release of the Federal Reserve Board. These rates are provided solely for your convenience and are not necessarily the exchange rates that we used in this annual report or will use in the preparation of our periodic reports or any other information to be provided to you. The source of these rates is the Federal Reserve Statistical Release.

 

6



Table of Contents

 

 

 

Certified Exchange Rate

 

Period

 

Period-End

 

Average(1)

 

Low

 

High

 

 

 

(RMB per U.S. Dollar)

 

2008

 

6.8225

 

6.9193

 

7.2946

 

6.7800

 

2009

 

6.8259

 

6.8295

 

6.8470

 

6.8176

 

2010

 

6.6000

 

6.7689

 

6.8330

 

6.6000

 

2011

 

6.2939

 

6.4475

 

6.6364

 

6.2939

 

2012

 

6.2301

 

6.3088

 

6.3879

 

6.2221

 

September

 

6.2848

 

6.3200

 

6.3489

 

6.2848

 

October

 

6.2372

 

6.2627

 

6.2877

 

6.2372

 

November

 

6.2265

 

6.2338

 

6.2454

 

6.2221

 

December

 

6.2301

 

6.2328

 

6.2502

 

6.2251

 

2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January

 

6.2186

 

6.2215

 

6.2303

 

6.2134

 

February

 

6.2213

 

6.2323

 

6.2438

 

6.2213

 

March (through March 22, 2013)

 

6.2120

 

6.2165

 

6.2246

 

6.2117

 

 


(1)      Annual averages are calculated using the average of month-end rates of the relevant year. Monthly averages are calculated using the average of the daily rates during the relevant period.

 

B.     Capitalization and Indebtedness

 

Not applicable.

 

C.     Reasons for the Offer and Use of Proceeds

 

Not applicable.

 

D.      Risk Factors

 

Risks Related to Our Company

 

Our business is sensitive to global economic conditions. A severe or prolonged downturn in the global or Chinese economy may have a material and adverse effect on our business, and may materially and adversely affect our growth and profitability.

 

The global financial markets have experienced significant disruptions since 2008, and most of the world’s major economies have entered into recession. The recovery from the lows of 2008 and 2009 was uneven and the markets are facing new challenges, including the escalation of the European sovereign debt crisis since 2011. It is unclear whether the European sovereign debt crisis will be contained and what effects it may have in the future. There is considerable future uncertainty over the long-term effects of the expansionary monetary and fiscal policies that have been adopted by the central banks and financial authorities of some of the world’s leading economies, including China.  There have also been concerns over unrest in the Middle East and Africa, which have resulted in higher oil prices and significant market volatility, and over the possibility of a war involving Iran. There have also been concerns about the economic effect of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan.

 

Economic conditions in China are sensitive to global economic conditions. Our business and operations are primarily based in China and the majority of our revenues are derived from our operations in China. Accordingly, our financial results have been, and are expected to continue to be, affected by the economy and travel industry in China. Although the economy in China has grown significantly in the past decades, any severe or prolonged slowdown in the global and/or Chinese economy could reduce expenditures for travel, which in turn may adversely affect our operating results and financial condition. Although the Chinese economy has recovered in 2010 and remained relatively stable in 2011, the growth rate of China’s GDP decreased in 2012, and it is uncertain whether this economic slowdown will continue into 2013 and beyond. Since we derive the majority of our revenues from hotel reservation, air-ticketing and packaged-tour services in China, the economic slowdown in China negatively affected our operating results in the second half of 2008. Any severe or prolonged slowdown in the global and/or Chinese economy or the recurrence of any financial disruptions may materially and adversely affect our business, operating results and financial condition in a number of ways. For example, the weakness in the economy could erode consumer confidence which, in turn, could result in changes to consumer spending patterns relating to travel products and services. If consumer demand for travel products and services we offer decreases, our revenues may decline. Furthermore, continued turbulence in the international markets may adversely affect our ability to access the capital markets to meet liquidity needs.

 

7



Table of Contents

 

General declines or disruptions in the travel industry may materially and adversely affect our business and results of operations.

 

Our business is significantly affected by the trends that occur in the travel industry in China, including the hotel, air ticketing and packaged-tour sectors. As the travel industry is highly sensitive to business and personal discretionary spending levels, it tends to decline during general economic downturns. The recent worldwide recession has led to a weakening in the demand for travel services. Other trends or events that tend to reduce travel and are likely to reduce our revenues include:

 

·           an outbreak of H1N1 influenza, avian flu, severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, or any other serious contagious diseases;

 

·           increased prices in the hotel, air-ticketing, or other travel-related sectors;

 

·           increased occurrence of travel-related accidents;

 

·           natural disasters or poor weather conditions;

 

·           terrorist attacks or threats of terrorist attacks or wars; and

 

·           any travel restrictions or other security procedures implemented in connection with any major events in China.

 

We could be severely and adversely affected by declines or disruptions in the travel industry and, in many cases, have little or no control over the occurrence of such events. Such events could result in a decrease in demand for our travel services. This decrease in demand, depending on the scope and duration, could significantly and adversely affect our business and financial performance over the short and long term.

 

The trading price of our ADSs has been volatile historically and may continue to be volatile regardless of our operating performance.

 

The trading price of our ADSs has been and may continue to be subject to wide fluctuations. In 2012, the trading prices of our ADSs on the NASDAQ Global Select Market ranged from US$12.36 to US$28.12 per ADS, and the closing price on March 28, 2013 was US$21.38 per ADS. The price of our ADSs may fluctuate in response to a number of events and factors, including the following:

 

·           actual or anticipated fluctuations in our quarterly operating results;

 

·           changes in financial estimates by securities analysts;

 

·           conditions in the Internet or travel industries;

 

·           changes in the economic performance or market valuations of other Internet or travel companies or other companies that primarily operate in China;

 

·           changes in major business terms between our travel suppliers and us;

 

·           announcements by us or our competitors of new products or services, significant acquisitions, strategic partnerships, joint ventures or capital commitments;

 

·           additions or departures of key personnel; and

 

·           market and volume fluctuations in the stock market in general.

 

In addition, the stock market in general, and the market prices for Internet-related companies and companies with operations in China in particular, have experienced volatility that often has been unrelated to the operating performance of such companies. The securities of some China-based companies that have listed their securities in the United States have experienced significant volatility since their initial public offerings, including, in some cases, substantial price declines in the trading prices of their securities. The trading performances of the securities of these China-based companies after their offerings may affect the attitudes of investors toward Chinese companies listed in the United States, which consequently may impact the trading performance of our ADSs, regardless of our actual operating performance. Furthermore, some negative news and perceptions about inadequate corporate governance practices or fraudulent accounting, corporate structure including the use of variable interest entities or other matters of other China-based companies have negatively affected the attitudes of investors towards China-based companies, including us, in general in the past, regardless of whether we have engaged in any inappropriate activities, and any news or perceptions with a similar nature may continue to negatively affect us in the future.  In addition, the global financial crisis and the ensuing economic recessions in many countries have contributed and may continue to contribute to extreme volatility in the global stock markets, such as the large decline in share prices in the United States, China and other jurisdictions in late 2008, early 2009, the second half of 2011 and the first half of 2012.  These broad market and industry fluctuations may continue to adversely affect the price of our ADSs, regardless of our operating performance. Additionally, volatility or a lack of positive performance in our stock price may adversely affect our ability to retain key employees, all of whom have been granted share-based awards.

 

8



Table of Contents

 

If we are unable to maintain existing relationships with travel suppliers and strategic alliances, or establish new arrangements with travel suppliers and strategic alliances at or on favorable terms or at terms similar to those we currently have, our business and profit margins may suffer.

 

If we are unable to maintain satisfactory relationships with our existing hotel suppliers, or if our hotel suppliers establish similar or more favorable relationships with our competitors, or if our hotel suppliers increase their competition with us through their direct sales, our operating results and our business would be harmed, because we would not have the necessary supply of hotel rooms or hotel rooms at satisfactory rates to meet the needs of our customers, or because of reduced demand for our services. Our business depends significantly upon our ability to contract with hotels in advance for the guaranteed availability of certain hotel rooms. We rely on hotel suppliers to provide us with rooms at discounted prices. However, our contracts with our hotel suppliers are not exclusive and most of the contracts must be renewed semi-annually or annually. We cannot assure you that our hotel suppliers will renew our contracts in the future on favorable terms or terms similar to those we currently have agreed. The hotel suppliers may reduce the commission rates on bookings made through us. Furthermore, in order to maintain and grow our business, we will need to establish new arrangements with hotels and accommodations of all ratings and categories in our existing markets and in new markets. We cannot assure you that we will be able to identify appropriate hotels or enter into arrangements with those hotels on favorable terms, if at all. This failure could harm the growth of our business and adversely affect our operating results and financial condition, which consequently will impact the price of our ADSs.

 

We derive revenues and other significant benefits from our arrangements with major domestic airlines in China and international airlines. Our airline ticket suppliers allow us to book and sell tickets on their behalf and collect commissions on tickets booked and sold through us. Although we currently have supply relationships with these airlines, they also compete with us for ticket bookings and have entered into similar arrangements with many of our competitors and may continue to do so in the future. Such arrangements may be on better terms than we have. In the past, airlines have from time to time reduced the commission rates on tickets booked and sold through us, which negatively affected our revenues from air-ticketing in the relevant periods. We cannot assure you that any of these airlines will continue to have supplier relationships with us or pay us commissions at the same or similar rates as what they paid us in the past. The loss of these supplier relationships or adverse changes in major business terms with our travel suppliers would materially impair our operating results and financial condition as we would lose an increasingly significant source of our revenues.

 

Part of the revenues that we derive from our hotel suppliers, airline ticket suppliers and other travel service providers are obtained through our strategic alliances with various third parties. We cannot assure you, however, that we will be able to successfully establish and maintain strategic alliances with third parties which are effective and beneficial for our business. Our inability to do so could have a material adverse effect on our market penetration, revenue growth and profitability.

 

If we fail to further increase our brand recognition, we may face difficulty in maintaining existing and acquiring new customers and business partners and our business may be harmed.

 

We believe that maintaining and enhancing the Ctrip brand depends in part on our ability to grow our customer base and obtain new business partners. Some of our potential competitors already have well-established brands in the travel industry. The successful promotion of our brand will depend largely on our ability to maintain a sizeable and active customer base, maintain relationships with our business partners, provide high-quality customer service, properly address customer needs and handle customer complaints and organize effective marketing and advertising programs. If our customer base significantly declines, the quality of our customer services substantially deteriorates, or our business partners cease to do business with us, we may not be able to cost-effectively maintain and promote our brand, and our business may be harmed.

 

9



Table of Contents

 

If we do not compete successfully against new and existing competitors, we may lose our market share, and our business may be materially and adversely affected.

 

We compete primarily with other consolidators of hotel accommodations and flight reservation services based in China, such as eLong, Inc., and Mangocity.com. We also compete with traditional travel agencies and new Internet travel search websites, such as Qunar.com and Taobao.com. In the future, we may also face competition from new players in the hotel consolidation market in China and abroad that may enter China.

 

We may face more competition from hotels and airlines as they enter the discount rate market directly or through alliances with other travel consolidators. In addition, international travelers have become an increasingly important customer base. Competitors that have strategic alliances with overseas travel consolidators may have more effective channels to direct on-line booking requests to their websites for travel needs in China. Furthermore, we do not have exclusive arrangements with our travel suppliers. The combination of these factors means that potential entrants to our industry face relatively low entry barriers.

 

In the past, our competitors launched aggressive advertising campaigns, special promotions and engaged in other marketing activities to promote their brands, acquire new customers or to increase their market shares. In response to such competitive pressure, we started to take and may continue to take similar measures and as a result will incur significant expenses, which in turn could negatively affect our operating margins in the quarters or years when such promotional activities are carried out. For example, we launched a promotion program in recent years to offer certain selected air tickets, hotel rooms and package tours as well as grant of e-coupons to our customers in response to promotion campaigns that our competitors have launched.  Primarily as a result of the enhanced marketing efforts and additional investment in product developments in response to the intensified market competition, our operational margin declined from 30% in 2011 to 16% in 2012. In addition, some of our existing and potential competitors may have competitive advantages, such as significantly greater financial, marketing and strategic relationships and alliances or other resources or name recognition, and may be able to imitate and adopt our business model. We cannot assure you that we will be able to successfully compete against new or existing competitors. In the event we are not able to compete successfully, our business, results of operations and profit margins may be materially and adversely affected.

 

Our business could suffer if we do not successfully manage current growth and potential future growth.

 

Our business has grown significantly as a result of both organic growth of existing operations and acquisitions. We have significantly expanded our operations and anticipate further expansion of our operations and workforce. Our growth to date has placed, and our anticipated future operations will continue to place, a significant strain on our management, systems and resources. In addition to training and managing our workforce, we will need to continue to improve and develop our financial and managerial controls and our reporting systems and procedures. We cannot assure you that we will be able to efficiently or effectively manage the growth of our operations, and any failure to do so may limit our future growth and hamper our business strategy.

 

Our strategy to acquire or invest in complementary businesses and assets and establish strategic alliances involves significant risk and uncertainty that may prevent us from achieving our objectives and harm our financial condition and results of operations.

 

As part of our plan to expand our product and service offerings, we have made and intend to make strategic acquisitions or investments in the travel service industries in Greater China and overseas. Our strategic acquisitions and investments could subject us to uncertainties and risks, including:

 

·           high acquisition and financing costs;

 

·           potential ongoing financial obligations and unforeseen or hidden liabilities;

 

·           failure to achieve our intended objectives, benefits or revenue-enhancing opportunities;

 

·           cost of, and difficulties in, integrating acquired businesses and managing a larger business;

 

·           potential claims or litigation regarding our board’s exercise of its duty of care and other duties required under applicable law in connection with any of our significant acquisitions or investments approved by the board; and

 

·           diversion of our resources and management attention.

 

10



Table of Contents

 

Our failure to address these uncertainties and risks may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. In addition, we establish strategic alliances with various third parties to further our business purpose from time to time. Strategic alliances with third parties could subject us to a number of risks, including risks associated with sharing proprietary information, non-performance by the counter-party, and an increase in expenses incurred in establishing new strategic alliances, any of which may materially and adversely affect our business.

 

We have invested through open market purchases and in a private placement transaction a total of US$92 million in approximately 16% stake in Home Inns & Hotels Management Inc., or Home Inns, a leading economy hotel chain in China. The purchase prices were determined based on the trading prices of Home Inns’ ADSs on the NASDAQ Global Market at the time of each open market purchase or the average closing prices of Home Inns’ ADSs as stipulated in the relevant purchase agreement. In March 2010, we invested a total of US$67.5 million in approximately 9% stake in China Lodging Group, Limited, or Hanting, a leading economy hotel chain in China, through private placement transactions and purchases in Hanting’s initial public offering. The purchase prices for shares acquired in both private placement transactions and the initial public offering were equal to Hanting’s initial public offering price. If the ADS price of Home Inns or Hanting declines and becomes lower than our share purchase price, we could incur impairment loss under U.S. GAAP, which in turn would adversely affect our financial results for the relevant periods. In addition, if any of these acquired entities incur a net loss in the future, we would share their net loss proportionate to our equity interest in them.

 

In May 2010, we acquired 90% of the issued share capital of Wing On Travel’s travel service segment (operated through Wing On Travel’s subsidiary, HKWOT (BVI) Limited), for a total consideration of approximately US$88 million in cash, and began to consolidate its financials since then.  In February 2012, we acquired the remaining 10% of the issued share capital of Wing On Travel’s travel service segment as operated through HKWOT (BVI) Limited, for a total consideration of approximately US$9.4 million. See “Item 4. Information on the Company—History and Development of the Company” for more details of our acquisitions and investments.

 

We cannot assure you that we will be able to achieve the benefits we expected from such acquisitions or investments. Any actual or perceived failure to realize the benefits we expected from these acquisitions or investments may cause the trading price of our ADSs to decline.

 

Our quarterly results are likely to fluctuate because of seasonality in the travel industry in Greater China.

 

Our business experiences fluctuations, reflecting seasonal variations in demand for travel services. For example, the first quarter of each year generally contributes the lowest portion of our annual net revenues primarily due to a slowdown in business activity around and during the Chinese New Year holiday, which occurs during the period. Consequently, our results of operations may fluctuate from quarter to quarter.

 

Our business may be harmed if our infrastructure and technology are damaged or otherwise fail or become obsolete.

 

Substantially all of our computer and communications systems are located at two customer service centers, one in Shanghai and the other one in Nantong, China. Therefore our computer and communication systems are vulnerable to damage or interruption from human error, computer viruses, fire, flood, power loss, telecommunications failure, physical or electronic break-ins, sabotage, vandalism, natural disasters and other similar events. We do not carry business interruption insurance to compensate us for losses that may occur.

 

We use an internally developed booking software system that supports nearly all aspects of our booking transactions. Our business may be harmed if we are unable to upgrade our systems and infrastructure quickly enough to accommodate future traffic levels, avoid obsolescence or successfully integrate any newly developed or purchased technology with our existing system. Capacity constraints could cause unanticipated system disruptions, slower response times, poor customer service, impaired quality and speed of reservations and confirmations and delays in reporting accurate financial and operating information. These factors could cause us to lose customers and suppliers, which would have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

 

Our business depends substantially on the continuing efforts of our key executives, and our business may be severely disrupted if we lose their services.

 

Our future success depends heavily upon the continued services of our key executives. We rely on their expertise in business operations, finance and travel services and on their relationships with our suppliers, shareholders, and business partners. We do not maintain key-man life insurance for any of our key executives. If one or more of our key executives are unable or unwilling to continue in their present positions, we may not be able to easily replace them. In that case, our business may be severely disrupted, we may incur additional expenses to recruit and train personnel and our financial condition and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected.

 

11



Table of Contents

 

In addition, if any of these key executives joins a competitor or forms a competing company, we may lose customers and suppliers. Each of our executive officers has entered into an employment agreement with us that contains confidentiality and non-competition provisions. If any disputes arise between our executive officers and us, we cannot assure you of the extent to which any of these agreements would be enforced in China, where most of these executive officers reside and hold most of their assets, in light of the uncertainties with China’s legal system. See “—Risks Related to Doing Business in China—Uncertainties with respect to the PRC legal system could adversely affect us.”

 

If we are unable to attract, train and retain key individuals and highly skilled employees, our business may be adversely affected.

 

If our business continues to expand, we will need to hire additional employees, including travel supplier management personnel to maintain and expand our travel supplier network, information technology and engineering personnel to maintain and expand our websites, mobile platform, customer service centers and systems, and customer service representatives to serve an increasing number of customers. If we are unable to identify, attract, hire, train and retain sufficient employees in these areas, users of our websites, mobile platform and customer service centers may not have satisfactory experiences and may turn to our competitors, which may adversely affect our business and results of operations.

 

The PRC government regulates the air-ticketing, travel agency, advertising and Internet industries. If we fail to obtain or maintain all pertinent permits and approvals or if the PRC government imposes more restrictions on these industries, our business may be adversely affected.

 

The PRC government regulates the air-ticketing, travel agency, advertising and Internet industries. We are required to obtain applicable permits or approvals from different regulatory authorities to conduct our business, including separate licenses for value-added telecommunications, air-ticketing, advertising and travel agency activities. If we fail to obtain or maintain any of the required permits or approvals in the future, we may be subject to various penalties, such as fines or suspension of operations in these regulated businesses, which could severely disrupt our business operations. As a result, our financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected.

 

In particular, the Civil Aviation Administration of China, or CAAC, together with National Development and Reform Commission, or NDRC, regulates pricing of air tickets. CAAC also supervises commissions payable to air-ticketing agencies together with China National Aviation Transportation Association, or CNATA. If restrictive policies are adopted by CAAC, NDRC, or CNATA, or any of their regional branches, our air-ticketing revenues may be adversely affected.

 

We may not be able to prevent others from using our intellectual property, which may harm our business and expose us to litigation.

 

We regard our domain names, trade names, trademarks and similar intellectual property as critical to our success. We try to protect our intellectual property rights by relying on trademark protection and confidentiality laws and contracts. Trademark and confidentiality protection in China may not be as effective as that in the United States. Policing unauthorized use of proprietary technology is difficult and expensive.

 

The steps we have taken may be inadequate to prevent the misappropriation of our proprietary technology. Any misappropriation could have a negative effect on our business and operating results. Furthermore, we may need to go to court to enforce our intellectual property rights. Litigation relating to our intellectual property might result in substantial costs and diversion of resources and management attention. See “—Risks Related to Doing Business in China—Uncertainties with respect to the PRC legal system could adversely affect us.”

 

We rely on services from third parties to carry out our business and to deliver our products to customers, and if there is any interruption or deterioration in the quality of these services, our customers may not continue using our services.

 

We rely on third-party computer systems to host our websites, as well as third-party licenses for some of the software underlying our technology platform. In addition, we rely on third-party air-ticketing agencies to issue air tickets and travel insurance products, confirmations and deliveries in some cities in Greater China. We also rely on third party local operators to deliver on-site services to our packaged-tour customers. Any interruption in our ability to obtain the products or services of these or other third parties or deterioration in their performance, such as server errors or interruptions, could impair the timing and quality of our own service. If our service providers fail to provide high quality services in a timely manner to our customers or violate any applicable rules and regulations, our services will not meet the expectations of our customers and our reputation and brand will be damaged. Furthermore, if our arrangement with any of these third parties is terminated, we may not find an alternative source of support on a timely basis or on favorable terms to us.

 

12



Table of Contents

 

If our hotel suppliers or customers provide us with untrue information regarding our customers’ stay, we may not be able to recognize and collect revenues to which we are entitled.

 

A substantial portion of our revenues are represented by commissions which hotels pay us for room nights booked through us. Generally, we do not receive payment from our customers on behalf of our hotel suppliers, as our customers pay hotels directly. To confirm whether a customer adheres to the booked itinerary, we routinely make inquiries with the hotel and, occasionally, with the customer. We rely on the hotel and the customer to provide us truthful information regarding the customer’s check-in and check-out dates, which forms the basis for calculating the commission we are entitled to receive from the hotel. If our hotel suppliers or customers provide us with untrue information with respect to our customers’ length of stay at the hotels, we would not be able to collect revenues to which we are entitled. In addition, using such untrue information may lead to inaccurate business projections and plans, which may adversely affect our business planning and strategy.

 

We may suffer losses if we are unable to predict the amount of inventory we will need to purchase during the peak holiday seasons.

 

During the peak holiday seasons in China, we establish limited merchant business relationships with selected travel service suppliers, particularly for our packaged-tour products, in order to secure adequate supplies for our customers. In the merchant business relationship, we buy hotel rooms and/or air tickets before selling them to our customers and thereby incur inventory risk. If we are unable to correctly predict demand for hotel rooms and air tickets that we are committed to purchase, we would be responsible for covering the cost of the hotel rooms and air tickets we are unable to sell, and our financial condition and results of operations would be adversely affected.

 

The recurrence of SARS and other similar outbreaks of contagious diseases as well as natural disasters may materially and adversely affect our business and operating results.

 

In early 2003, several regions in Asia, including Hong Kong and China, were affected by the outbreak of SARS. The travel industry in China, Hong Kong and some other parts of Asia suffered tremendously as a result of the outbreak. Furthermore, in early 2008, severe snowstorms hit many areas of China and particularly affected southern China. The travel industry was severely and adversely affected during and after the snowstorms. Additionally, in May 2008, a major earthquake struck China’s populous Sichuan Province, causing great loss of life, numerous injuries, property loss and disruption to the local economy. The earthquake had an immediate impact on our business as a result of the sharp decrease in travel in the relevant earthquake affected areas in Sichuan Province. In April 2009, an outbreak of H1N1 influenza (swine flu) occurred in Mexico and the United States and human cases of swine flu were and continue to be discovered in China and Hong Kong. In early 2011, the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan also impacted the travel industry. Our business and operating results were adversely affected in all cases.

 

Any future outbreak of SARS or other contagious diseases, extreme unexpected bad weather or natural disasters would adversely affect our business and operating results. Ongoing concerns regarding contagious disease or natural disasters, particularly its effect on travel, could negatively impact our customers’ desire to travel. If there is a recurrence of an outbreak of certain contagious diseases or natural disasters, travel to and from affected regions could be curtailed. Government advice regarding, or restrictions on, travel to and from these and other regions on account of an outbreak of any contagious disease or occurrence of natural disasters may have a material adverse effect on our business and operating results.

 

If tax benefits available to our subsidiaries in China are reduced or repealed, our results of operations could suffer.

 

Under the PRC Enterprise Income Tax Law, or the EIT Law, effective on January 1, 2008, foreign invested enterprises, or FIEs, and domestic enterprises are subject to EIT at a uniform rate of 25%. Certain enterprises will benefit from a preferential tax rate of 15% under the EIT Law if they qualify as “high and new technology enterprises,” subject to certain general restrictions described in the EIT Law and the related regulations.

 

13



Table of Contents

 

In December 2008, our PRC subsidiaries, Ctrip Computer Technology, Ctrip Travel Information, Ctrip Travel Network and Software Hotel Information were each designated by relevant local authorities as a “high and new technology enterprise” under the EIT Law with an effective period of three years. Therefore, these entities were entitled to enjoy a preferential tax rate of 15% from 2008 to 2011, as long as they maintained their qualifications for “high and new technology enterprises”.  These four entities re-applied for this qualification after the effective period expired in 2011 and their applications were approved by the relevant government authority. The “high and new technology enterprises” status of these entities is subject to review every three years and we cannot assure you that our subsidiaries will continue to qualify as high and new technology enterprises when they are subject to reevaluation in the future. Chengdu Ctrip and Chengdu Ctrip International obtained approval from the relevant local tax authorities to apply a preferential income tax rate of 15% for their respective 2010 and 2011 tax filings, although such preferential tax treatment may be subject to change in the near future due to the impending release of a new Catalogue of Encouraged Industries in the Western Region guiding the tax treatment policies. In the event that the preferential tax treatment for these entities is discontinued, these entities will become subject to the standard tax rate at 25%, which would materially increase our tax obligations.

 

We have sustained losses in the past and may experience earnings declines or net losses in the future.

 

We sustained net losses in the periods prior to 2002. We cannot assure you that we can sustain profitability or avoid net losses in the future. We expect that our operating expenses will increase and the degree of increase in these expenses is largely based on anticipated growth, revenue trends and competitive pressure. As a result, any decrease or delay in generating additional sales volume and revenues and increase in our operating expenses may result in substantial operating losses.

 

We may be subject to legal or administrative proceedings regarding information provided on our websites or other aspects of our business operations, which may be time-consuming to defend.

 

Our websites contain information about hotels, flights, popular vacation destinations and other travel-related topics. It is possible that if any information accessible on our websites contains errors or false or misleading information, third parties could take action against us for losses incurred in connection with the use of such information. From time to time, we have become and may in the future become a party to various legal or administrative proceedings arising in the ordinary course of our business, including actions with respect to labor and employment claims, breach of contract claims, anti-competition claims and other matters. Although such proceedings are inherently uncertain and their results cannot be predicted with certainty, we believe that the resolution of our current pending matters will not have a material adverse effect on our business, consolidated financial position, results of operations or cash flow. Regardless of the outcome and merit of such proceedings, however, any legal action can have an adverse impact on us because of defense costs, negative publicity, diversion of management’s attention and other factors. In addition, it is possible that an unfavorable resolution of one or more legal or administrative proceedings, whether in the PRC or in another jurisdiction, could materially and adversely affect our financial position, results of operations or cash flows in a particular period or damage our reputation.

 

We could be liable for breaches of security on our websites and fraudulent transactions by users of our websites.

 

The Internet industry is facing significant challenges regarding information security and privacy, including the storage, transmission and sharing of confidential information. We conduct a portion of our transactions through our websites. In such transactions, secured transmission of confidential information (such as customers’ itineraries, hotel and other reservation information, credit card information, personal information and billing addresses) over public networks and ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, availability and authenticity of the information of our users, customers, hotel suppliers and airline partners is essential to maintain their confidence in our online products and services.  Our current security measures may not be adequate and advances in technology, increased levels of expertise of hackers, new discoveries in the field of cryptography or others could increase our vulnerability. In August 2011, China’s Supreme People’s Court and Supreme People’s Procuratorate issued judicial interpretations regarding hacking and other Internet crimes. However, its effect on curbing hacking and other illegal online activities still remains to be seen.

 

Significant capital, managerial and human resources are required to enhance information security and to address any issues caused by security failures. If we are unable to protect our systems and the information stored in our systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification or destruction, such problems or security breaches may cause loss, expose us to litigation and possible liability to the owners of confidential information, disrupt our operations and may harm our reputation and ability to attract customers.

 

14



Table of Contents

 

We may be the subject of detrimental conduct by third parties including complaints to regulatory agencies, negative blog postings, and the public dissemination of malicious assessments of our business, which could have a negative impact on our reputation and cause us to lose market share, travel suppliers and customers and revenues, and adversely affect the price of our ADSs.

 

We may be the target of anti-competitive, harassing, or other detrimental conduct by third parties. Such conduct may include complaints, anonymous or otherwise, to regulatory agencies regarding our operations, accounting, revenues, business relationships, business prospects and business ethics. Additionally, allegations, directly or indirectly against us, may be posted in Internet chat-rooms or on blogs or any websites by anyone, whether or not related to us, on an anonymous basis. We may be subject to government or regulatory investigation as a result of such third-party conduct and may be required to expend significant time and incur substantial costs to address such third-party conduct, and there is no assurance that we will be able to conclusively refute each of the allegations within a reasonable period of time, or at all. Our reputation may also be negatively affected as a result of the public dissemination of anonymous allegations or malicious statements about our business, which in turn may cause us to lose market share, travel suppliers and customers and revenues and adversely affect the price of our ADSs.

 

We have limited business insurance coverage in Greater China.

 

Insurance companies in Greater China offer limited business insurance products and generally do not, to our knowledge, offer business liability insurance. Business disruption insurance is available to a limited extent in Greater China, but we have determined that the risks of disruption, the cost of such insurance and the difficulties associated with acquiring such insurance make it impractical for us to have such insurance. We do not maintain insurance coverage for any kinds of business liabilities or disruptions and would have to bear the costs and expenses associated with any such events out of our own resources.

 

We may face greater risks of doubtful accounts as our corporate travel business increases in scale.

 

Since we began providing travel booking services to corporate customers who generally request credit terms, our accounts receivable have increased. We cannot assure you that we will be able to collect payment fully and in a timely manner on our outstanding accounts receivable from our corporate travel service customers. As a result, we may face a greater risk of non-payment of our accounts receivable and, as our corporate travel business grows in scale, we may need to make increased provisions for doubtful accounts. Our operating results and financial condition may be materially and adversely affected if we are unable to successfully manage our accounts receivable.

 

As we have commenced accounting for employee share options using the fair value method beginning in 2006, such accounting treatment could continue to significantly reduce our net income.

 

Since 2006, we have accounted for share-based compensation in accordance with ASC 718 “Stock Compensation,” or ASC 718, which requires a public company to recognize, as an expense, the fair value of share options and other share-based compensation to employees based on the requisite service period of the share-based awards. Our board of directors has the discretion to change terms of any previously issued share options and any such change may significantly increase the amount of our share-based compensation expenses for the period that the change takes effect as well as those for any future periods. In February 2009, our board of directors approved to reduce the exercise price of all outstanding unvested options that were granted by us in 2007 and 2008 under our 2007 Plan to the then fair market value of our ordinary shares underlying such options and, in December 2009, our board of directors approved to extend the expiration dates of all stock options granted in 2005 and 2006 to eight years after the respective original grant dates of these options. As a result of such changes, our share-based compensation expense of 2009 reduced our diluted earnings per ADS by approximately US$0.14. In February 2010, our compensation committee approved to extend the expiration dates of all stock options granted in and after 2007 to eight years after the respective original grant dates of these options. As a result of such changes, our share-based compensation expense of 2010 reduced our diluted earnings per ADS by approximately US$0.06. The application of ASC 718 will continue to have a significant impact on our net income. In addition, future changes to various assumptions used to determine the fair value of awards issued or the amount and type of equity awards granted may also create uncertainty as to the amount of future share-based compensation expense.

 

Failure to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting could result in errors in our published financial statements, which in turn could have a material adverse effect on the trading price of our ADSs.

 

We are subject to the reporting obligations under the U.S. securities laws. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC, as required under Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, has adopted rules requiring public companies to include a report of management on the effectiveness of such companies’ internal control over financial reporting in its annual report. In addition, an independent registered public accounting firm for a public company must issue an attestation report on the effectiveness of the company’s internal control over financial reporting. Our management conducted an evaluation of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting and concluded that our internal control over financial reporting was effective as of December 31, 2012. In addition, our independent registered public accounting firm attested the effectiveness of our internal control and reported that our internal control over financial reporting was effective as of December 31, 2012. If we fail to maintain the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting, we may not be able to conclude on an ongoing basis that we have effective internal control over financial reporting in accordance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Moreover, effective internal control over financial reporting is necessary for us to produce reliable financial reports. As a result, any failure to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting could result in the loss of investor confidence in the reliability of our financial statements, which in turn could negatively impact the trading price of our ADSs. Furthermore, we may need to incur additional costs and use additional management and other resources in an effort to comply with Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and other requirements going forward.

 

15



Table of Contents

 

We may need additional capital and we may not be able to obtain it.

 

We believe that our current cash and cash equivalents, short-term investments, cash flow from operations and proceeds from our financing activities will be sufficient to meet our anticipated cash needs for the foreseeable future. We may, however, require additional cash resources due to changed business conditions or other future developments, including any investments or acquisitions we may decide to pursue. If these resources are insufficient to satisfy our cash requirements, we may seek to sell additional equity or debt securities or obtain a credit facility. The sale of additional equity securities could result in additional dilution to our shareholders. The incurrence of indebtedness would result in increased debt service obligations and could result in operating and financing covenants that would restrict our operations. We cannot assure you that financing will be available in amounts or on terms acceptable to us, if at all. In particular, the recent financial turmoil affecting the financial markets and banking system may significantly restrict our ability to obtain financing in the capital markets or from financial institutions on commercially reasonable terms, or at all.

 

Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure

 

PRC laws and regulations restrict foreign investment in the air-ticketing, travel agency, advertising and value-added telecommunications businesses, and substantial uncertainties exist with respect to the application and implementation of PRC laws and regulations.

 

We are a Cayman Islands incorporated company and a foreign person under PRC law. Due to foreign ownership restrictions in the air-ticketing, travel agency, advertising and value-added telecommunications industries, we conduct part of our business through contractual arrangements with our affiliated Chinese entities. These entities hold the licenses and approvals that are essential for our business operations.

 

In the opinion of our PRC counsel, Commerce & Finance Law Offices, our current ownership structure, the ownership structure of our subsidiaries and our affiliated Chinese entities, the contractual arrangements among us, our subsidiaries, our affiliated Chinese entities and their shareholders, as described in this annual report, are in compliance with existing PRC laws, rules and regulations. There are, however, substantial uncertainties regarding the interpretation and application of current or future PRC laws and regulations. Accordingly, we cannot assure you that PRC government authorities will not ultimately take a view contrary to the opinion of our PRC legal counsel due to the lack of official interpretation and clear guidance.

 

If we and our affiliated Chinese entities are found to be in violation of any existing or future PRC laws or regulations, the relevant governmental authorities would have broad discretion in dealing with such violation, including, without limitation, levying fines, confiscating our income or the income of our affiliated Chinese entities, revoking our business licenses or the business licenses of our affiliated Chinese entities, requiring us and our affiliated Chinese entities to restructure our ownership structure or operations and requiring us or our affiliated Chinese entities to discontinue any portion or all of our value-added telecommunications, air-ticketing, travel agency or advertising businesses. In particular, if the PRC government authorities impose penalties which cause us to lose our rights to direct the activities of and receive economic benefits from our consolidated affiliated Chinese entities, we may lose the ability to consolidate and reflect in our financial statements the operation results of our consolidated affiliated Chinese entities.  Any of these actions could cause significant disruption to our business operations, and may materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Under the equity pledge agreements between our subsidiaries and the shareholders of our affiliated Chinese entities, the shareholders of our affiliated Chinese entities pledged their respective equity interests in these entities to our subsidiaries. Such pledges were duly created by recording the pledge in the relevant affiliated Chinese entities’ register of shareholders in accordance with the PRC Collateral Law. However, according to the PRC Property Rights Law, effective as of October 1, 2007, and the Measures for the Registration of Equity Pledge with the Administration for Industry and Commerce, effective as of October 1, 2008, the effectiveness of the pledges will be denied if the pledges are not registered with the Administration for Industry and Commerce. Our affiliated Chinese entities and our subsidiaries have registered all equity pledges. The effectiveness of the pledges will be recognized by PRC courts if disputes arise on certain pledged equity interests and that our subsidiaries’ interests as pledgees will prevail over those of third parties.

 

16



Table of Contents

 

Furthermore, we were aware that a China-based company listed in the U.S. announced in 2012 that it was subject to the SEC’s investigation which it believed related to the consolidation of its consolidated affiliated Chinese entities.  Following the announcement, that issuer’s stock price declined significantly.  Although we are not aware of any actual or threatened investigation, inquiry or other action by the SEC, NASDAQ or any other regulatory authority with respect to consolidation of our consolidated affiliated Chinese entities, we cannot assure you that we will not be subject to any such investigation or inquiry in the future.  In the event we are subject to any regulatory investigation or inquiry relating to our consolidated affiliated Chinese entities, including the consolidation of such entities into our financial statements, or any other matters, we may need to spend significant amount of time and expenses in connection with the investigation or inquiry, our reputation may be harmed regardless of the outcome, and the trading price of our ADS may materially decline or fluctuate.

 

If our affiliated Chinese entities violate our contractual arrangements with them, our business could be disrupted, our reputation may be harmed and we may have to resort to litigation to enforce our rights, which may be time-consuming and expensive.

 

As the PRC government restricts foreign ownership of value-added telecommunications, air-ticketing, travel agency and advertising businesses in China, we depend on our affiliated Chinese entities, in which we have no ownership interest, to conduct part of our non-hotel reservation business activities through a series of contractual arrangements, which are intended to provide us with effective control over these entities and allow us to obtain economic benefits from them. Although we have been advised by our PRC counsel, Commerce & Finance Law Offices, that the contractual arrangements as described in this annual report are valid, binding and enforceable under current PRC laws, these arrangements are not as effective in providing control as direct ownership of these businesses. For example, our affiliated Chinese entities could violate our contractual arrangements with them by, among other things, failing to operate our air-ticketing, packaged-tour or advertising business in an acceptable manner or pay us for our consulting or other services. In any such event, we would have to rely on the PRC legal system for the enforcement of those agreements, which could have uncertain results. Any legal proceeding could result in the disruption of our business, damage to our reputation, diversion of our resources and incurrence of substantial costs. See “—Risks Related to Doing Business in China—Uncertainties with respect to the PRC legal system could adversely affect us.”

 

The principal shareholders of our affiliated Chinese entities have potential conflicts of interest with us, which may adversely affect our business.

 

Our director, vice chairman of the board and president, Min Fan, our officers, Dongjie Guo and Maohua Sun were also the principal shareholders of our consolidated affiliated Chinese entities as of the date of this report. Thus, conflicts of interest between their duties to our company and our affiliated Chinese entities may arise. We cannot assure you that when conflicts of interest arise, these persons will act entirely in our interests or that the conflicts of interest will be resolved in our favor. In addition, these persons could violate their non-competition or employment agreements with us or their legal duties by diverting business opportunities from us to others, resulting in our loss of corporate opportunities. In any such event, we would have to rely on the PRC legal system for the enforcement of these agreements, which could have uncertain results. Any legal proceeding could result in the disruption of our business, diversion of our resources and incurrence of substantial costs. See “—Risks Related to Doing Business in China—Uncertainties with respect to the PRC legal system could adversely affect us.”

 

Our contractual arrangements with our affiliated Chinese entities may result in adverse tax consequences to us.

 

As a result of our corporate structure and the contractual arrangements between us and our affiliated Chinese entities, we are effectively subject to the 5% PRC business tax on both revenues generated by our affiliated Chinese entities’ operations in China and revenues derived from our contractual arrangements with our affiliated Chinese entities. We may be subject to adverse tax consequences if the PRC tax authorities were to determine that the contracts between us and our affiliated Chinese entities were not made on an arm’s-length basis and therefore constitute favorable transfer pricing arrangements. If this occurs, the PRC tax authorities could request that our affiliated Chinese entities adjust their taxable income upward for PRC tax purposes. Such a pricing adjustment could adversely affect us by increasing our affiliated Chinese entities’ tax expenses without reducing our tax expenses, which could subject our affiliated Chinese entities to late payment fees and other penalties for underpayment of taxes, and/or result in the loss of the tax benefits available to our subsidiaries in China. The EIT Law requires every enterprise in China to submit its annual enterprise income tax return together with a report on transactions with its affiliates to the relevant tax authorities. The tax authorities may impose reasonable adjustments on taxation if they have identified any related party transactions that are inconsistent with arms’-length principles. As a result, our contractual arrangements with our affiliated Chinese entities may result in adverse tax consequences to us.

 

17



Table of Contents

 

Our subsidiaries and affiliated Chinese entities in China are subject to restrictions on paying dividends or making other payments to us, which may restrict our ability to satisfy our liquidity requirements.

 

We are a holding company incorporated in the Cayman Islands. We rely on dividends from our subsidiaries in China and consulting and other fees paid to us by our affiliated Chinese entities. Current PRC regulations permit our subsidiaries to pay dividends to us only out of their accumulated profits, if any, determined in accordance with Chinese accounting standards and regulations. In addition, our subsidiaries in China are required to set aside at least 10% of their respective accumulated profits each year, if any, to fund certain reserve funds unless these reserves have reached 50% of the subsidiaries’ registered capital. These reserves are not distributable as cash dividends. Furthermore, if our subsidiaries and affiliated Chinese entities in China incur debt on their own behalf in the future, the instruments governing the debt may restrict their ability to pay dividends or make other payments to us, which may restrict our ability to satisfy our liquidity requirements.

 

Pursuant to the EIT Law and a circular issued by the PRC Ministry of Finance and the PRC State Administration of Taxation, or the SAT, in February 2008, the dividends declared out of the profits earned after January 1, 2008 by an FIE to its immediate holding company outside China are subject to a 10% withholding tax unless such foreign investor’s jurisdiction of incorporation has a tax treaty with China that provides for a different withholding arrangement, and certain supplementary requirements and procedures stipulated by SAT for such tax treaty are met and observed. Our subsidiaries in China are considered FIEs and are directly held by our subsidiary in Hong Kong. According to the currently effective tax treaty between China and Hong Kong, dividends payable by an FIE in China to a company in Hong Kong which directly holds at least 25% of the equity interests in the FIE will be subject to a withholding tax of 5%. In February 2009, the SAT issued a new notice, Notice No. 81. According to Notice No. 81, in order to enjoy the preferential treatment on dividend withholding tax rates, an enterprise must be the “beneficial owner” of the relevant dividend income, and no enterprise is entitled to enjoy preferential treatment pursuant to any tax treaties if such enterprise qualifies for such preferential tax rates through any transaction or arrangement, the major purpose of which is to obtain such preferential tax treatment. The tax authority in charge has the right to make adjustments to the applicable tax rates, if it determines that any taxpayer has enjoyed preferential treatment under tax treaties as a result of such transaction or arrangement. In October 2009, the SAT issued another notice on this matter, Notice No. 601, to provide guidance on the criteria for determining whether an enterprise qualifies as the “beneficial owner” of the PRC sourced income for the purpose of obtaining preferential treatment under tax treaties. Pursuant to Notice No. 601, the PRC tax authorities will review and grant tax preferential treatment on a case-by-case basis and adopt the “substance over form” principle in the review. Notice No. 601 specifies that a beneficial owner should generally carry out substantial business activities and own and have control over the income, the assets or other rights generating the income. Therefore, an agent or a conduit company will not be regarded as a beneficial owner of such income. Since the two notices were issued, it has remained unclear how the PRC tax authorities will implement them in practice and to what extent they will affect the dividend withholding tax rates for dividends distributed by our subsidiaries in China to our Hong Kong subsidiary. If the relevant tax authority determines that our Hong Kong subsidiary is a conduit company and does not qualify as the “beneficial owner” of the dividend income it receives from our PRC subsidiaries, the higher 10% withholding tax rate will apply to such dividends.

 

Under the EIT Law, an enterprise established outside of China with its “de facto management body” within China is considered a resident enterprise and will be subject to enterprise income tax at the rate of 25% on its worldwide income. The “de facto management body” is defined as the organizational body that effectively exercises overall management and control over production and business operations, personnel, finance and accounting, and properties of the enterprise. It remains unclear how the PRC tax authorities will interpret such a broad definition. If the PRC tax authorities determine that we should be classified as a resident enterprise for PRC tax purposes, our global income will be subject to income tax at a uniform rate of 25%, which may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. Notwithstanding the foregoing provision, the EIT Law also provides that, if a resident enterprise directly invests in another resident enterprise, the dividends received by the investing resident enterprise from the invested enterprise are exempted from income tax, subject to certain conditions. However, it remains unclear how the PRC tax authorities will interpret the PRC tax resident treatment of an offshore company, like us, having indirect ownership interests in PRC enterprises through intermediary holding vehicles.

 

Moreover, under the EIT Law, foreign ADS holders may be subject to a 10% withholding tax upon dividends payable by a Chinese entity and gains realized on the sale or other disposition of ADSs or ordinary shares, if such income is considered as income derived from within China. Any such tax would reduce the returns on your investment in our ADSs.

 

18



Table of Contents

 

Risks Related to Doing Business in China

 

Adverse changes in economic and political policies of the PRC government could have a material adverse effect on the overall economic growth of China, which could adversely affect our business.

 

The majority of our business operations are conducted in mainland China. Accordingly, our results of operations, financial condition and prospects are subject to a significant degree to economic, political and legal developments in China. China’s economy differs from the economies of most developed countries in many respects, including with respect to the amount of government involvement, level of development, growth rate, control of foreign exchange and allocation of resources. While the PRC economy has experienced significant growth in the past decades, growth has been uneven across different regions and among various economic sectors of China. The PRC government has implemented various measures to encourage economic development and guide the allocation of resources. Some of these measures benefit the overall PRC economy, but may also have a negative effect on us. For example, our financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected by government control over capital investments or changes in tax regulations that are applicable to us. In addition, future measures to control the pace of economic growth may cause a decrease in the level of economic activity in China, which in turn could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

 

Inflation in China may disrupt our business and have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

 

The Chinese economy has experienced rapid expansion together with rising rates of inflation. Inflation may erode disposable incomes and consumer spending, which may have an adverse effect on the Chinese economy and lead to a reduction in business and leisure travel as the travel industry is highly sensitive to business and personal discretionary spending levels. This in turn could adversely impact our business, financial condition and results of operations.

 

Future movements in exchange rates between the U.S. dollar and the RMB may adversely affect the value of our ADSs.

 

The value of the Renminbi against the U.S. dollar and other currencies may fluctuate and is affected by, among other things, changes in political and economic conditions. The conversion of the Renminbi into foreign currencies, including the U.S. dollar, has been based on rates set by the People’s Bank of China. The PRC government allowed the Renminbi to appreciate by more than 20% against the U.S. dollar between July 2005 and July 2008. Between July 2008 and June 2010, this appreciation halted and the exchange rate between the Renminbi and the U.S. dollar remained within a narrow band. As a consequence, the Renminbi fluctuated significantly during that period against other freely traded currencies, in tandem with the U.S. dollar. Since June, 2010, the PRC government has allowed the Renminbi to appreciate slowly against the U.S. dollar again.  It is difficult to predict how market forces or PRC or U.S. government policy may impact the exchange rate between the Renminbi and the U.S. dollar in the future.

 

The majority of our revenues and costs are denominated in Renminbi, while a portion of our financial assets and our dividend payments are denominated in U.S. dollars. We have not used any forward contracts or currency borrowings to hedge our exposure to foreign currency risk. Any significant revaluation of the Renminbi or the U.S. dollar may adversely affect our cash flows, earnings and financial position, and the value of, and any dividends payable on, our ADSs. For example, an appreciation of the Renminbi against the U.S. dollar would make any new RMB-denominated investments or expenditures more costly to us, to the extent that we need to convert U.S. dollars into Renminbi for such purposes. An appreciation of the Renminbi against the U.S. dollar would also result in foreign currency translation losses for financial reporting purposes when we translate our U.S. dollar-denominated financial assets into Renminbi, our reporting currency. Conversely, if we decide to convert Renminbi into U.S. dollars for the purpose of making payments for dividends on our ordinary shares or ADSs or for other business purposes, appreciation of the U.S. dollar against the Renminbi would have a negative effect on the U.S. dollar amount available to us.

 

Restrictions on currency exchange may limit our ability to receive and use our revenues effectively.

 

Because the majority of our revenues are in the form of Renminbi, any restrictions on currency exchange may limit our ability to use revenues generated in Renminbi to fund our business activities outside China or to make dividend payments in U.S. dollars. The principal regulation governing foreign currency exchange in China is the Foreign Currency Administration Rules, as amended, or the Rules. Under the Rules, Renminbi is freely convertible for trade- and service-related foreign exchange transactions, but not for direct investment, loan or investment in securities outside China unless the prior approval of the State Administration of Foreign Exchange, or SAFE, is obtained. Although the PRC government regulations now allow greater convertibility of Renminbi for current account transactions, significant restrictions still remain. For example, foreign exchange transactions under our subsidiaries’ capital account, including principal payments in respect of foreign currency-denominated obligations, remain subject to significant foreign exchange controls and the approval of SAFE. These limitations could affect our ability to obtain foreign exchange for capital expenditures. We cannot be certain that the PRC regulatory authorities will not impose more stringent restrictions on the convertibility of Renminbi, especially with respect to foreign exchange transactions.

 

19



Table of Contents

 

PRC regulations relating to the establishment of offshore special purpose companies by PRC residents and the grant of employee stock options by overseas-listed companies may subject our PRC resident shareholders to personal liability and limit our ability to inject capital into our PRC subsidiaries, limit our subsidiaries’ ability to distribute profits to us, or otherwise adversely affect us.

 

SAFE issued a public notice, or Notice 75, in October 2005 requiring PRC residents to register with the local SAFE branch before establishing or controlling any company outside of China for the purpose of capital financing with assets or equity interests in any onshore enterprise located in China, referred to in the notice as a “special purpose company.” On May 20, 2011, SAFE promulgated the Implementation Guidelines for Foreign Exchange Administration of Financings and Return Investment by Onshore Residents Utilizing Offshore Special Purpose Companies, or the Guidelines, which become effective on July 1, 2011, clarifying certain implementation questions of Notice 75. According to Notice 75 and the Guidelines, any PRC resident who is a direct or indirect shareholder of a special purpose company is also required to file or update the registration with the local branch of SAFE, with respect to that special purpose company for any material change involving its round-trip investment, capital variation, such as an increase or decrease in capital, transfer or swap of shares, merger, division, long-term equity or debt investment or the creation of any security interest. Moreover, the PRC subsidiaries of that special purpose company are required to urge the PRC resident shareholders to update their SAFE registration with the local branch of SAFE when such updates are required under applicable SAFE regulations.

 

We have notified holders of ordinary shares of our company who we know are PRC residents to register with the local SAFE branch as required under the SAFE notice. The failure or inability of our shareholders resident in China to comply with the registration procedures set forth therein may subject them to fines and legal sanctions and may also limit our ability to contribute additional capital into our PRC subsidiaries, limit our PRC subsidiaries’ ability to distribute profits to our company or otherwise adversely affect our business.

 

On February 15, 2012, SAFE promulgated the Circular on Relevant Issues Concerning Foreign Exchange Administration for Domestic Individuals Participating in an Employees Share Incentive Plan of an Overseas-Listed Company (which is replacing the old circular, “Application Procedure of Foreign Exchange Administration for Domestic Individuals Participating in an Employee Stock Holding Plan or Stock Option Plan of an Overseas-Listed Company”, of 2007), or the new Share Incentive Rule. Under the new Share Incentive Rule, PRC resident individuals who participate in a share incentive plan of an overseas publicly listed company are required to register with SAFE and complete certain other procedures.  All such participants need to retain a PRC agent through PRC subsidiary to register with SAFE and handle foreign exchange matters such as opening accounts, transferring and settlement of the relevant proceeds. The Rule further requires that an offshore agent should also be designated to handle matters in connection with the exercise or sale of share options and proceeds transferring for the share incentive plan participants.  We and our PRC employees who have been granted stock options are subject to the Share Incentive Rule. If we or our PRC optionees fail to comply with these regulations, we or our PRC optionees may be subject to fines and legal sanctions.

 

Online payment systems in China are at an early stage of development and may restrict our ability to expand our online commerce business.

 

Online payment systems in China are at an early stage of development. Although major Chinese banks are instituting online payment systems, these systems are not as widely acceptable to consumers in China as in the United States and other developed countries. The lack of wide acceptance of online payment systems and concerns regarding the adequacy of system security may limit the number of online commercial transactions that we can service. If online payment services and their security capabilities are not significantly enhanced, our ability to grow our online commerce business may be limited.

 

The Internet market has not been proven as an effective commercial medium in China. The Internet penetration rate in China is lower than those in the United States and other developed countries. Our future operating results from online services will depend substantially upon the increased use and acceptance of the Internet for distribution of products and services and facilitation of commerce in China.

 

The Internet may not become a viable commercial marketplace in China for various reasons in the foreseeable future. More salient impediments to Internet development in China include:

 

20



Table of Contents

 

·           consumer dependence on traditional means of commerce;

 

·           inexperience with the Internet as a sales and distribution channel;

 

·           inadequate development of the necessary infrastructure to facilitate online commerce;

 

·           concerns about security, reliability, cost, ease of deployment, administration and quality of service associated with conducting business and settling payment over the Internet;

 

·           inexperience with credit card usage or with other means of electronic payment; and

 

·           limited use of personal computers.

 

If the Internet is not widely accepted as a medium for online commerce in China, our ability to grow our online business would be impeded.

 

Uncertainties with respect to the PRC legal system could adversely affect us.

 

We conduct our business primarily through our wholly owned subsidiaries incorporated in China. Our subsidiaries are generally subject to laws and regulations applicable to foreign investment in China and, in particular, laws applicable to wholly foreign owned enterprises. In addition, we depend on several affiliated Chinese entities in China to honor their service agreements with us. Almost all of these agreements are governed by PRC law and disputes arising out of these agreements are expected to be decided by arbitration in China. The PRC legal system is based on written statutes. Prior court decisions may be cited for reference but have limited precedential value. Since 1979, PRC legislation and regulations have significantly enhanced the protections afforded to various forms of foreign investments in China. However, since the PRC legal system is still evolving, the interpretations of many laws, regulations and rules are not always uniform and enforcement of these laws, regulations and rules involve uncertainties, which may limit remedies available to us. In addition, any litigation in China may be protracted and result in substantial costs and diversion of resources and management attention. If we and our affiliated Chinese entities are found to be in violation of any existing or future PRC laws or regulations, or fail to obtain or maintain any of the required permits or approvals, the relevant PRC regulatory authorities would have broad discretion in dealing with such violations, including restructuring. See “Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure—PRC laws and regulations restrict foreign investment in the air-ticketing, travel agency, advertising and value-added telecommunications businesses, and substantial uncertainties exist with respect to the application and implementation of PRC laws and regulations.”

 

Implementation of laws and regulations relating to data privacy in China could adversely affect our business.

 

Certain data and services collected, provided or used by us or provided to and used by us or our users are currently subject to regulation in certain jurisdictions, including China. The PRC Constitution states that PRC laws protect the freedom and privacy of communications of citizens and prohibit infringement of such basic rights, and the PRC Contract Law prohibits contracting parties from disclosing or misusing the trade secrets of the other party. Further, companies or their employees who illegally trade or disclose customer data may face criminal charges. Although the definition and scope of “privacy” and “trade secret” remain relatively ambiguous under PRC law, growing concerns about individual privacy and the collection, distribution and use of information about individuals have led to national and local regulations that could increase our expenses.

 

In December 2012, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress enacted the Decision to Enhance the Protection of Network Information, or the Information Protection Decision, to further enhance the protection of users’ personal information in electronic form. The Information Protection Decision provides that Internet information services providers must expressly inform their users of the purpose, manner and scope of the collection and use of users’ personal information by Internet information services providers, publish the Internet information services providers standards for their collection and use of users’ personal information, and collect and use users’ personal information only with the consent of the users and only within the scope of such consent. The Information Protection Decision also mandates that Internet information services providers and their employees keep users’ personal information that they collect strictly confidential, and that they must take such technical and other measures as are necessary to safeguard the information against disclosure, damages and loss. Compliance with current regulations and regulations that may come into effect in these areas may increase our expenses related to regulatory compliance, which could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and operating results.

 

21



Table of Contents

 

PRC regulation of loans and direct investment by offshore holding companies to PRC entities may delay or prevent us from using the proceeds from the offerings of any securities to make loans or additional capital contributions to our PRC operating subsidiaries.

 

In September 2012, we completed an offering of US$180 million in aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes due 2017.  As an offshore holding company, our ability to make loans or additional capital contributions to our PRC operating subsidiaries is subject to PRC regulations and approvals. These regulations and approvals may delay or prevent us from using the proceeds we received in the past or will receive in the future from the offerings of securities to make loans or additional capital contributions to our PRC operating subsidiaries, and impair our ability to fund and expand our business which may adversely affect our business, financial condition and result of operations.

 

For example, SAFE promulgated the Circular on the Relevant Operating Issues concerning Administration Improvement of Payment and Settlement of Foreign Currency Capital of Foreign-invested Enterprises, or Circular 142, on August 29, 2008. Under Circular 142, registered capital of a foreign-invested company settled in RMB converted from foreign currencies may only be used within the business scope approved by the applicable governmental authority and may not be used for equity investments in the PRC. In addition, foreign-invested companies may not change how they use such capital without SAFE’s approval, and may not in any case use such capital to repay RMB loans if they have not used the proceeds of such loans. Furthermore, SAFE promulgated a circular on November 9, 2010, or Circular 59, which requires the authenticity of settlement of net proceeds from offshore offerings to be closely examined and the net proceeds to be settled in the manner described in the offering documents. In addition, to strengthen Circular 142, on November 9, 2011 the SAFE promulgated the Circular on Further Clarifying and Regulating Relevant Issues Concerning the Administration of Foreign Exchange under Capital Account, or Circular 45, which prohibits a foreign invested company from converting its registered capital in foreign exchange currency into RMB for the purpose of making domestic equity investments, granting entrusted loans, repaying inter-company loans, and repaying bank loans that have been transferred to a third party. Circular 142, Circular 59 and Circular 45 may significantly limit our ability to transfer the net proceeds from offerings of our securities or any future offering to our PRC subsidiaries and convert the net proceeds into RMB, which may adversely affect our liquidity and our ability to fund and expand our business in the PRC.

 

We have attempted to comply with the PRC government regulations regarding licensing requirements by entering into a series of agreements with our affiliated Chinese entities. If the PRC laws and regulations change, our business in China may be adversely affected.

 

To comply with the PRC government regulations regarding licensing requirements, we have entered into a series of agreements with our affiliated Chinese entities to exert our operational control over them and secure consulting fees and other payments from them. Although we have been advised by our PRC counsel, Commerce & Finance Law Offices, that our contractual arrangements with our affiliated Chinese entities, as described in this annual report, are valid under current PRC law and regulations, as there is substantial uncertainty regarding the interpretation and application of PRC laws and regulations, we cannot assure you that the PRC government would agree with our counsels’ position or that we will not be required to restructure our organizational structure and operations in China to comply with changing and new PRC laws and regulations. Restructuring of our operations may result in disruption of our business, diversion of management attention and the incurrence of substantial costs.

 

The continued growth of the Chinese Internet market depends on the establishment of an adequate telecommunications infrastructure.

 

Although private sector Internet service providers currently exist in China, almost all access to the Internet is maintained through state-owned telecommunication operations under the administrative control and regulatory supervision of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. In addition, the national networks in China connect to the Internet through government-controlled international gateways. These international gateways are the only channels through which a domestic Chinese user can connect to the international Internet network. We rely on this infrastructure, primarily China Telecom and China Unicom, to provide data communications capacity. Although the government has announced plans to aggressively develop the national information infrastructure, we cannot assure you that this infrastructure will be developed. In addition, we will have no access to alternative networks and services, on a timely basis if at all, in the event of any infrastructure disruption or failure. The Internet infrastructure in China may not support the demands associated with continued growth in Internet usage.

 

22



Table of Contents

 

Our auditor, like other independent registered public accounting firms operating in China, is not permitted to be subject to inspection by Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, and as such, investors may be deprived of the benefits of such inspection.

 

Our independent registered public accounting firm that issues the audit reports included in our annual reports filed with the SEC, as an auditor of companies that are traded publicly in the United States and a firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States), or PCAOB, is required by the laws of the United States to undergo regular inspections by PCAOB to assess its compliance with the applicable professional standards. Because our auditor is located in China, a jurisdiction where PCAOB is currently unable to conduct inspections without the approval of the PRC authorities, our auditor, like other independent registered public accounting firms operating in China, is currently not inspected by PCAOB.

 

Inspections of other firms that PCAOB has conducted outside of China have identified deficiencies in those firms’ audit procedures and quality control procedures, which may be addressed as part of the inspection process to improve future audit quality. The inability of PCAOB to conduct inspections of independent registered public accounting firms operating in China makes it more difficult to regularly evaluate the effectiveness of our auditor’s audit procedures or quality control procedures. As a result, investors may be deprived of the benefits of PCAOB inspections.

 

We may be adversely affected by the outcome of the administrative proceedings instituted recently by the SEC against five PRC-based accounting firms, including our independent registered public accounting firm.

 

In December 2012, the SEC instituted proceedings under Rule 102(e)(1)(iii) of the SEC’s Rules of Practice against five PRC-based accounting firms, including our independent registered public accounting firm, alleging that these firms had violated U.S. securities laws and the SEC’s rules and regulations thereunder by failing to provide to the SEC the firms’ work papers related to their audits of certain PRC-based companies that are publicly traded in the United States. Rule 102(e)(1)(iii) grants to the SEC the authority to deny to any person, temporarily or permanently, the ability to practice before the SEC who is found by the SEC, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, to have willfully violated any such laws or rules and regulations. While we cannot predict the outcome of the SEC’s proceedings, if our independent registered public accounting firm were denied, temporarily or permanently, the ability to practice before the SEC, and we are unable to find timely another registered public accounting firm which can audit and issue a report on our financial statements, our financial statements could be determined to not be in compliance with the requirements for financial statements of public companies with a class of securities registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act. Such a determination could ultimately lead to the delisting of our common stock from the NASDAQ Global Select Market, which event would effectively terminate the trading market for our ordinary shares in the United States, and/or to the SEC’s revoking the registration of our common stock under the Exchange Act pursuant to Section 12(j) thereof, in which event broker-dealers thereafter would be prohibited from effecting transactions in, or inducing the purchase or sale of, our common stock in the United States.

 

Risks Related to Our Ordinary Shares and ADSs

 

The future sales of a substantial number of our ADSs in the public market could adversely affect the price of our ADSs

 

In the future, we may sell additional ADSs to raise capital, and our existing shareholders could sell substantial amounts of our ADSs, including those issued upon the exercise of outstanding options, in the public market.  We cannot predict the size of such future issuance or the effect, if any, that they may have on the market price of our ADSs. Any future sales of a substantial number of our ADSs in the public market, or the perception that such issuance and sale may occur, could adversely affect the price of our ADSs and impair our ability to raise capital through the sale of additional equity securities.

 

Provisions of our convertible notes could discourage an acquisition of us by a third party.

 

In September 2012, we completed an offering of US$180 million in aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes due 2017. Certain provisions of our convertible notes could make it more difficult or more expensive for a third party to acquire us. The indenture for these convertible notes defines a “fundamental change” to include, among other things: (1) any person or group gaining control of our company; (2) our company merging with or into another company or disposing of substantially all of its assets; (3) any recapitalization, reclassification or change of our ordinary shares or the ADSs as a result of which these securities would be converted into, or exchanged for, stock, other securities, other property or assets; (4) the adoption of any plan relating to the dissolution or liquidation of our company; or (5) our ADSs ceasing to be listed on a major U.S. national securities exchange. Upon the occurrence of a fundamental change, holders of these notes will have the right, at their option, to require us to repurchase all of their notes or any portion of the principal amount of such notes in integral multiples of US$1,000. In the event of a fundamental change, we may also be required to issue additional ADSs upon conversion of our convertible notes.

 

23



Table of Contents

 

You may face difficulties in protecting your interests, and our ability to protect our rights through the U.S. federal courts may be limited, because we are incorporated under Cayman Islands law.

 

Our corporate affairs are governed by our memorandum and articles of association and by the Companies Law (2011 Revision) and common law of the Cayman Islands. The rights of our shareholders and the fiduciary responsibilities of our directors under Cayman Islands law are not as clearly established as they would be under statutes or judicial precedents in some jurisdictions in the United States. In particular, the Cayman Islands has a less developed body of securities laws as compared to the United States. Therefore, our public shareholders may have more difficulties in protecting their interests in the face of actions by our management, directors or controlling shareholders than would shareholders of a corporation incorporated in a jurisdiction in the United States.

 

Your ability to bring an action against us or against our directors and officers, or to enforce a judgment against us or them, may be limited because we are incorporated in the Cayman Islands, and because we conduct the majority of our operations in China and because the majority of our directors and officers reside outside of the United States.

 

We are incorporated in the Cayman Islands, and we conduct the majority of our operations in China through our wholly owned subsidiaries and several affiliated Chinese entities in China. Most of our directors and officers reside outside of the United States and most of the assets of those persons are located outside of the United States. As a result, it may be difficult for you to bring an action in the United States upon these persons. It may also be difficult for you to enforce in United States courts judgments obtained in United States courts based on the civil liability provisions of the United States federal securities laws against us and our officers and directors, most of whom are not residents in the United States and the substantial majority of whose assets are located outside of the United States. Even if you are successful in bringing an action of this kind, the laws of the Cayman Islands or China may render you unable to enforce a judgment against our assets or the assets of our directors and officers.

 

You may not be able to exercise your right to vote.

 

As a holder of ADSs, you may instruct the depositary of our ADSs to vote the shares underlying your ADSs. Otherwise, you will not be able to exercise your right to vote unless you withdraw the ordinary shares. However, you may not know about the meeting enough in advance to withdraw the ordinary shares. If we ask for your instructions, the depositary will notify you of the upcoming vote and arrange to deliver our voting materials to you. We cannot assure you that you will receive the voting materials in time to ensure that you can instruct the depositary to vote your shares. In addition, the depositary and its agents are not responsible for failing to carry out voting instructions or for the manner of carrying out voting instructions. This means that you may not be able to exercise your right to vote and there may be nothing you can do if the shares underlying your ADSs are not voted as you requested.

 

Under our deposit agreement, the depositary will give us a discretionary proxy to vote the ordinary shares underlying your ADSs at shareholders’ meetings if you do not vote, unless we have instructed the depositary that we do not wish a discretionary proxy to be given or any of the other situations specified under the deposit agreement takes place. The effect of this discretionary proxy is that you cannot prevent ordinary shares underlying your ADSs from being voted, absent the situations described above, and it may make it more difficult for shareholders to influence the management of our company. Holders of our ordinary shares are not subject to this discretionary proxy.

 

Your right to participate in any future rights offerings may be limited, which may cause dilution to your holdings.

 

We may from time to time distribute rights to our shareholders, including rights to acquire our securities. However, we cannot make rights available to you in the United States unless we register the rights and the securities to which the rights relate under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or the Securities Act, or an exemption from the registration requirements is available. Also, under the deposit agreement, the depositary bank will not make these rights available to you unless the distribution to ADS holders of both the rights and any related securities are either registered under the Securities Act, or exempt from registration under the Securities Act. We are under no obligation to file a registration statement with respect to any such rights or securities or to endeavor to cause such a registration statement to be declared effective. Moreover, we may not be able to establish an exemption from registration under the Securities Act. Accordingly, you may be unable to participate in our rights offerings and may experience dilution in your holdings.

 

24



Table of Contents

 

You may not receive distributions on ordinary shares or any value for them if it is illegal or impractical to make them available to you.

 

The depositary of our ADSs has agreed to pay to you the cash dividends or other distributions it or the custodian receives on ordinary shares or other deposited securities after deducting its fees and expenses. You will receive these distributions in proportion to the number of ordinary shares your ADSs represent. However, the depositary is not responsible if it decides that it is unlawful or impractical to make a distribution available to any holders of ADSs. We have no obligation to register ADSs, ordinary shares, rights or other securities under U.S. securities laws. We also have no obligation to take any other action to permit the distribution of ADSs, ordinary shares, rights or anything else to holders of ADSs. This means that you may not receive the distribution we make on our ordinary shares or any value for them if it is illegal or impractical for us to make them available to you. These restrictions may have a material adverse effect on the value of your ADSs.

 

You may be subject to limitations on transfer of your ADSs.

 

Your ADSs represented by the ADRs are transferable on the books of the depositary. However, the depositary may close its transfer books at any time or from time to time when it deems expedient in connection with the performance of its duties. In addition, the depositary may refuse to deliver, transfer or register transfers of ADSs generally when our books or the books of the depositary are closed, or at any time if we or the depositary thinks it advisable to do so because of any requirement of law or of any government or governmental body, or under any provision of the deposit agreement, or for any other reason.

 

Provisions of our shareholder rights plan could delay or prevent an acquisition of our company, even if the acquisition would be beneficial to our shareholders.

 

In November 2007, we adopted a shareholder rights plan. Although the rights plan will not prevent a takeover, it is intended to encourage anyone seeking to acquire our company to negotiate with our board of directors prior to attempting a takeover by potentially significantly diluting an acquirer’s ownership interest in our outstanding capital stock. The existence of the rights plan may also discourage transactions that otherwise could involve payment of a premium over prevailing market prices for our ADSs.

 

We may be classified as a passive foreign investment company, which could result in adverse United States federal income tax consequences for U.S. Holders.

 

Based on the market price of our ADSs and ordinary shares, the value of our assets, and the composition of our assets and income, we do not believe that we were a passive foreign investment company (a “PFIC”) for U.S. federal income tax purposes for our taxable year ended December 31, 2012 and we do not expect to be one for our taxable year ending December 31, 2013 or become one in the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, the application of the PFIC rules is subject to ambiguity in several respects and, in addition, we must make a separate determination each year as to whether we are a PFIC (after the close of each taxable year). Accordingly, we cannot assure you that we will not be a PFIC for our current taxable year ending December 31, 2013 or for any future taxable year.

 

A non-U.S. corporation will be considered a PFIC for any taxable year if either (i) at least 75% of its gross income is passive income or (ii) at least 50% of the value of its assets (based on an average of the quarterly values of the assets during a taxable year) is attributable to assets that produce, or are held for the production of, passive income. The value of our assets generally will be determined by reference to the market price of our ADSs and ordinary shares, which may fluctuate considerably. In addition, the composition of our income and assets will be affected by how, and how quickly, we spend the cash we raise in any offering. If we were treated as a PFIC for any taxable year during which a U.S. Holder held an ADS or an ordinary share, certain adverse United States federal income tax consequences could apply to the U.S. Holder. For the definition of “U.S. Holder” and a more detailed discussion of United States federal income tax consequences to U.S. Holders, see “Item 10. Additional Information—Taxation—Certain U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences—Passive Foreign Investment Company.”

 

ITEM 4.                        INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY

 

A.      History and Development of the Company

 

We commenced our business in June 1999. In March 2000, we established a new holding company, Ctrip.com International, Ltd., in the Cayman Islands as an exempted company with limited liability under the Companies Law of the Cayman Islands. Since our inception, we have conducted the majority of our operations in China and expanded our operations overseas in 2009. As of December 31, 2012, we mainly operated our business through the following significant subsidiaries:

 

25



Table of Contents

 

·              C-Travel International Limited;

 

·              Ctrip.com (Hong Kong) Limited;

 

·              Ctrip Computer Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., or Ctrip Computer Technology;

 

·              Ctrip Travel Information Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., or Ctrip Travel Information;

 

·              Ctrip Travel Network Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., or Ctrip Travel Network;

 

·              Ctrip Information Technology (Nantong) Co., Ltd., or Ctrip Information Technology;

 

·              China Software Hotel Information System Co., or Software Hotel Information;

 

·              ezTravel Co., Ltd., or ezTravel; and

 

·              HKWOT (BVI) Limited, or Wing On Travel.

 

We also conduct part of our business in China primarily through the following significant affiliated Chinese entities and certain of their subsidiaries:

 

·              Shanghai Ctrip Commerce Co., Ltd., or Ctrip Commerce, which holds value-added telecommunications business license;

 

·              Shanghai Huacheng Southwest Travel Agency Co., Ltd., or Shanghai Huacheng, which holds domestic travel agency and air transport sales agency licenses;

 

·              Shanghai Ctrip International Travel Agency Co., Ltd., or Shanghai Ctrip, formerly known as Shanghai Ctrip Charming International Travel Agency Co., Ltd., which holds domestic and cross-border travel agency and air transport sales agency licenses.

 

·              Beijing Ctrip International Travel Agency Co., Ltd., or Beijing Ctrip, which holds an air transport sales agency license, domestic and cross-border travel agency license;

 

·              Guangzhou Ctrip Travel Agency Co., Ltd., or Guangzhou Ctrip, which holds an air transport sales agency license, domestic and cross-border travel agency license;

 

·              Shenzhen Ctrip Travel Agency Co., Ltd., or Shenzhen Ctrip, which holds an air transport sales agency license, domestic travel agency license;

 

·              Chengdu Ctrip Travel Agency Co., Ltd, or Chengdu Ctrip, a wholly owned subsidiary of Shanghai Ctrip, which holds air transport sales agency license and domestic travel agency license;

 

·              Chengdu Ctrip International Travel Agency Co., Ltd, or Chengdu Ctrip International, a wholly owned subsidiary of Shanghai Ctrip, which holds domestic and cross-border travel agency licenses, air transport sales agency license; and

 

·              Ctrip Insurance Agency Co., Ltd., or Ctrip Insurance, which holds an insurance agency business license.

 

We formed Home Inns & Hotels Management (Hong Kong) Limited, or Home Inns Hong Kong, in 2001 to expand our business to include the hotel management service. We spun off all of our interest in Home Inns Hong Kong in August 2003. Home Inns Hong Kong became a wholly owned subsidiary of Home Inns in June 2006. Home Inns undertook an initial public offering and its ADSs were listed on the NASDAQ Global Market in October 2006. During the period from September 12, 2008 to March 31, 2009, we purchased ADSs of Home Inns on the open market representing approximately 10% of the then total outstanding ordinary shares of Home Inns. In May 2009, we entered into a purchase agreement with Home Inns to acquire additional equity interest in Home Inns through a private placement of its ordinary shares for $50 million in cash. In connection with this private placement, we have also obtained certain demand, piggyback and Form F-3 registration rights from Home Inns. Our aggregate equity interest in Home Inns was approximately 16% of the total outstanding ordinary shares of Home Inns as of December 31, 2012.

 

26



Table of Contents

 

In March 2006, we formed a wholly owned subsidiary, C-Travel International Limited, an exempted company with limited liability incorporated in the Cayman Islands, in connection with our investment in a minority stake in ezTravel Co., Ltd., or ezTravel, an online travel service provider in Taiwan that offers packaged tours as well as hotel and airline ticket reservation services. In 2009, we consolidated ezTravel’s operating results as we had a controlling financial interest of ezTravel. The financial results of ezTravel are not significant to our company in the year ended December 31, 2012.

 

In April 2007, we formed a new wholly owned subsidiary, Ctrip Information Technology, in the PRC, in connection with the construction of our second customer service center in Nantong, Jiangsu Province, in anticipation of future business expansion.

 

In March 2010, we entered into a subscription agreement with China Lodging Group and a share purchase agreement with certain selling shareholders of China Lodging Group, pursuant to which we acquired an aggregate of 18,849,446 shares of China Lodging Group at a purchase price of $3.0625 per share, or a total consideration of $57.7 million in cash. In connection with this private placement, we have also obtained certain demand, piggyback and Form F-3 registration rights from China Lodging Group. In addition, in the same month we purchased 800,000 ADSs representing 3,200,000 shares of China Lodging Group in its initial public offering at a purchase price of $3.0625 per share, or a total purchase price of $9.8 million.

 

In May 2010, pursuant to a sale and purchase agreement dated February 3, 2010 among Wing On Travel (Holdings) Limited, C-Travel International Limited and Ctrip.com International, Ltd., we acquired 90% of the issued share capital of Wing On Travel’s travel service segment (operated through Wing On Travel’s subsidiary, HKWOT (BVI) Limited), for a total consideration of approximately US$88 million in cash, and began to consolidate its financial results since then. The financial results of Wing On Travel were not significant to our company in the year ended December 31, 2012. In February 2012, we entered into a sale and purchase agreement to purchase the remaining 10% of the issued share capital of HKWOT (BVI) Limited for a total consideration of US$9.4 million; as of the date of this annual report, US$9.2 million has been paid.

 

Pursuant to a definitive agreement dated April 15, 2012, among Starway Hotels (Hong Kong) Limited, C-Travel International Limited and China Lodging Holdings (HK) Limited, we sold 51% of interest in Starway Hotels (Hong Kong) Limited to China Lodging Holdings (HK) Limited for a consideration of RMB17.1 million (US$2.7 million).  As of December 31, 2012, our remaining aggregate equity interest in Starway Hotels (Hong Kong) Limited was approximately 49% of the total outstanding ordinary shares of Starway Hotels (Hong Kong) Limited.

 

From time to time, we selectively acquired or invested in businesses that complement our existing business, and will continue to do so in the future. Other than disclosed in this annual report on Form 20-F, no acquisitions or investments was material to our businesses or financial results at the time we made the acquisition or investment.

 

In September 2012, we completed an offering of US$180 million in aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes due 2017. The notes were offered to qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act, and certain non-U.S. persons in compliance with Regulation S under the Securities Act. The notes will be convertible into our ADSs based on an initial conversion rate of 51.7116 of our ADSs per $1,000 principal amount of notes (which is equivalent to an initial conversion price of approximately US$19.34 per ADS and represents an approximately 10% conversion premium over the closing trading price of our ADSs on September 18, 2012, which was US$17.58 per ADS). The conversion rate is subject to adjustment upon the occurrence of certain events. The notes will bear interest at a rate of 0.50% per year, payable semiannually in arrears on March 15 and September 15 of each year, beginning on March 15, 2013. The notes will mature on September 15, 2017, unless previously repurchased or converted in accordance with their terms prior to such date.

 

Our principal executive offices are located at 99 Fu Quan Road, Shanghai 200335, People’s Republic of China, and our telephone number is (86-21) 3406-4880. Our agent for service of process in the United States is CT Corporation System. Our principal website address is www.ctrip.com. The information on our websites should not be deemed to be part of this annual report.

 

B.    Business Overview

 

We are a leading travel service provider for hotel accommodations, airline tickets, packaged tours and corporate travel management in China. We aggregate hotel and flight information to enable business and leisure travelers to make informed and cost-effective bookings. We also help customers book tour packages and guided tours. In addition, our corporate travel management services help corporate clients effectively manage their travel requirements. Since commencing operations in 1999, we have experienced substantial growth and become one of the best-known travel brands in China. We pioneered the development of a reservation and fulfillment infrastructure that enables our customers to:

 

27



Table of Contents

 

·              choose and reserve hotel rooms in cities throughout China and abroad;

 

·              book and purchase air tickets for domestic and international flights; and

 

·              choose and reserve packaged tours that include transportation and accommodations, as well as guided tours and other value-added services in some instances.

 

We target our services primarily at business and leisure travelers in China who do not travel in groups. These types of travelers, who are referred to in the travel industry as FITs (frequent independent travelers) and whom we refer to as independent travelers in this annual report, form a traditionally under-served yet fast-growing segment of the China travel market. We act as an agent in substantially all of our transactions and generally do not take inventory risks with respect to the hotel rooms and airline tickets booked through us. We derive our hotel reservation, air-ticketing and packaged-tour revenues mainly through commissions from our travel suppliers, primarily based on the transaction value of the rooms, airline tickets and packaged-tour products, respectively, booked through our services.

 

We believe that we are the largest consolidator of hotel accommodations in China in terms of the number of room nights booked. As of December 31, 2012, we had secured room supply relationships with approximately 49,000 hotels in China and approximately 211,000 hotels abroad, which cover a broad range of hotels in terms of price and geographical location. Through strategic cooperation arrangements with other leading online hotel reservation service providers in 2012, we expanded our overseas hotel network by gaining access to more international hotels on these platforms through our hotel reservation services. The quality and depth of our hotel supplier network enable us to offer our customers a wide selection of hotel accommodations. We believe our ability to offer reservations at highly rated hotels is particularly appealing to our customers.

 

We believe that we are the largest consolidator of airline tickets in China in terms of the total number of airline tickets booked and sold. Our airline ticket suppliers include all Chinese airlines and many international airlines that operate flights originating in China. We are among the few airline ticket consolidators in China that maintain a centralized reservation system and ticket fulfillment infrastructure covering substantially all of the economically prosperous regions of China. Our customers can make flight reservations on their chosen routes and arrange ticket payment and delivery through our ticketing offices and third-party agencies located in over 70 cities in China.

 

We also offer independent leisure travelers bundled packaged-tour products, including group tours, semi-group tours and private tours or packaged tours with different transportation arrangements, such as cruise, bus or self-driving. We provide integrated transportation and accommodation services and offer a variety of value-added services including car rental, insurance, visa services, tour guides, transportation at destinations and tickets. We offer customers one-stop services to meet their booking and traveling needs. We also provide high quality customer service, supplier management and customer relationship management services. Our packaged-tour products cover a variety of domestic and international destinations.

 

We offer our services to customers through an advanced transaction and service platform consisting of our centralized, 24-hour customer service centers, multi-lingual websites and mobile platform. In 2012, transactions effected through our customer service centers accounted for approximately 50% of our transaction volume, while our websites and mobile platform accounted for the balance.

 

Our revenues are primarily generated from the hotel reservation, air-ticketing, packaged-tour services and corporate travel. For information on revenues attributable to our different products, see “Item 5.A. Operating Results.”

 

Products and Services

 

We began offering hotel reservation and air-ticketing services in October 1999. In 2012, we derived approximately 39% of our revenues from the hotel reservation business and 38% of our revenues from the air-ticketing business. In addition, we offer other products and services including packaged tours, mostly bundled by us, that cover hotel, air tickets and transportation as well as corporate travel management services.

 

28



Table of Contents

 

Hotel Reservations. We act as an agent in substantially all of our hotel-related transactions. Our customers receive confirmed bookings and generally pay the hotels directly upon completion of their stays. In general, we pay no penalty to the hotels if our customers do not check in. For some of our hotel suppliers, we earn pre-negotiated fixed commissions on hotel rooms we sell. For other hotels, we have commission arrangements that we refer to as the “ratchet system,” whereby our commission rate per room night is adjusted upward with the increase in the volume of room nights we sell for such hotel during such month.

 

We contract with hotels for rooms under two agency models, the “guaranteed allotment” model and the “on-request” model. Under our agreements with our hotel suppliers, hotels are generally required to offer us prices that are equal to or lower than their published prices, and notify us in advance if they have promotional sales, so that we can lower our prices accordingly.

 

In addition to the agreements that we enter into with all of our hotel suppliers, we enter into a supplemental agreement with each of the hotel suppliers with which we have a guaranteed allotment arrangement. Pursuant to this agreement, a hotel guarantees us a specified number of available rooms every day, allowing us to provide instant confirmations on such rooms to our customers before notifying the hotel. The hotel is required to notify us in advance if it will not be able to make the guaranteed rooms available to our customers due to reasons beyond its control.

 

As of December 31, 2012, we had contracted with approximately 49,000 hotels in China, of which a majority have guaranteed room allotments, allowing us to sell rooms to our customers even during peak seasons and provide instant confirmation. Rooms booked in hotels with which we have a guaranteed allotment arrangement currently account for a significant part of our total hotel room transaction volume. With the remaining hotel suppliers, we book rooms on an “on-request” basis, meaning our ability to secure hotel rooms for our customers is subject to room availability at the time of booking.

 

Air-ticketing. We sell air tickets as an agent for all major domestic Chinese airlines, such as Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Hainan Airlines and many international airlines operating flights that originate from cities in China, such as Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, American Airlines, Lufthansa, Emirates Airlines, Qantas Airways, Air France-KLM and Delta Air Lines. We also provide other related service to our customers, such as sales of aviation insurance and air-ticket delivery services.

 

In air-ticketing transactions, a customer can pay for the airline tickets to the ticket delivery agent upon delivery of the ticket or make electronic payment through our websites and toll-free customer service centers when booking the ticket. The customer also has the option of picking up a ticket at the ticketing office or obtaining an electronic ticket. In 2006, China began to operate on a large scale an electronic ticketing, or E-ticketing, system for air travel within China and abroad. We believe that E-ticketing allows our consumers to book air tickets and complete their trips more conveniently. In addition, we believe that E-ticketing allows us to execute air-ticketing transactions more efficiently and also makes our business expansion into second-tier cities easier and more efficient. The airline industry, including airline ticket pricing, is regulated by CAAC. Therefore, we have no discretion in offering discounts on the air tickets we sell.

 

Packaged tour. We also offer independent leisure travelers bundled packaged-tour products, including group tours, semi-group tours and private tours or packaged tours with different transportation arrangements, such as cruise, bus and self-driving. We provide integrated transportation and accommodations services and offer a variety of value-added services including car rental, insurance, visa services, tour guides, transportation at destinations and tickets. We offer customers one-stop services to meet their booking and traveling needs. We also provide high quality customer service, supplier management and customer relationship management services. Our packaged-tour products cover a variety of domestic and international destinations.

 

Corporate Travel. We provide air ticket booking, hotel reservation and packaged-tour services to our corporate clients to help them plan business travels in a cost-efficient way. In addition, we also provide our corporate clients with travel data collection and analysis, industry benchmark, cost saving analysis and travel management solutions. We have independently developed the Corporate Travel Management Systems, which is a comprehensive online platform integrating information maintenance, online booking, online authorization, online enquiry and travel report system.

 

Other Products and Services. Our other products and services include the sale of Property Management System or PMS, and related maintenance service. We also offer advertising services, which principally represent the sale of banner advertisements or sponsorship on our websites. Other products and services accounted for a small portion of our total revenues in 2012.

 

Strategic Investments and Acquisitions

 

To maintain and strengthen our leading market position in China and to become a major travel service provider in the Greater China market, we constantly evaluate opportunities for strategic investments in, and acquisitions of, complementary businesses, assets and technologies and have made such investments and acquisitions from time to time. For example, in 2008 and 2009, we acquired an aggregate of approximately 18% of the total outstanding ordinary shares of Home Inns, a leading economy hotel chain in China. As of December 31, 2012, those shares we purchased represented approximately 16% of the total outstanding shares of Home Inns. In 2009, we had a controlling financial interest in ezTravel. In March 2010, we acquired approximately 9% of the total equity interest in Hanting, a leading economy hotel chain in China. In May 2010 and February 2012, we acquired 90% and the remaining 10% of the issued share capital of Wing On Travel’s travel service segment (operated through Wing On Travel’s subsidiary, HKWOT (BVI) Limited), respectively.

 

29



Table of Contents

 

Seasonality

 

Our business experiences fluctuations, reflecting seasonal variations in demand for travel services. See “Item 5.A. Operating Results,” for a discussion of seasonality in the travel industry.

 

Transaction and Service Platform

 

Our customers can reach us for their travel-related needs through either our customer service centers, our multi-lingual websites or mobile platform. In 2012, transactions executed through our websites accounted for more than 50% of our total transactions, compared with 40% in 2011.

 

Customer Service Centers. Our first customer service center is located in Shanghai, China and is operated 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our second customer service center is located in Nantong, China, which we began to use in May 2010. Customers can call our nationwide toll free number to consult with our customer service representatives, receive comprehensive, real-time hotel, flight and packaged-tour information and make travel bookings.

 

As of December 31, 2012, we employed over 10,000 customer service representatives, as compared with approximately 9,000 as of December 31, 2011. All of our customer service representatives participated in a formal training program before commencing work. Unlike some companies in the United States that outsource their customer service to third-party call centers, our customer service representatives are in-house travel specialists.

 

At our technically advanced Shanghai and Nantong facility, we have implemented comprehensive performance measures to monitor our calls to ensure that our customers will receive quality service. We believe we have sufficient capacity to meet the currently anticipated increases in call volume. Nevertheless, if we exceed this capacity, we believe we can add, within reasonable time and at a reasonable cost, additional phone lines, computer systems and customer service representatives to handle increasing call volumes without the need to significantly redesign the system currently in operation at our company.

 

Internet Websites. Through our Internet websites, we provide one-stop travel platform offering hotel accommodations, flight tickets, vacation packages, train tickets, and other travel products to our customers. Today, majority of online travel bookings are generated through desktop and laptop computers. Technology development is also creating new online opportunities to enable our customers to make bookings through mobile devices. As more users come online and that more channels are connected to our travel platform, our online business grows fast.

 

We have a main Chinese-language website located at www.ctrip.com. In addition, we have global websites like an English-language website located at english.ctrip.com, a Japanese-language website located at jp.ctrip.com, a Korean-language website located at kr.ctrip.com, a French-language website located at fr.ctrip.com, a Germany-language website located at de.ctrip.com, a Spanish-language website located at es.ctrip.com, a Russian-language website located at ru.ctrip.com.

 

We consolidate and organize travel-related information for our consumers, including hotel reviews, travel blogs and community forums. Destination guides and community users actively search for travel information on our websites. Our customers refer to editorial content for destination research and travel tips.

 

Mobile Platform. Our proprietary booking software is an integral part of our business functions, as websites do. It allows customers to search for hotels, flight and train products, and complete a booking within minutes. Our customers can also use our editorial content for researching on destinations and travel tips on mobile platform. In 2012, we launched a consolidated plan for mobile platform to include applications for reservation, travel guides and other travel related information.

 

Marketing and Brand Awareness

 

Through advertising, on-site promotions, cross-marketing, online marketing and our customer rewards program, we have created a strong Ctrip brand that is commonly associated in China with value travel products and services and superior customer service. We will continue to use our focused marketing strategy to further enhance awareness of our brand and acquire new customers.

 

Advertising. We advertise on top tier newspapers and radio stations and also conduct public relations activities in the major cities in China where we have a sales team. Based on our experience, these are effective advertising methods for increasing brand awareness and attracting new customers.

 

Cross-Marketing. We have entered into cross-marketing relationships with major Chinese domestic airlines, financial institutions, telecommunications service providers and other corporations.

 

30



Table of Contents

 

Our airline partners recommend our products and services to their mileage program members, and allow their members to accumulate miles by staying at hotels booked through us. Our financial institution partners recommend our products and services to their debit or credit card holders, and we allow their card holders to use their cards to settle their payments for travel products purchased from us. From September 2004, we started to cooperate with banks and launched co-branded credit cards, through which holders of the credit card may book hotels, air tickets and packaged-tour products and are entitled to certain VIP membership privileges with us. In addition, holders of certain credit cards are allowed to automatically earn Ctrip’s points every time they pay through these credits.

 

Online Marketing. We have paid many of the leading Internet search engines in China to prominently feature our websites and have cooperated with online companies to promote our services, as well as conducting public relations activities.

 

Customer Rewards Program. To secure our customers’ loyalty and further promote our Ctrip brand, we provide our customers with a customer rewards program. This program allows our customers to accumulate membership points calculated according to the services purchased by the customers. Our membership points have a fixed validity term and, before expiry, our customers may redeem these points for travel awards and other gifts.

 

Supplier Relationship Management

 

We have cultivated and maintained good relationships with our travel suppliers since our inception. We have a team of employees dedicated to enhance our relationship with existing travel suppliers and develop relationships with prospective travel suppliers.

 

Furthermore, we have developed an electronic confirmation system that enables participating hotel suppliers to receive our customer’s reservation information and confirm such reservation through our online interface with the hotel supplier. We believe that the electronic confirmation system is a cost-effective and convenient way for hotels to interface with us. We have not had any material disputes with our travel suppliers with respect to the amount of commissions to which we were entitled.

 

Technology and Infrastructure

 

Since inception, we have been able to support substantial growth in our offline and online traffic and transactions with our technology and infrastructure.

 

We provide 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week traveler sales and support service by website, by telephone or via e-mail or by mobile apps. For purposes of providing high service level, we use in-house call centers. Our call centers are located in various locations, including in Shanghai and in Nantong. We have invested significantly in our call center technologies over years and provide top-notch services in China and Asia.

 

Our systems servers are housed in various locations, mainly in Shanghai and in Nantong, which have communication links among them. The performance of our systems servers are monitored and supported 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. The web hosting facilities have their own back-up systems and conduct daily backup functions for off-site storage.

 

We access the Internet backbone via several high speed lines to provide fast responses to customer requests, load balance and data backup. The operation of our customer service centers are powered by the servers provided by several leading backend server providers. We adopt hardware, software and services, to protect our servers against unauthorized access to data, or unauthorized alteration or destruction of data.

 

We believe that the quality of our services powered by technology differentiate us from our competitors in China. Our goal has been to build a reliable, scalable, and secure infrastructure to fully support our customer service center, website operations and one-stop travel platform.

 

Competition

 

In the hotel consolidation market, we compete primarily with other consolidators of hotel accommodations, such as eLong, Inc., which is controlled by Expedia, Inc., which owns several online travel businesses, including Expedia.com, Hotels.com and Hotwire.com. We also compete with traditional travel agencies and new internet travel search websites and service provider platforms, such as Qunar.com and Taobao.com. We believe that the hotel room booking volume from FITs of our main competitors is significantly lower than ours. However, as the travel business in China continues to grow, we may face competition from new players in the hotel consolidation market in China and foreign travel consolidators that may enter the China market.

 

31



Table of Contents

 

In the air-ticketing market, we compete primarily with other consolidators of air tickets with a multi-province airline ticket sales and fulfillment infrastructure in China, including eLong, Inc. and Mangocity.com. We also compete with new online travel platforms. In the markets where we face local competition, our competitors generally conduct ticketing transactions in person, and not over the Internet or through customer service centers. Many local air-ticketing agencies are primarily involved in the wholesale business and do not directly serve individual travelers, who are our targeted customers. However, as the airline ticket distribution business continues to grow in China, we believe that more companies involved in the travel services industry may develop their services that compete with our air-ticketing business. We also compete with airlines, which in recent years have made efforts to improve their direct sales.

 

Intellectual Property

 

Our intellectual property rights include trademarks and domain names associated with the name “Ctrip” and copyright and other rights associated with our websites, technology platform, booking software and other aspects of our business. We regard our intellectual property as a factor contributing to our success, although we are not dependent on any patents, intellectual property related contracts or licenses other than some commercial software licenses available to the general public. We rely on trademark and copyright law, trade secret protection, non-competition and confidentiality agreements with our employees to protect our intellectual property rights. We require our employees to enter into agreements to keep confidential all information relating to our customers, methods, business and trade secrets during and after their employment with us. Our employees are required to acknowledge and recognize that all inventions, trade secrets, works of authorship, developments and other processes made by them during their employment are our property.

 

Our major domain names are www.ctrip.com and www.gotochina.com. They have been registered with www.register.com and www.opensrs.net, respectively, and the domain name www.ctrip.com.cn with China Internet Network Information Center, a domain name registration service in China, and have full legal rights over these domain names. We conduct our business under the Ctrip brand name and logo. We have registered our major trademarks “Ctrip” and “携程(Chinese characters for Ctrip) with the Trademark Office of the PRC State General Administration for Industry and Commerce, or SAIC. We have registered the trademark “Ctrip” and “携程(Chinese characters for Ctrip)” with the Registrar of Trademarks in Hong Kong. We have also registered the trademark “Ctrip” with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. In 2009, we registered the trademark “携程(Chinese characters for Ctrip)” with the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office and with Direcção dos Serviços de Economia of Macau.

 

In 2007, we were selected by Forbes as one of the “Top 100 Companies with Great Potential” in China, and elected by Fortune China as one of the “Best Employers of 2007 in China.” In early 2008, “携程(Chinese characters for Ctrip)” was also recognized as a “Famous Chinese Trademark,” which is the highest recognition for consumer brands granted by the SAIC. With these recognitions, we believe our trademark will be rigorously and actively protected by Industrial and Commercial Bureaus at both local and national levels. In early 2009, “携程(Chinese characters for Ctrip)” was recognized as a “Shanghai Well-known Brand,” which is also a high recognition for consumer brands granted by the Shanghai municipal government. In 2011, we were selected by Fortune China as one of the “Most Admired Companies” in China, among which we were the only travel service company. In 2012, we got the “World Travel Market Globe Award”, which is a global famous award, and were also awarded the “Lifelong Honor”, which is the highest recognition of “Earphone Mic Cup”. In 2013, we were selected by WPP as one of the “BrandZ Top 50” in China.

 

PRC Government Regulations

 

Current PRC laws and regulations impose substantial restrictions on foreign ownership of the air-ticketing, travel agency, advertising and value-added telecommunications businesses in China. As a result, we conduct these businesses in China through contractual arrangements with our affiliated PRC entities as well as certain independent air-ticketing agencies and travel agencies. Our vice chairman of the board and president, Min Fan and our officers, Dongjie Guo and Maohua Sun all of whom are PRC citizens, directly or indirectly own all or most of the equity interests in our affiliated Chinese entities as of the date of this report.

 

32



Table of Contents

 

According to our PRC counsel, Commerce & Finance Law Offices, the ownership structures, as described in this annual report, comply with all existing PRC laws, rules and regulations.

 

Restrictions on Foreign Ownership

 

Air-ticketing. According to the Rules on Cognizance of Qualification for Civil Aviation Transporting Marketing Agencies (2006) and relevant foreign investment regulations regarding civil aviation business, a foreign investor currently cannot own 100% of an air- ticketing agency in China, except for Hong Kong and Macau aviation marketing agencies. In addition, foreign-invested air-ticketing agencies are not permitted to sell passenger airline tickets for domestic flights in China, except for Hong Kong and Macau aviation marketing agencies.

 

Travel Agency. Currently, foreign investors have been permitted to establish or own a travel agency upon the approval of the PRC government, subject to considerable restrictions as to its scope of business. For examples, under the current Travel Agency Regulations, which became effective on May 1, 2009, foreign-invested travel agencies cannot arrange for mainland residents to  travel overseas or to Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, unless otherwise decided by the State Council or allowed under the Free Trade Agreement executed by the PRC government or according to the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement between Mainland China and Hong Kong or Macau (“CEPA”). According to the CEPAs, starting from January 1, 2013, travel agencies in which Hong Kong or Macau qualified investors hold an interest are permitted to arrange group travel for the residents in local regions from mainland China to Hong Kong and Macau and on trial basis, one qualified sino-foreign joint venture, in which Hong Kong qualified investors hold an interest, and one qualified sino-foreign joint venture, in which Macau qualified investors hold an interest, are permitted to arrange group travel for domestic residents to travel overseas, which does not include Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. On August 29, 2010, the National Tourism Administration and the Ministry of Commerce further promulgated the Temporary Administration Rules for Sino-Foreign Joint Invested Travel Agencies to Operate Trip to Overseas Business for Trial, according to which the State Tourism Administration may choose and approve certain qualified sino-foreign joint venture travel agencies to operate business of arranging mainland resident travelling to overseas destinations, Hong Kong and Macau, on a trial basis, except for Taiwan.

 

Online Advertising. The principal regulations governing foreign ownership of advertising agencies in China are the Foreign Investment Industrial Guidance Catalogue as amended in 2011 and the Administrative Regulations Concerning Foreign Invested Advertising Enterprises (2008 Revision). Under these regulations, foreign investors are allowed to own 100% of an advertising agency in China subject to certain qualification requirements. However, for those advertising agencies that provide online advertising service, foreign ownership restrictions on the value-added telecommunications business are still applicable.

 

Value-added Telecommunications Business License. The principal regulations governing foreign ownership of the value-added telecommunications service provision business in China include:

 

·              Administrative Rules for Foreign Investments in Telecommunications Enterprises (2008 Revision); and

 

·              Foreign Investment Industrial Guidance Catalogue (2011).

 

Under these regulations, a foreign entity is prohibited from owning more than 50% of a PRC entity that provides value-added telecommunications services.

 

In July 2006, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (formerly known as the Ministry of Information Industry), or MIIT, issued the Circular on Intensifying the Administration of Foreign Investment in Value-added Telecommunication Business which states that a domestic company that holds an value-added telecommunications business license is prohibited from leasing, transferring or selling the license to foreign investors in any form, and from providing any assistance in forms of resources, sites or facilities to foreign investors that conduct value-added telecommunications business illegally in China. Furthermore, the relevant trademarks and domain names used in the value-added telecommunications business shall be owned by the local value-added telecommunications license holder. Due to the lack of further necessary interpretation from the regulator, it remains unclear what impact the above circular will have on us or other Chinese Internet companies that have adopted the same or similar corporate and contractual structures as ours.

 

33



Table of Contents

 

General Regulation of Businesses

 

Air-ticketing. The air-ticketing business is subject to the supervision of China National Aviation Transportation Association, or CNATA, and its regional branches. Currently the principal regulation governing air-ticketing in China is the Rules on Cognizance of Qualification for Civil Aviation Transporting Marketing Agencies (2006) which became effective on March 31, 2006.

 

Under this regulation, any entity that intends to conduct air-ticketing business in China must apply for an air-ticketing license from CNATA.

 

Travel Agency. The travel industry is subject to the supervision of the China National Tourism Administration and local tourism administrations. The principal regulations governing travel agencies in China include:

 

·              Travel Agency Regulations, effective as of May 1, 2009; and

 

·              Implementing Rules of Travel Agency Regulations, effective as of May 3, 2009.

 

Under these regulations, a travel agency must obtain a license from the China National Tourism Administration to conduct cross-border travel business, and a license from the provincial-level tourism administration to conduct domestic travel agency business.

 

Advertising. The SAIC is responsible for regulating advertising activities in China. The principal regulations governing advertising (including online advertising) in China include:

 

·              Advertising Law (1994);

 

·              Administration of Advertising Regulations (1987); and

 

·              Implementing rules of the Administration of Advertising Regulations (2004).

 

Under these regulations, any entity conducting advertising activities must obtain an advertising permit from the local Administration of Industry and Commerce.

 

Value-added Telecommunications Business and Online Commerce. Our provision of travel-related content on our websites is subject to PRC laws and regulations relating to the telecommunications industry and Internet, and regulated by various government authorities, including the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the SAIC. The principal regulations governing the telecommunications industry and Internet include:

 

·              Telecommunications Regulations (2000);

 

·              The Administrative Measures for Telecommunications Business Operating Licenses, effective as of April 10, 2009; and

 

·              The Internet Information Services Administrative Measures (2000).

 

Under these regulations, Internet content provision services are classified as value-added telecommunications businesses, and a commercial operator of such services must obtain a value-added telecommunications business license from the appropriate telecommunications authorities to conduct any commercial value-added telecommunications operations in China.

 

With respect to online commerce, there are no specific PRC laws at the national level governing online commerce or defining online commerce activities, and no government authority has been designated to regulate online commerce. There are existing regulations governing retail business that require companies to obtain licenses to engage in the business. However, it is unclear whether these existing regulations will be applied to online commerce.

 

Internet Privacy

 

In recent years, PRC government authorities have legislated on the use of the Internet to protect personal information from unauthorized disclosure. For example, the Internet Measures prohibits an Internet information services provider from insulting or slandering a third party or infringing upon the lawful rights and interests of a third party. Internet information services providers are subject to legal liability if unauthorized disclosure results in damages or losses to users. In addition, the PRC regulations authorize the relevant telecommunications authorities to demand rectification of unauthorized disclosure by Internet information services providers.

 

34



Table of Contents

 

The PRC laws do not prohibit Internet information services providers from collecting and analyzing person information of their users. The PRC government, however, has the power and authority to order Internet information services providers to submit personal information of an Internet user if such user posts any prohibited content or engages in illegal activities on the Internet. However, PRC criminal law prohibits companies and their employees from illegally trading or disclosing customer data obtained through the course of their business operations.

 

In addition, the MIIT promulgated the Several Provisions on Regulating the Market Order of Internet Information Services, which became effective as of March 15, 2012. This regulation stipulates that Internet information services providers must not, without users’ consent, collect information on users that can be used, alone or in combination with other information, to identify the user, or User Personal Information, and may not provide any User Personal Information to third parties without prior user consent. Internet information services providers may only collect User Personal Information necessary to provide their services and must expressly inform the users of the method, content and purpose of the collection and processing of such User Personal Information. In addition, an Internet information services provider may use User Personal Information only for the stated purposes under its scope of services. The Internet information services providers are also required to ensure the proper security of User Personal Information, and take immediate remedial measures if User Personal Information is suspected to have been disclosed. If the consequences of any such disclosure are expected to be serious, they must immediately report the incident to the telecommunications regulatory authorities and cooperate with the authorities in their investigations. Furthermore, on December 28, 2012, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress enacted the Decision to Enhance the Protection of Network Information, or the Information Protection Decision, to further enhance the protection of users’ personal information in electronic form. The Information Protection Decision provides that Internet information services providers must expressly inform their users of the purpose, manner and scope of their collection and use of users’ personal information, publish their standards for their collection and use of users’ personal information, and collect and use users’ personal information only with the consent of the users and only within the scope of such consent. The Information Protection Decision also mandates that the Internet information services providers and their employees must keep strictly confidential users’ personal information that they collect, and that they must take such technical and other measures as are necessary to safeguard the information against disclosure, damages and loss.

 

Regulation of Foreign Currency Exchange and Dividend Distribution

 

Foreign Currency Exchange. The principal regulation governing foreign currency exchange in China is the Foreign Currency Administration Rules (2008 revision). Under these Rules, the RMB is freely convertible for trade and service-related foreign exchange transactions, but not for direct investment, loan or investment in securities outside China unless the prior approval of the State Administration for Foreign Exchange of the PRC, or SAFE is obtained.

 

Pursuant to the Foreign Currency Administration Rules, foreign investment enterprises in China may purchase foreign currency without the approval of SAFE for trade and service-related foreign exchange transactions by providing commercial documents evidencing these transactions. They may also retain foreign exchange (subject to a cap approved by the SAFE) to satisfy foreign exchange liabilities or to pay dividends. In addition, if a foreign company acquires a company in China, the acquired company will also become a foreign investment enterprise. However, the relevant PRC government authorities may limit or eliminate the ability of foreign investment enterprises to purchase and retain foreign currencies in the future. In addition, foreign exchange transactions for direct investment, loan and investment in securities outside China are still subject to limitations and require approvals from SAFE.

 

Under the current PRC regulations, loans, either from us or from third-party sources outside of China, incurred by our subsidiaries in China to finance their activities cannot exceed statutory limits, which equal the difference between the respective approved total investment amount and the registered capital of such PRC subsidiaries, and must be registered with the SAFE or its local branches. In the past, our subsidiaries have mainly funded their operations and cash needs from our initial capital injections and cash generated from such subsidiaries’ operations. Historically, we have extended two loans to two of our PRC subsidiaries in the amount of US$11.0 million and US$7.5 million, respectively, which are within the respective statutory limit of these two PRC subsidiaries. As of December 31, 2012, the loan in the amount of US$7.5 million was fully repaid and the loan in the amount of US$11.0 million had an outstanding balance of US$5.6 million. Other than these discussed above, none of the Company’s PRC subsidiaries had any outstanding loans as of December 31, 2012. Based on the capital needs and cash generated from operations of our PRC subsidiaries, we do not believe that our PRC subsidiaries would need to incur substantial debts to fund their respective operations in China in the near future, and even if they need to incur debts, they could manage to obtain short-term loans from PRC banks and financial institutions, which are not subject to the statutory limits referenced above. We currently do not believe, based on the above, that the statutory debt limits on our subsidiaries in China are material to our operations in China, and we do not believe it to be reasonably likely that our PRC subsidiaries would need to incur debts exceeding their respective statutory debt limit.

 

35



Table of Contents

 

SAFE promulgated the Circular on the Relevant Operating Issues concerning Administration Improvement of Payment and Settlement of Foreign Currency Capital of Foreign-invested Enterprises, or Circular 142, on August 29, 2008. Under Circular 142, registered capital of a foreign-invested company settled in RMB converted from foreign currencies may only be used within the business scope approved by the applicable governmental authority and may not be used for equity investments in the PRC. In addition, foreign-invested companies may not change how they use such capital without SAFE’s approval, and may not in any case use such capital to repay RMB loans if they have not used the proceeds of such loans. Furthermore, SAFE promulgated a circular on November 9, 2010, or Circular 59, which requires the authenticity of settlement of net proceeds from offshore offerings to be closely examined and the net proceeds to be settled in the manner described in the offering documents. In addition, to strengthen Circular 142, on November 9, 2011 the SAFE promulgated the Circular on Further Clarifying and Regulating Relevant Issues Concerning the Administration of Foreign Exchange under Capital Account, or Circular 45, which prohibits a foreign invested company from converting its registered capital in foreign exchange currency into RMB for the purpose of making domestic equity investments, granting entrusted loans, repaying inter-company loans, and repaying bank loans that have been transferred to a third party. Circular 142, Circular 59 and Circular 45 may significantly limit our ability to transfer the net proceeds from offerings of our securities to our PRC subsidiaries and convert the net proceeds into RMB, which may adversely affect our liquidity and our ability to fund and expand our business in the PRC.

 

Dividend Distribution. The principal regulations governing distribution of dividends of wholly foreign-owned companies include:

 

·              The Foreign Investment Enterprise Law (1986), as amended in October 2000;

 

·              Administrative Rules under the Foreign Investment Enterprise Law (2001);

 

·              Company Law of the PRC (2005); and

 

·              Enterprise Income Tax Law and its Implementation Rules (2007).

 

Under these regulations, foreign investment enterprises in China may pay dividends only out of their accumulated profits, if any, determined in accordance with PRC accounting standards and regulations. In addition, wholly foreign-owned enterprises in China are required to set aside at least 10% of their respective accumulated profits each year, if any, to fund certain reserve funds, unless such reserve funds have reached 50% of their respective registered capital. These reserves are not distributable as cash dividends.

 

Under the EIT Law, dividends, interests, rent, royalties and gains on transfers of property payable by a foreign-invested enterprise in the PRC to its foreign investor which is a non-resident enterprise will be subject to a 10% withholding tax, unless such non-resident enterprise’s jurisdiction of incorporation has a tax treaty with the PRC that provides for a reduced rate of withholding tax. According to Mainland and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Arrangement on Avoiding Double Taxation or Evasion of Taxation on Income agreed between mainland China and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in August 2006, dividends payable by an FIE in China to a company in Hong Kong which directly holds at least 25% of the equity interests in the FIE will be subject to a reduced withholding tax rate of 5%.

 

Under the EIT Law, an enterprise established outside the PRC with its “de facto management body” within the PRC is considered a resident enterprise and will be subject to the enterprise income tax at the rate of 25% on its worldwide income. The “de facto management body” is defined as the organizational body that effectively exercises overall management and control over production and business operations, personnel, finance and accounting, and properties of the enterprise. It remains unclear how the PRC tax authorities will interpret such a board definition. Notwithstanding the foregoing provision, the EIT Law also provides that, if a resident enterprise directly invests in another resident enterprise, the dividends received by the investing resident enterprise from the invested enterprise are exempted from income tax, subject to certain conditions. However, it remains unclear how the PRC tax authorities will interpret the PRC tax resident treatment of an offshore company, like us, having indirect ownership interests in PRC enterprises through intermediary holding vehicles.

 

Moreover, under the EIT Law, foreign ADS holders may be subject to a 10% withholding tax upon dividends payable by a Chinese entity and gains realized on the sale or other disposition of ADSs or ordinary shares, if such income is considered as income deriving from within the PRC and if we are classified as a PRC resident enterprise.

 

Regulation of Income Taxes and Financial Subsidies. See “Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects—Income Taxes and Financial Subsidies.”

 

36



Table of Contents

 

C.     Organizational Structure

 

The following table sets out the details of our significant subsidiaries as of December 31, 2012:

 

Name

 

Country of
Incorporation

 

Ownership Interest

 

C-Travel International Limited

 

Cayman Islands

 

100

%

Ctrip.com (Hong Kong) Limited

 

Hong Kong

 

100

%

Ctrip Computer Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.

 

China

 

100

%

Ctrip Travel Information Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.

 

China

 

100

%

Ctrip Travel Network Technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.

 

China

 

100

%

Ctrip Information Technology (Nantong) Co., Ltd.

 

China

 

100

%

HKWOT (BVI) Limited

 

BVI

 

100

%

ezTravel Co., Ltd.

 

Taiwan

 

97

%

China Software Hotel Information System Co., Ltd.

 

China

 

90

%

 

We are a holding company incorporated in the Cayman Islands and rely on dividends from our subsidiaries in China and consulting and other fees paid to our subsidiaries by our affiliated Chinese entities.  We conduct a majority of our business through our wholly owned subsidiaries in China. Due to the current restrictions on foreign ownership of air-ticketing, travel agency, online advertising and value-added telecommunications businesses in China, we have conducted part of our operations in these businesses through a series of contractual arrangements between our PRC subsidiaries and our consolidated affiliated Chinese entities. Our significant consolidated affiliated Chinese entities included Ctrip Commerce, Shanghai Huacheng, Shanghai Ctrip, Beijing Ctrip, Guangzhou Ctrip, Shenzhen Ctrip, Ctrip Insurance, Chengdu Ctrip and Chengdu Ctrip International as of December 31, 2012.  We have recently amended and restated the contractual arrangements that we previously entered into with our consolidated affiliated Chinese entities in order to further strengthen our ability to control these entities and receive substantially all of the economic benefits from them. Moreover, we plan to enter into the same series of agreements with all of our future affiliated Chinese entities.

 

As of the date of this report, Min Fan, our co-founder, vice chairman of the board and president, Dongjie Guo, our senior vice president, and Maohua Sun, our senior vice president, are principal record owners of our affiliated Chinese entities. Each of them has signed an irrevocable power of attorney to appoint Ctrip Computer Technology or its designated person, as attorney-in-fact to vote, by itself or any other person to be designated at its discretion, on all matters of our affiliated Chinese entities. Each power of attorney will remain effective during the existence of the applicable affiliated Chinese entity.

 

D.      Property, Plants and Equipment

 

Our first customer service center and principal sales, marketing and development facilities and administrative offices are located on owned premises comprising approximately 39,000 square meters in an economic development park in Shanghai, China. Our second customer service center is located in our owned premises in Nantong, China, comprising approximately 80,000 square meters. We have offices in Hong Kong, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Qingdao, Shenyang, Xiamen, Hangzhou, Wuhan, Nanjing, Sanya, Chongqing and Lijiang. We believe that we will be able to obtain adequate facilities, principally through the leasing of appropriate properties, to accommodate our expansion plans in the near future.

 

We have acquired the land use right to a piece of land in Nantong, Jiangsu Province in early 2008 for approximately RMB49 million. Nantong is approximately 110 kilometers north of Shanghai. In September 2008, we announced the commencement of construction of the Nantong customer service center. In December 2008, we entered into a construction agreement with Shanghai No. 1 Construction Co., Ltd. to construct the Nantong customer service center. The total contract value of the construction agreement was approximately RMB296 million. The aggregate investment for the Nantong customer service center including land costs, construction costs and other improvement costs, is approximately RMB447 million. Approximately RMB430 million (US$69 million) was paid as of December 31, 2012, with the remainder expected to be paid in 2013. We funded the construction from our operating cash flow. Nantong customer service center began operations in May 2010.

 

To support future business expansion, we acquired the land use right to a piece of land measuring approximately 9,000 square meters in Chengdu, Sichuan province in November 2011 for approximately RMB10 million (US$2 million), and plan to build our regional head office on this land.  The construction commenced in 2011 and is expected to be completed in 2013. The total budget including the land use right is approximately RMB350 million (US$56 million). In addition, we entered into an agreement to purchase a part of an office building in Shanghai in December 2011 for approximately RMB392 million (US$63 million). The purchase has been completed in 2012. In December, 2012, we acquired an office building of approximately 8857 square meters in Beijing for approximately RMB155 million (US$25 million), of which RMB147 million have been paid. The purchase is expected to be completed in 2013.  All of the abovementioned amounts are expected to be fully paid from our operating cash flow.

 

37



Table of Contents

 

ITEM 4A.               UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS

 

None.

 

ITEM 5.                        OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS

 

The following discussion of our financial condition and results of operations is based upon and should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and their related notes included in this annual report on Form 20-F. This annual report contains forward-looking statements. See “Introduction—Forward-Looking Information.” In evaluating our business, you should carefully consider the information provided under the caption “Risk Factors” in this annual report. We caution you that our businesses and financial performance are subject to substantial risks and uncertainties.

 

A.      Operating Results

 

We are a leading consolidator of hotel accommodations and airline tickets in China. We aggregate information on hotels and flights and enable our customers to make informed and cost-effective hotel and flight bookings. We also offer packaged-tour products and other products and services.

 

In 2012, we derived 39%, 38%, 16%, 5% and 2% of our total revenues from our hotel reservation, air ticketing, packaged tour, corporate travel and other products and services, respectively.

 

Major Factors Affecting the Travel Industry

 

A variety of factors affect the travel industry in China, and hence our results of operations and financial condition, including:

 

Growth in the Overall Economy and Demand for Travel Services in China. We expect that our financial results will continue to be affected by the overall growth of the economy and demand for travel services in China and the rest of the world. According to the statistical report published on the website of National Bureau of Statistics of China on February 22, 2013, the gross domestic product, or GDP, of China grew from RMB30.1 trillion (US$4.4 trillion) in 2008 to RMB51.9 trillion (US$8.3 trillion) in 2012, representing a compound annual growth rate of 14.6%. GDP per capita in the same period rose from RMB22,640 (US$3,319) to RMB38,354 (US$6,156), representing a 14.1% compound annual growth rate. This growth led to a significant increase in the demand for travel services.

 

According to the statistical report published on the website of National Bureau of Statistics of China on February 22, 2013, domestic tourism spending grew from RMB874.9 billion (US$128.2 billion) in 2008 to RMB2,270.6 billion (US$364.5 billion) in 2012, representing a compound annual growth of 26.9%. We anticipate that demand for travel services in China will continue to increase in the foreseeable future as the economy in China continues to grow. However, any adverse changes in economic conditions of China and the rest of the world, such as the current global financial crisis and economic downturn, could have a material adverse effect on the travel industry in China, which in turn would harm our business.

 

Seasonality in the Travel Service Industry. The travel service industry is characterized by seasonal fluctuations and accordingly our revenues may vary from quarter to quarter. To date, the revenues generated during the summer season of each year generally are higher than those generated during the winter season, mainly because the summer season coincides with the peak business and leisure travel season, while the winter season of each year includes the Chinese New Year holiday, during which our customers reduce their business activities. These seasonality trends are difficult to discern in our historical results because our revenues have grown substantially since inception. However, our future results may be affected by seasonal fluctuations in the use of our services by our customers.

 

Disruptions in the Travel Industry. Individual travelers tend to modify their travel plans based on the occurrence of events such as:

 

·              the outbreak of HIN1 influenza, avian flu, SARS or any other serious contagious diseases;

 

·              increased prices in the hotel, airline or other travel-related industries;

 

·              increased occurrence of travel-related accidents;

 

·              natural disasters or poor weather conditions;

 

·              terrorist attacks or threats of terrorist attacks or war;

 

·              any travel restrictions or security procedures implemented in connection with major events in China; and

 

·              general economic downturns.

 

38



Table of Contents

 

In early 2003, several regions in Asia, including Hong Kong and China, were affected by the outbreak of SARS. The travel industry in China, Hong Kong and some other parts of Asia suffered tremendously as a result of the outbreak of SARS. Furthermore, in early 2008, severe snowstorms hit many areas of China and particularly affected southern China. The travel industry was severely and adversely affected during and after the snowstorms. Additionally, in May 2008, a major earthquake struck China’s populous Sichuan Province, causing great loss of life, numerous injuries, property loss and disruption to the local economy. The earthquake had an immediate impact on our business as a result of the sharp decrease in travel in the relevant earthquake-affected areas in Sichuan Province. In 2009, an outbreak of H1N1 influenza (swine flu) occurred in Mexico and the United States and human cases of the swine flu were discovered in China and Hong Kong. In March 2011, a powerful earthquake hit Japan, and the subsequent tsunami and nuclear accidents had far-reaching impact on the surrounding economies. Our business and operating results were adversely affected in all cases.

 

Any future outbreak of SARS, avian flu, H1N1 influenza or other contagious diseases or similar adverse public health developments, extreme unexpected bad weather or severe natural disasters would affect our business and operating results. Ongoing concerns regarding contagious disease or natural disasters, particularly its effect on travel, could negatively impact our China-based customers’ desire to travel. If there is a recurrence of an outbreak of certain contagious diseases or natural disasters, travel to and from affected regions could be curtailed. Government advice regarding, or restrictions, on travel to and from these and other regions on account of an outbreak of any contagious disease or occurrence of natural disasters could have a material adverse effect on our business and operating results.

 

Major Factors Affecting Our Results of Operations

 

Revenues

 

Revenues Composition and Sources of Revenue Growth. We have experienced significant revenue growth since we commenced operations in 1999. Our total revenues grew from RMB1,588 million in 2008 to RMB4.4 billion (US$708 million) in 2012, representing a compound annual growth rate of 29%.

 

We generate our revenues primarily from the hotel reservation and air-ticketing businesses. The table below sets forth the revenues from our principal lines of business as a percentage of our revenues for the periods indicated.

 

 

 

Year-Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2010

 

2011

 

2012

 

Revenues:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hotel reservation

 

42

%

40

%

39

%

Air ticketing

 

39

%

39

%

38

%

Packaged-tour*

 

12

%

14

%

16

%

Corporate travel

 

4

%

4

%

4

%

Others

 

3

%

3

%

3

%

Total revenues

 

100

%

100

%

100

%

 


*            Certain of our packaged-tour revenues were recorded on a gross basis. See “— Major Factors Affecting Our Results of Operations — Revenues — Packaged-tour.”

 

As we generally do not take ownership of the products and services being sold and act as an agent in substantially all of our transactions, our risk of loss due to obligations for cancelled hotel and airline ticket reservations is minimal. Accordingly, we recognize revenues primarily based on commissions earned rather than transaction value.

 

Since current PRC laws and regulations impose substantial restrictions on foreign ownership of air-ticketing, travel agency, advertising and value-added telecommunications businesses in China, we conduct part of our air-ticketing and packaged-tour businesses through our affiliated Chinese entities. Historically, we generated a portion of our revenues from fees charged to these entities. See “—Arrangements with Affiliated Chinese Entities” for a description of our relationship with these entities.

 

39



Table of Contents

 

Hotel Reservation. Revenues from our hotel reservation business have been our primary source of revenues since our inception. In 2010, 2011 and 2012, revenues from our hotel reservation business accounted for RMB1.3 billion, RMB1.5 billion and RMB1.7 billion (US$273 million), respectively, or 42%, 40% and 39%, respectively, of our total revenues.

 

We generate our hotel reservation revenues through commissions from hotels. We recognize revenues when we receive confirmation from a hotel that a customer who booked the hotel through us has completed the stay at the applicable hotel and upon confirmation of the commissions amount by the hotel. While we generally agree in advance on fixed commissions with a particular hotel, we also enter into a commission arrangement with many of our hotel suppliers that we refer to as the “ratchet system.” Under the ratchet system, our commission per room night for a given hotel increases for the month if we sell in excess of a pre-agreed number of room nights with such hotel within the month.

 

Air-Ticketing. Since early 2002, our air-ticketing business has been growing rapidly. In 2010, 2011 and 2012, revenues from our air-ticketing business accounted for RMB1.2 billion, RMB1.4 billion and RMB1.7 billion (US$271 million), respectively, or 39%, 39% and 38% respectively, of our total revenues.

 

We conduct our air-ticketing business through our consolidated affiliated Chinese entities, as well as a network of independent air-ticketing service companies. Commissions from air-ticketing services rendered are recognized after air tickets are issued.

 

Packaged-tour. Our packaged-tour business has grown rapidly in the past three years. In 2010, 2011 and 2012, revenues from our packaged-tour business accounted for RMB380 million, RMB535 million and RMB690 million (US$111 million), respectively. We conduct our packaged-tour business mainly through our consolidated affiliated Chinese entities, which bundle the packaged-tour products and receive referral fees from different travel suppliers for different components and services of the packaged tours sold through our transaction and service platform. Referral fees are recognized as revenues after the packaged-tour services are rendered. Our consolidated affiliated entities also, from time to time, act as principal in connection with the packaged-tour services provided by them. When they act as principal, they recognize gross amounts received from customers as revenues after the packaged-tour services are rendered.

 

Corporate Travel. Corporate travel revenues primarily include commissions from air ticket booking, hotel reservation and packaged-tour services rendered to corporate clients. In 2010, 2011 and 2012, revenues from our corporate travel services accounted for RMB130 million, RMB162 million and RMB200 million (US$32 million), respectively. Commissions from air-ticketing services rendered are recognized after air tickets are issued. Commissions from hotel reservation services rendered are recognized after hotel customers have completed their stay at the applicable hotel and upon confirmation of commissions amount by the hotel. Commissions from tour package services rendered are recognized after the packaged-tour services are rendered and collections are reasonably assured.

 

Other Products and Services. Our other products and services primarily consist of Internet-related advertising services, the sale of PMS and related maintenance service. We place our customers’ advertisements on our websites and in our introductory brochures. We conduct the advertising business through Ctrip Commerce, and we recognize revenues when Ctrip Commerce renders advertising services. We conduct PMS sale and maintenance business through Software Hotel Information. The sale of PMS is recognized upon customer’s acceptance. Maintenance service revenue is recognized ratably over the term of the maintenance contract on a straight-line basis.

 

Cost of Revenues

 

Cost of revenues are costs directly attributable to rendering our revenues, which consist primarily of payroll compensation, telecommunication expenses, credit card charges and other direct expenses incurred in connection with our transaction and service platform. Payroll compensation accounted for 60%, 59% and 61% of our cost of revenues in 2010, 2011 and 2012, respectively. Telecommunication expenses accounted for 10%, 9% and 9% of our cost of revenues in 2010, 2011 and 2012, respectively. Credit card charges accounted for 19%, 20% and 19% of our cost of revenues in 2010, 2011 and 2012, respectively.

 

Cost of revenues accounted for 22%, 23% and 25% of our net revenues in 2010, 2011 and 2012, respectively. We believe our relatively low ratio of cost of revenues to revenues is primarily due to competitive labor costs in China and high efficiency of our customer service system. Our cost efficiency was further enhanced by our website operations, which require significantly fewer service staff to operate and maintain. The increase of percentage of cost of revenues over net revenues in 2012 was largely due to the increase in customer service personnel and the increases in the average payroll, benefit and share-based compensation.

 

40



Table of Contents

 

Operating Expenses

 

Operating expenses consist primarily of product development expenses, sales and marketing expenses, general and administrative expenses, all of which include share-based compensation expense. In 2012, we recorded RMB432 million (US$69 million) of share-based compensation expense compared to RMB243 million and RMB343 million for 2010 and 2011, respectively. Share-based compensation expense is included in the same income statement category as the cash compensation paid to the recipient of the share-based award.

 

Product development expenses primarily include expenses we incur to develop our travel suppliers network and expenses we incur to develop, maintain and monitor our transaction and service platform. Product development expenses accounted for 16%, 17% and 22% of our net revenues in 2010, 2011 and 2012, respectively. The product development expenses as a percentage of net revenues in 2012 increased compared to that in 2011 primarily due to the increases in the number of product development personnel and the average payroll and share-based compensation expenses. In 2012, we increased expenditure on product development in response to competitive pressure in order to capture more business opportunities in new products and services as well as in new markets.

 

Sales and marketing expenses primarily comprise payroll compensation and benefits for our sales and marketing personnel, advertising expenses, commissions for our marketing partners for referring customers to us, and production costs of marketing materials and membership cards. Our sales and marketing expenses accounted for 16%, 18% and 24% of our net revenues in 2010, 2011 and 2012, respectively. The increase of sales and market expenses as a percentage of net revenues in 2012 was primarily due to the increases in advertising expenses, marketing and promotion expenses and the increase of salary, benefit and share-based compensation expenses of our sales and marketing personnel as a result of our intensified marketing campaigns in 2012 in response to competitive pressure as well as our efforts to expand in the leisure travel market.

 

General and administrative expenses consist primarily of payroll compensation, benefits and travel expenses for our administrative staff, professional service fees, as well as administrative office expenses. Our general and administrative expenses accounted for 10%, 11% and 14% of our net revenues in 2010, 2011 and 2012, respectively. The increase of general and administrative expenses as a percentage of net revenues in 2012 was primarily due to the increases in general and administrative personnel compensation expenses, and the incremental turnover tax due to the new value-added tax reform.

 

Foreign Exchange Risk

 

We are exposed to foreign exchange risk arising from various currency exposures. See “Item 11. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosure about Market Risk.”

 

Income Taxes and Financial Subsidies

 

Income Taxes. Our effective income tax rate was 17%, 20% and 31% for 2010, 2011 and 2012, respectively. Prior to December 31, 2007, pursuant to the applicable tax laws in China, companies established in China were generally subject to EIT at a statutory rate of 33%.  The 33% EIT rate applied to our subsidiaries and affiliated Chinese entities established in China, except for our subsidiaries, Ctrip Computer Technology, Ctrip Travel Information, Ctrip Travel Network and Software Hotel Information, and our consolidated affiliated Chinese entity, Shenzhen Ctrip Travel Agency Co., Ltd., or Shenzhen Ctrip, as discussed below.

 

On March 16, 2007, the National People’s Congress, the Chinese legislature, passed the new EIT Law, which became effective on January 1, 2008. The EIT Law applies a uniform 25% enterprise income tax rate to both foreign-invested enterprises and domestic enterprises. Under the EIT Law, enterprises that were established before March 16, 2007 and already enjoy preferential tax treatments will (i) in the case of preferential tax rates, continue to enjoy the tax rates which will be gradually increased to the new tax rates within five years from January 1, 2008 or (ii) in the case of preferential tax exemption or reduction for a specified term, continue to enjoy the preferential tax holiday until the expiration of such term. For certain enterprises established in special economic zones, including Pudong New Area, a transitional preferential income tax rate of 18%, 20%, 22%, 24% and 25% for the respective five-year transition period is allowed. The increase in our effective income tax rate from 2010 to 2011 was primarily due to the increase in the amount of share-based compensation, which is not tax-deductible, as a percentage to our income as a whole. The increase in our effective income tax rate from 2011 to 2012 was primarily due to the provision of a 5% PRC withholding tax related to the dividends that our PRC subsidiaries paid to their direct parent, which is our Hong Kong subsidiary to fund the share repurchase program we announced in June 2012, and the increase in the amount of share-based compensation, which is not tax-deductible, as a percentage to our income before income tax expense as a whole. This was partially offset by the preferential tax treatment of certain affiliated Chinese entities.

 

41



Table of Contents

 

On April 14, 2008, the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Ministry of Finance and the SAT jointly issued Guokefahuo (2008) No.127, “Administrative Measures for Assessment of High and New Technology Enterprises,” or the Measures, and “Catalogue of High and New Technology Domains Strongly Supported by the State,” or the Catalogue, each of which is retroactively effective as of January 1, 2008. The Measures mainly set forth general guidelines regarding criteria as well as application procedures for qualification as a “high and new technology enterprise” under the EIT Law.

 

Pursuant to the EIT Law, companies established in China were generally subject to EIT at a statutory rate of 25%. The 25% EIT rate applies to our subsidiaries and affiliated Chinese entities established in China, except for Ctrip Computer Technology, Ctrip Travel Information, Ctrip Travel Network and Software Hotel Information, which are our subsidiaries, and Shenzhen Ctrip, Chengdu Ctrip and Chengdu Ctrip International which are our consolidated affiliated Chinese entity.

 

·              In 2008, Ctrip Computer Technology was designated as a “high and new technology enterprise” by the relevant PRC government authorities and thus was entitled to a preferential EIT rate of 15% from 2008 to 2010.

 

·              Ctrip Travel Information historically enjoyed a preferential income tax rate of 15% as it is registered in Pudong New District, Shanghai. During the fourth quarter of 2004, Ctrip Travel Information was designated as a “Software Development Company” and thus obtained from the relevant tax bureau a full exemption of income tax for 2004 and a 50% reduction of the income tax statutory rate for the period from 2005 to 2007. In 2008, Ctrip Travel Information was designated as a “high and new technology enterprise” by the relevant PRC government authorities and thus was entitled to a preferential EIT rate of 15% from 2008 to 2010.

 

·              In the fourth quarter of 2007, Ctrip Travel Network was designated as a “software development company” and thus obtained from the relevant tax bureau a 50% reduction of its statutory and local income tax rate from 2007 to 2009. In 2008, Ctrip Travel Network was designated as a “high and new technology enterprise” by the relevant PRC government authorities. As a result, Ctrip Travel Network was entitled to a preferential EIT rate of 12.5% for 2008 and 2009 and 15% for 2010.

 

·              In 2008, Software Hotel Information was designated as a “high and new technology enterprise” by the relevant PRC government authorities and thus was entitled to a preferential EIT rate of 15% from 2008 to 2010.

 

·              In 2011, Ctrip Computer Technology, Ctrip Travel Information, Ctrip Travel Network and Software Hotel Information reapplied for their qualification as “high and new technology enterprise”, which were approved by the relevant government authority. Thus, these four subsidiaries are entitled to a preferential EIT rate of 15% from 2011 to 2013.

 

·              Shenzhen Ctrip enjoyed a preferential tax rate of 15% before 2008 as it is registered in Shenzhen, a special economic zone of China. Under the current EIT law, Shenzhen Ctrip is entitled to a transitional tax rate which will gradually increase to 25% from 2008 to 2012. The applicable tax rate for Shenzhen Ctrip in 2010, 2011 and 2012 was 22%, 24% and 25%, respectively.

 

·              In 2002, China’s SAT started to implement preferential tax policy in China’s western region, and companies located in applicable jurisdictions covered by the Catalogue of Encouraged Industries in the Western Region (initially effective through the end of 2010 and further extended to 2020) are eligible to apply for a preferential income tax rate of 15% if their businesses fall within the “encouraged” category of the policy. Chengdu Ctrip and Chengdu Ctrip International were both granted approval from the local tax authorities of Chengdu, Sichuan Province to apply a preferential income tax rate of 15% for their respective 2010 and 2011 tax filings. Such preferential tax treatment may be subject to change in near future due to the impending release of a new Catalog of Encouraged Industries in the Western Region.

 

In November 2011, the Ministry of Finance released Circular Caishui [2011] No. 111 mandating Shanghai to be the first city to carry out a pilot program of tax reform. Effective January 1, 2012, any entity in Shanghai that falls in the category of “selected modern service industries” was required to switch from being a business tax payer to become a value-added tax (“VAT”) payer, who is permitted to offset expenses incurred in providing the relevant services it provides from the taxable income. Ctrip Travel Network and Shanghai Commerce have been subject to VAT at a rate of 6% and stopped paying the 5% business tax from January 1, 2012 onwards. We do not expect this change to have a material impact on our consolidated results of operations.

 

42



Table of Contents

 

Financial Subsidies. In 2010, 2011 and 2012, our subsidiaries in China received financial subsidies from the government authorities in Shanghai in the amount of approximately RMB64 million, RMB73 million and RMB90 million (US$14 million), respectively, which we recorded as other income upon cash receipt. Such financial subsidies were granted to us at the sole discretion of the government authorities. We cannot assure you that our subsidiaries will continue to receive financial subsidies in the future.

 

Critical Accounting Policies

 

We prepare financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP, which requires us to make estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, disclosures of contingent assets and liabilities on the date of the balance sheet and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the financial reporting period. We continually evaluate these estimates and assumptions based on the most recently available information, our own historical experiences and various other assumptions that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances, which together form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. Since the use of estimates is an integral component of the financial reporting process, actual results could differ from those estimates. Some of our accounting policies require higher degrees of judgment than others in their application. We consider the policies discussed below to be critical to an understanding of our financial statements as their application places the most significant demands on management’s judgment.

 

Revenue Recognition. We describe our revenue recognition policies in our consolidated financial statements. We apply ASC 605 “Revenue Recognition” to our policies for revenue recognition and presentation of consolidated statement of income and comprehensive income. The factors we have considered include whether we are able to achieve the pre-determined specific performance targets by travel suppliers for recognition of the incentive commissions in addition to the fixed-rate and our risk of loss due to obligations for cancelled hotel and airline ticket reservations. As we operate primarily as an agent to the travel suppliers and our risk of loss due to obligations for cancelled hotel and airline ticket reservations is minimal, we recognize commissions on a net basis.

 

Business Combination. We apply ASC 805 “Business Combination,” which requires that all business combinations be accounted for under the purchase method. The cost of an acquisition is measured as the aggregate of fair values at the date of exchange of assets given, liabilities incurred and equity instruments issued. The costs directly attributable to an acquisition are expensed as incurred. Identifiable assets, liabilities and contingent liabilities acquired or assumed are measured separately at their fair value as of the acquisition date, irrespective of the extent of any noncontrolling interests. The excess of (i) the total of cost of acquisition, fair value of noncontrolling interests and acquisition date fair value of any previously held equity interest in an acquiree over (ii) the fair value of identifiable net assets of an acquiree is recorded as goodwill. If the cost of acquisition is less than the fair value of the net assets of a subsidiary acquired, the difference is recognized directly in the consolidated statements of comprehensive income.

 

Investment. We apply the ASC 323 “Investments—Equity Method and Joint Ventures,” in accounting for our investments. The equity method is used for investments in entities in which we have the ability to exercise significant influence but do not own a majority equity interest or otherwise control. The cost method is used for investments over which we do not have the ability to exercise significant influence. For other investment, we apply ASC 320 “Investments—Debt and Equity Securities,” which requires that debt and equity securities be classified into one of three categories and accounted for as follows: (i) those “held to maturity” are reported at amortized cost; (ii) “trading securities” with unrealized holding gains and losses are included in earnings; and (iii) debt and equity securities not classified as held to maturity or as trading securities are classified as “available for sale” and reported at fair value. Unrealized gains and losses on available for sale securities are excluded from earnings and reported as accumulated other comprehensive income (loss), net of tax. We monitor our investments for other-than-temporary impairment by considering factors including, but not limited to, current economic and market conditions, the operating performance of the companies including current earnings trends and other company-specific information.

 

Goodwill, Intangible Assets and Long-Lived Assets. In addition to the original cost of goodwill, intangible assets and long-lived assets, the recorded value of these assets is impacted by a number of policy elections, including estimated useful lives, residual values and impairment charges. ASC 350 “Intangibles—Goodwill and Other,” provides that intangible assets that have indefinite useful lives and goodwill will not be amortized but rather will be tested at least annually for impairment. ASC 350 also requires that long-lived assets be reviewed for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable from its undiscounted future cash flow. For 2010, 2011 and 2012, we did not recognize any impairment charges for goodwill, intangible assets or long-lived assets based on the expanding and prospective business of our subsidiaries and affiliated Chinese entities. As of December 31, 2010, 2011 and 2012, there were no circumstances or events that indicated that the assets may be impaired. If different judgments or estimates had been utilized, material differences could have resulted in the amount and timing of the impairment charge.

 

Customer Rewards Program. We offer a customer rewards program that allows customers to receive travel awards and other gifts based on accumulated membership points that vary depending on the products and services purchased by the customers. Because we have an obligation to provide such travel awards and other gifts, we recognize liabilities and corresponding expenses for the related future obligations. As of December 31, 2010, 2011 and 2012, our accrued balance for the customer rewards program were approximately RMB121 million, RMB162 million and RMB218 million (US$35 million), respectively. Our expenses for the customer rewards program were approximately RMB94 million, RMB128 million and RMB 157 million (US$25 million) for the years ended December 31, 2010, 2011 and 2012. We estimate our liabilities under our customer rewards program based on accumulated membership points and our estimate of probability of redemption in accordance with the historical redemption pattern. If actual redemption differs significantly from our estimate, it will result in an adjustment to our liability and the corresponding expense.

 

43



Table of Contents

 

Share-Based Compensation. We follow ASC 718 “Stock Compensation,” using the modified prospective method. Under the fair value recognition provisions of ASC 718, we recognize share-based compensation net of an estimated forfeiture rate and therefore only recognize compensation cost for those shares expected to vest over the service period of the award.

 

Under ASC 718, we applied the Black-Scholes valuation model in determining the fair value of options granted, which requires the input of highly subjective assumptions, including the expected life of the stock option, stock price volatility, and the pre-vesting option forfeiture rate. Expected life is based on historical exercise patterns, which we believe are representative of future behavior, or calculated by using the simplified method. We estimate expected volatility at the date of grant based on historical volatility. The assumptions used in calculating the fair value of stock options represent our best estimates, but these estimates involve inherent uncertainties and the application of management judgment. As a result, if factors change and we use different assumptions, our share-based compensation expense could be materially different in the future. In addition, we are required to estimate the expected forfeiture rate and only recognize expense for those shares expected to vest. We estimate the forfeiture rate based on historical patterns of our stock options granted, exercised and forfeited. If our actual forfeiture rate is materially different from our estimate, the share-based compensation expense could be significantly different from what we have recorded in the current period. See Note 2—“Share-based compensation” in the consolidated financial statements for additional information. According to ASC 718, a change in any of the terms or conditions of stock options shall be accounted for as a modification of the plan. Therefore, the Company calculates incremental compensation cost of a modification as the excess of the fair value of the modified option over the fair value of the original option immediately before its terms are modified, measured based on the share price and other pertinent factors at the modification date. For vested options, the Company would recognize incremental compensation cost in the period the modification occurs and for unvested options, the Company would recognize, over the remaining requisite service period, the sum of the incremental compensation cost and the remaining unrecognized compensation cost for the original award on the modification date.

 

Deferred Tax Valuation Allowances. We provide a valuation allowance on our deferred tax assets to the extent we consider it to be more likely than not that we will be unable to realize all or part of such assets. Our future realization of our deferred tax assets depends on many factors, including our ability to generate taxable income within the period during which temporary differences reverse or before our tax loss carry-forwards expire, the outlook for the Chinese economy and overall outlook for our industry. We consider these factors at each balance sheet date and determine whether valuation allowances are necessary. As of December 31, 2010, 2011 and 2012, we recorded deferred tax assets of RMB37 million, RMB40 million and RMB62 million (US$10 million), respectively. If, however, unexpected events occur in the future that would prevent us from realizing all or a portion of our net deferred tax assets, an adjustment would result in a charge to income in the period in which such determination was made. As of December 31, 2010, 2011 and 2012, it is more likely than not that the deferred tax assets resulting from the net operating losses of certain subsidiary will not be realized. Hence, we recorded valuation allowance against our gross deferred tax assets in order to reduce the deferred tax assets to the amount that is more likely than not to be realized.

 

Allowance for doubtful accounts. Accounts receivable are recorded at the invoiced amount and do not bear interest. We review on a periodic basis for doubtful accounts for the outstanding trade receivable balances based on historical experience and information available. Additionally, we make specific bad debt provisions based on (i) our specific assessment of the collectibility of all significant accounts; and (ii) any specific knowledge we have acquired that might indicate that an account is uncollectible. The facts and circumstances of each account may require us to use substantial judgment in assessing its collectibility. As of the end of December 31, 2010, 2011 and 2012, the allowance for doubtful accounts was RMB5.7 million, RMB5.0 million and RMB4.4 million (US$699 thousand), respectively.

 

Results of Operations

 

The following table sets forth a summary of our consolidated statements of operations for the periods indicated both in amount and as a percentage of net revenues.

 

44



Table of Contents

 

 

 

For the Year Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2010

 

2011

 

2012

 

 

 

RMB
(in thousands)

 

%

 

RMB
(in thousands)

 

%

 

RMB
(in thousands)

 

US$
(in thousands)

 

%

 

Revenues:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hotel reservation

 

1,278,044

 

44

 

1,486,899

 

43

 

1,702,501

 

273,270

 

41

 

Air ticketing

 

1,206,921

 

42

 

1,437,118

 

41

 

1,690,286

 

271,310

 

41

 

Packaged-tour(1)

 

380,307

 

13

 

534,640

 

15

 

689,661

 

110,698

 

17

 

Corporate travel

 

129,658

 

5

 

161,610

 

5

 

199,756

 

32,063

 

5

 

Others

 

71,783

 

2

 

106,037

 

3

 

126,988

 

20,383

 

3

 

Total revenues

 

3,066,713

 

106

 

3,726,304

 

107

 

4,409,192

 

707,724

 

106

 

Less: Business tax and related surcharges

 

(185,480

)

(6

)

(228,219

)

(7

)

(250,401

)

(40,192

)

(6

)

Net revenues

 

2,881,233

 

100

 

3,498,085

 

100

 

4,158,791

 

667,532

 

100

 

Cost of revenues

 

(625,261

)

(22

)

(805,130

)

(23

)

(1,037,791

)

(166,577

)

(25

)

Gross profit

 

2,255,972

 

78

 

2,692,955

 

77

 

3,121,000

 

500,955

 

75

 

Operating expenses:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Product development(2)

 

(453,853

)

(16

)

(601,485

)

(17

)

(911,905

)

(146,371

)

(22

)

Sales and marketing(2)

 

(453,293

)

(16

)

(624,600

)

(18

)

(984,002

)

(157,943

)

(24

)

General and administrative(2)

 

(294,701

)

(10

)

(400,876

)

(12

)

(570,487

)

(91,570

)

(14

)

Total operating expenses

 

(1,201,847

)

(42

)

(1,626,961

)

(47

)

(2,466,394

)

(395,884

)

(59

)

Income from operations

 

1,054,125

 

37

 

1,065,994

 

30

 

654,606

 

105,071

 

16

 

Interest income

 

37,586

 

1

 

106,003

 

3

 

165,800

 

26,613

 

4

 

Other income

 

99,126

 

3

 

117,624

 

3

 

130,288

 

20,913

 

3

 

Income before income tax expense equity in income of affiliates and noncontrolling interest

 

1,190,837

 

41

 

1,289,621

 

37

 

950,694

 

152,597

 

23

 

Income tax expense

 

(205,017

)

(7

)

(262,186

)

(8

)

(294,526

)

(47,274

)

(7

)

Equity in income of affiliates

 

66,172

 

2

 

57,525

 

2

 

34,343

 

5,512

 

1

 

Net Income

 

1,051,992

 

37

 

1,084,960

 

31

 

690,511

 

110,835

 

17

 

Less: Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests

 

(3,922

)

 

(8,545

)

 

23,895

 

3,835

 

1

 

Net income attributable to Ctrip’s shareholders

 

1,048,070

 

36

 

1,076,415

 

31

 

714,406

 

114,670

 

17

 

 


(1)      Certain of our packaged-tour revenues were booked on a gross basis. See “— Major Factors Affecting Our Results of Operations — Revenues — Packaged-tour.”

 

(2)  Share-based compensation was included in the associated operating expense categories as follows:

 

 

 

For the Year Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2010

 

2011

 

2012

 

 

 

RMB
(in thousands)

 

%

 

RMB
(in thousands)

 

%

 

RMB
(in thousands)

 

US$
(in thousands)

 

%

 

Product development

 

(64,254

)

(2

)

(98,955

)

(3

)

(132,583

)

(21,281

)

(3

)

Sales and marketing

 

(33,203

)

(1

)

(48,191

)

(1

)

(55,892

)

(8,971

)

(1

)

General and administrative

 

(145,104

)

(5

)

(195,645

)

(6

)

(243,246

)

(39,044

)

(6

)

 

Any discrepancies in the above table between the amounts/percentages identified as total amounts/percentages and the sum of the amounts/percentages listed therein are due to rounding.

 

2012 compared to 2011

 

Revenues

 

Total revenues were RMB4.4 billion (US$708 million) in 2012, an increase of 18% over RMB3.7 billion in 2011. This revenues growth was principally driven by the substantial volume growth in hotel room nights sold and air tickets sold in 2012.

 

Hotel Reservation. Revenues from our hotel reservation business increased by 15% to RMB1.7 billion (US$273 million) in 2012 from RMB1.5 billion in 2011, primarily driven by an increase of approximately 30% in hotel room nights sold and partially offset by approximately 12% decrease in blended commission per room night. Decrease in blended commission per room night is mainly due to increased penetration into lower star hotels in second- or third-tier cities as well as the promotional activities we launched for selected hotels mainly in the forms of e-coupons and groupbuys.

 

Air-Ticketing. Revenues from our air-ticketing business increased by 18% to RMB1.7 billion (US$271 million) in 2012 from RMB1.4 billion in 2011, primarily due to strong growth of air tickets sales volume as we continued to significantly expand our air ticketing capabilities in 2012. The total number of air tickets sold in 2012 increased by 20% from 2011.

 

Packaged-tour. Packaged-tour revenues increased by 29% to RMB690 million (US$111 million) in 2012 from RMB535 million in 2011, primarily due to the continued growth of our packaged-tour business product and service offerings.

 

45



Table of Contents

 

Corporate Travel. Corporate travel revenues increased by 24% to RMB200 million (US$32 million) in 2012 from RMB162 million in 2011, primarily due to the increased corporate travel demand from our corporate clients.

 

Other businesses. Revenues from other businesses increased by 20% to RMB127 million (US$20 million) in 2012 from RMB106 million in 2011, primarily due to the increased revenues from advertising services.

 

Business tax and related surcharges

 

Our business tax and related surcharges increased by 10% to RMB250 million (US$40 million) in 2012 from RMB228 million in 2011 as a result of the increases in revenues in all of our business lines.

 

Cost of Revenues

 

Cost of revenues in 2012 increased by 29% to RMB1,038 million (US$167 million) from RMB805 million in 2011. This increase was primarily attributable to increased costs associated with the rapid growth of air-ticketing and packaged-tour businesses and the expansion of our hotel reservation business. Additionally, our customer service personnel increased to over 10,000 in 2012 from approximately 9,000 in 2011 and their average payroll, benefits and share-based compensation also increased in 2012.

 

Operating Expenses

 

Operating expenses include product development expenses, sales and marketing expenses and general and administrative expenses.

 

Product Development. Product development expenses increased by 52% to RMB912 million (US$146 million) in 2012 from RMB601 million in 2011, primarily due to an increase in the number of product development personnel to approximately 4,700 employees in 2012 from approximately 4,200 employees in 2011 as we expanded our air ticketing and packaged-tour businesses, as well as an increase in the average payroll and share-based compensation to our product development personnel. In 2012, we increased expenditure on product development in response to competitive pressure in order to capture more business opportunities in new products and services as well as in new markets.

 

Sales and Marketing. Sales and marketing expenses increased by 58% to RMB984 million (US$158 million) in 2012 from RMB625 million in 2011, primarily attributable to the increase in advertising expenses, marketing and promotion expenses and the increase of salary, benefit and share-based compensation expenses of our sales and marketing personnel as a result of intensified marketing campaigns we launched in 2012 in response to competitive pressure as well as our efforts to expand in the leisure travel market.

 

General and Administrative. General and administrative expenses increased by 42% to RMB570 million (US$92 million) in 2012 from RMB401 million in 2011, primarily due to the increase in general and administrative personnel compensation expenses, share-based compensation charges and the incremental turnover tax due to the new value-added tax reform.

 

Equity in income of affiliates

 

Equity in income of affiliates decreased by 40% to RMB34 million (US$6 million) in 2012 from RMB58 million in 2011 mainly due to the net impact of investment gain as a result of equity dilution in the investee after Home Inns acquired Motel 168 International Holdings Limited (“Motel 168”), and the decrease in proportional equity pick-up of the investment in Home Inns’ results of operations as Home Inns experienced net loss in 2012 due to near-term profitability dilution by Motel 168.

 

Interest Income

 

Interest income increased by 56% to RMB166 million (US$27 million) in 2012 from RMB106 million in 2011 due to the increased interest rate and increased cash generated from operations in 2012.

 

Other Income

 

Other income increased by 11% to RMB130 million (US$21 million) in 2012 from RMB118 million in 2011, primarily due to increases in subsidy and the gain on deconsolidation of subsidiaries in 2012.

 

46



Table of Contents

 

Income Tax Expense

 

Income tax expense was RMB295 million (US$47 million) in 2012, an increase of 12% over RMB262 million in 2011, primarily due to the increase in our taxable income. Our effective income tax rate in 2012 was 31%, as compared to 20% in 2011, primarily due to the provision of 5% PRC withholding tax related to the dividends that our PRC subsidiaries paid to Ctrip.com (Hong Kong) Limited to fund the share repurchase program announced in June 2012, and the increase in the amount of share-based compensation, which is not tax-deductible, as a percentage to our income before income tax expense as a whole. This was partially offset by the preferential tax treatment of Chengdu Ctrip and Chengdu Ctrip International retroactively applied starting from January 1, 2011.  See “— Major Factors Affecting Our Results of Operations — Income Taxes and Financial Subsidies.”

 

2011 compared to 2010

 

Revenues

 

Total revenues were RMB3.7 billion (US$592 million) in 2011, an increase of 22% over RMB3.1 billion in 2010. This revenues growth was principally driven by the substantial volume growth in hotel room nights sold and air tickets sold in 2011; Wing On Travel and ezTravel also contributed approximately 1% for the year-on-year growth for net revenues.

 

Hotel Reservation. Revenues from our hotel reservation business increased by 16% to RMB1.5 billion (US$236 million) in 2011 from RMB1.3 billion in 2010, primarily as a result of the continued rapid growth in our hotel room nights sales volume in 2011. The total number of hotel room nights sold in 2011 increased by 15% from 2010.

 

Air-Ticketing. Revenues from our air-ticketing business increased by 19% to RMB1.4 billion (US$228 million) in 2011 from RMB1.2 billion in 2010, primarily due to strong growth of air tickets sales volume as we continued to significantly expand our air ticketing capabilities in 2011. The total number of air tickets sold in 2011 increased by 19% from 2010.

 

Packaged-tour. Packaged-tour revenues increased by 41% to RMB535 million (US$85 million) in 2011 from RMB380 million in 2010, primarily due to the continued growth of our packaged-tour business product and service offerings and the contribution of HKWOT (BVI) Limited since our acquisition in May 2010.

 

Corporate Travel. Corporate travel revenues increased by 25% to RMB162 million (US$26 million) in 2011 from RMB130 million in 2010, primarily due to the increased corporate travel demand from our corporate clients.

 

Other businesses. Revenues from other businesses increased by 48% to RMB106 million (US$17 million) in 2011 from RMB72 million in 2010, primarily due to the increased revenues from advertising services.

 

Business tax and related surcharges

 

Our business tax and related surcharges increased by 23% to RMB228 million (US$36 million) in 2011 from RMB185 million in 2010 as a result of the increases in revenues in all of our business lines.

 

Cost of Revenues

 

Cost of revenues in 2011 increased by 29% to RMB805 million (US$128 million) from RMB625 million in 2010. This increase was primarily attributable to increased costs associated with the rapid growth of air-ticketing and packaged-tour businesses and the expansion of our hotel reservation business. Additionally, our customer service personnel increased to approximately 9,000 in 2011 from approximately 7,500 in 2010.

 

Operating Expenses

 

Operating expenses include product development expenses, sales and marketing expenses and general and administrative expenses.

 

Product Development. Product development expenses increased by 33% to RMB601 million (US$96 million) in 2011 from RMB454 million in 2010, primarily due to an increase in product development personnel to approximately 4,200 employees in 2011 from approximately 2,700 employees in 2010 as we expanded our air ticketing and packaged-tour businesses.

 

47



Table of Contents

 

Sales and Marketing. Sales and marketing expenses increased by 38% to RMB625 million (US$99 million) in 2011 from RMB453 million in 2010, primarily attributable to the increase in advertisement expenses, marketing and promotion expenses, and salary and benefit expenses of our sales and marketing personnel in 2011.

 

General and Administrative. General and administrative expenses increased by 36% to RMB401 million (US$64 million) in 2011 from RMB295 million in 2010, primarily due to the increase in general and administrative personnel compensation expenses.

 

Equity in income of affiliates

 

Equity in income of affiliates decreased by 13% to RMB58 million (US$9 million) in 2011 from RMB66 million in 2010 due to the decrease in proportional equity pick-up of the investment in Home Inns’ results of operations.

 

Interest Income

 

Interest income increased by 182% to RMB106 million (US$17 million) in 2011 from RMB38 million in 2010 due to the increased interest rate and increased cash generated from operations in 2011.

 

Other Income

 

Other income increased by 19% to RMB118 million (US$19 million) in 2011 from RMB99 million in 2010, primarily due to increases in subsidy income and non-operating income.

 

Income Tax Expense

 

Income tax expense was RMB262 million (US$42 million) in 2011, an increase of 28% over RMB205 million in 2010, primarily due to the increase in our taxable income. Our effective income tax rate in 2011 was 20%, as compared to 17% in 2010, primarily due to the increase in the amount of non tax-deductible share-based compensation expense as a percentage of our income as a whole.

 

Inflation

 

Since our inception, inflation in China has not materially impacted our results of operations. According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, the year-over-year percent changes in the consumer price index for December 2010, 2011 and 2012 in China were increases of 4.6%, 4.1% and 2.5%, respectively. Although we have not been materially affected by inflation in the past, we can provide no assurance that we will not be affected in the future by higher rates of inflation in China.

 

B.     Liquidity and Capital Resources

 

Liquidity. The following table sets forth the summary of our cash flows for the periods indicated:

 

 

 

For the Year Ended December 31,

 

 

 

2010

 

2011

 

2012

 

 

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

RMB

 

US$

 

 

 

(in thousands)

 

Net cash provided by operating activities

 

1,550,218

 

1,851,315

 

1,654,368

 

265,544

 

Net cash used in investing activities

 

(2,440,400

)

(339,947

)

(1,239,904

)

(199,018

)

Net cash (used in)/provided by financing activities

 

1,625,348

 

(114,749

)

(515,564

)

(82,754

)

Effect of foreign exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalents

 

(15,849

)

(47,126

)

19,205

 

3,083

 

Net increase/(decrease) in cash and cash equivalents

 

719,317

 

1,349,493

 

(81,895

)

(13,145

)

Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of year

 

1,434,618

 

2,153,935

 

3,503,428

 

562,339

 

Cash and cash equivalents at end of year

 

2,153,935

 

3,503,428

 

3,421,533

 

549,194

 

 

Net cash provided by operating activities amounted to RMB1.7 billion (US$266 million) in 2012, which was primarily attributable to (i) our net income of RMB690.5 million (US$110.8 million) in 2012; (ii) an add-back of RMB430.2 million (US$69.1 million) in non-cash items, primarily relating to share-based compensation expenses and depreciation expenses; (iii) an increase in accounts payable of RMB255.2 million (US$41 million), primarily due to the increased volume of air-ticketing and packaged-tour services, as we are generally entitled to certain credit terms from our suppliers; (iv) an increase in advances from customers of RMB310.5 million (US$50 million), primarily due to the increased demand for packaged-tour services, as customers are usually required to make full payments for packaged-tour services when ordering such services. These increases were partially offset by an increase in accounts receivable of RMB193.9 million (US$31.1 million), primarily due to the increased volume of corporate travel management services as our corporate customers normally receive certain credit terms from us for the full amount of the prices of the air tickets issued and hotel rooms reserved, and the increased volume of credit card payments from our individual customers for air-ticket booking.

 

48



Table of Contents

 

Net cash provided by operating activities amounted to RMB1.9 billion (US$294 million) in 2011, which was primarily attributable to (i) our net income of RMB1.1 billion (US$172 million) in 2011; (ii) an increase in advances from customers of RMB487.0 million (US$77 million), primarily due to the increased demand for packaged-tour services, as customers are usually required to make full payments for packaged-tour services when ordering such services; (iii) an add-back of RMB375.3 million (US$59.6 million) in non-cash items, primarily relating to share-based compensation expenses and depreciation expenses; (iv) an increase in accounts payable of RMB166.4 million (US$26 million), primarily due to the increased volume of air-ticketing and packaged-tour services, as we are generally entitled to certain credit terms from our suppliers. These increases were partially offset by (i) an increase in prepayments and other current assets of RMB203.7 million (US$32 million), primarily due to the increased demand for packaged-tour services and increased volume of air ticket booking, as we generally pay advances to our packaged-tour services suppliers and to third-party payment platforms for their air ticket services, respectively; and (ii) an increase in accounts receivable of RMB166.7 million (US$26 million), primarily due to the increased volume of corporate travel management services as our corporate customers normally receive certain credit terms from us for the full amount of the prices of the air tickets issued and hotel rooms reserved.

 

Net cash provided by operating activities amounted to RMB1.6 billion in 2010, primarily attributable to (i) our net income of RMB1.1 billion in 2010; (ii) an add-back of RMB235.0 million in non-cash items, primarily relating to share-based compensation expenses and depreciation expenses; (iii) an increase in accounts payable of RMB186.3 million primarily due to the increased volume of air-ticketing and packaged-tour services, as we are generally entitled to certain credit terms from our suppliers; and (iv) an increase in advances from customers of RMB232.2 million primarily due to the increased demand for packaged-tour services, as customers are usually required to make full payments for packaged-tour services when ordering such services; and (iv) an increase in accounts payable of RMB186.3 million primarily due to the increased volume of air-ticketing and packaged-tour services, as we are generally entitled to certain credit terms from our suppliers. These increases were partially offset by an increase in accounts receivable of RMB179.5 million primarily due to the increased volume of corporate travel management services as our corporate customers normally receive certain credit terms from us for the full amount of the prices of the air tickets issued and hotel rooms reserved.

 

Current PRC regulations permit our subsidiaries to pay dividends to us only out of their accumulated profits, if any, determined in accordance with Chinese accounting standards and regulations.  See “Item 3. Key Information — D. Risk Factors — Risks Related to Our Corporate Structure — Our subsidiaries and affiliated Chinese entities in China are subject to restrictions on paying dividends or making other payments to us, which may restrict our ability to satisfy our liquidity requirements.”

 

Net cash used in investing activities amounted to RMB1.2 billion (US$199 million) in 2012, compared to net cash used in investing activities of RMB339.9 million in 2011. This increase in 2012 was primarily due to the increase of short term investment and the construction or renovation of our office buildings in Chengdu, Shanghai and Beijing. Net cash used in investing activities amounted to RMB339.9 million in 2011, compared to net cash used in investing activities of RMB2.4 billion in 2010. This decrease in 2011 was primarily due to the lower increase of short term investment, the lower amount of investments in other companies and the fact that the construction of our Nantong customer service center was completed in 2010.

 

Net cash used by financing activities amounted to RMB515.6 million (US$82.8 million) in 2012, compared to net cash used by financing activities of RMB114.7 million in 2011 and net cash provided by financing activities of RMB1.6 billion in 2010. We did not make any dividend payment in 2010, 2011 and 2012. The change of net cash flow in financing activities in 2012 was mainly due to the offering of convertible senior notes with a principal amount of US$180 million in September 2012 and net cashes used on our share repurchases in the amount of RMB1.7 billion (US$278.2 million). The change of net cash flow in financing activities in 2011 was mainly due to our share repurchase in the amount of RMB158.8 million (US$25 million) and the fact that a share offering of RMB1.6 billion was made in 2010.

 

Capital Resources

 

As of December 31, 2012, our principal sources of liquidity have been cash generated from operating activities, short-term borrowings from third-party lenders, as well as the proceeds we received from our public offerings of ordinary shares and our offerings of convertible senior notes. Our cash and cash equivalents consist of cash on hand and liquid investments which are unrestricted as to withdrawal or use. Our financing activities consist of issuance and sale of our shares and convertible senior notes to investors and related parties and short-term borrowings from third-party lenders. As of the date of this annual report, we had convertible senior notes with an outstanding principal amount of US$180 million and a term loan facility with an outstanding principal of US$72.75 million. Except as disclosed in this annual report, we have no outstanding bank loans or financial guarantees or similar commitments to guarantee the payment obligations of third parties. We believe that our current cash and cash equivalents, our cash flow from operations and proceeds from our financing activities will be sufficient to meet our anticipated cash needs, including our cash needs for working capital and capital expenditures, for the foreseeable future and at least the next 12 months. We may, however, require additional cash resources due to changing business conditions or other future developments, including any investments or acquisitions we may decide to pursue.

 

49



Table of Contents

 

As of December 31, 2012, our primary capital commitment was RMB284.5 million (US$45.7 million) in connection with capital expenditures of property, equipment and software.

 

C.     Research and Development, Patents and Licenses, etc.

 

Our research and development efforts consist of continuing to develop our proprietary technology as well as incorporating new technologies from third parties. We intend to continue to upgrade our proprietary booking, customer relationship management and yield management software to keep up with the continued growth in our transaction volume and the rapidly evolving technological conditions. We will also seek to continue to enhance our electronic confirmation system and promote such system with more hotel suppliers, as we believe that the electronic confirmation system is a cost-effective and convenient way for hotels to interface with us.

 

In addition, we have utilized and will continue to utilize the products and services of third parties to support our technology platform.

 

D.      Trend Information

 

Other than as disclosed elsewhere in this annual report, we are not aware of any trends, uncertainties, demands, commitments or events for the period from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012 that are reasonably likely to have a material effect on our net revenues, income, profitability, liquidity or capital resources, or that caused the disclosed financial information to be not necessarily indicative of future operating results or financial conditions.

 

E.      Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

 

In connection with our air ticketing business, we are required by the Civil Aviation Administration of China, International Air Transport Association, and local airline companies to pay deposits or to provide other guarantees in order to obtain blank air tickets. As of December 31, 2012, the amount under these guarantee arrangements was approximately RMB777 million (US$125 million).

 

Based on historical experience and information currently available, we do not believe that it is probable that we will be required to pay any amount under these guarantee arrangements. Therefore, we have not recorded any liability beyond what is required in connection with these guarantee arrangements.

 

F.      Tabular Disclosure of Contractual Obligations

 

The following sets forth our contractual obligations as of December 31, 2012:

 

 

 

Payments Due by Period

 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

Less Than 1
Year

 

1-3
Years

 

3-5
Years

 

More Than 5
Years

 

 

 

(in RMB thousands)

 

Convertible senior notes with principal and interest

 

1,149,453

 

5,607

 

16,821

 

1,127,025

 

 

Term Loans with principal and interest

 

458,499

 

458,499

 

 

 

 

Operating lease obligations

 

86,639

 

45,549

 

36,410

 

4,440

 

240

 

Purchase obligations

 

318,649

 

310,310

 

8,189

 

 

150

 

Total

 

2.013,240

 

819,965

 

61,420

 

1,131,465

 

390

 

 

Our convertible senior notes will mature in September 2017, unless earlier repurchased or converted into our ADSs based on an initial conversion price of 51.7116 of our ADSs per US$1,000 per principal amount of notes. The conversion rate is subject to adjustment upon occurrence of certain events. These convertible notes bear interest at a rate of 0.5% per year, payable semiannually in arrears on March 15 of each year, beginning on March 15, 2013.

 

50



Table of Contents

 

In June 2012, we entered into a loan agreement with China Construction Bank for a loan facility of up to US$72.75 million. The facility has a maturity of 12 months and is collateralized by a bank deposit of RMB500 million provided by one of the Company’s wholly-owned subsidiaries. As of December 31, 2012, we obtained three borrowings in the aggregate amount of RMB453.5 million (US$72.75 million) under the facility. The interest rate of these borrowings are 2.3679%, 2.3606% and 2.3551% per annum, respectively.

 

Operating lease obligations for the years 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 are RMB45.6 million, RMB23.7 million, RMB12.7 million, RMB3.4 million, RMB1.0 mllion and RMB0.2 million, respectively. Rental expenses amounted to approximately RMB46 million, RMB66 million and RMB94 million (US$15 million) for the years ended December 31, 2010, 2011 and 2012, respectively. Rental expense is charged to the statements of income when incurred.

 

While the table above indicates our contractual obligations as of December 31, 2012, the actual amounts we are eventually required to pay may be different in the event that any agreements are renegotiated, cancelled or terminated.

 

G.      Safe Harbor

 

This annual report on Form 20-F contains forward-looking statements that reflect our current expectations and views of future events. These statements are made under the “safe harbor” provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You can identify these forward-looking statements by terminology such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “future,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “estimate,” “is/are likely to” or other similar expressions. We have based these forward-looking statements largely on our current expectations and projections about future events and financial trends that we believe may affect our financial condition, results of operations, business strategy and financial needs. These forward-looking statements include, among other things:

 

·              our anticipated growth strategies;

 

·              our future business development, results of operations and financial condition;

 

·              our ability to continue to control costs and maintain profitability; and

 

·              the expected growth in the overall economy and demand for travel services in China.

 

The forward-looking statements included in this annual report on Form 20-F are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions about our company. Our actual results of operations may differ materially from the forward-looking statements as a result of the risk factors described under “Item 3.D. Risk Factors,” included elsewhere in this annual report on Form 20-F, including the following risks:

 

·              slow-down of economic growth in China and the global economic downturn may have a material and adverse effect on our business, and may materially and adversely affect our growth and profitability;

 

·              general declines or disruptions in the travel industry may materially and adversely affect our business and results of operations;

 

·              the trading price of our ADSs has been volatile historically and may continue to be volatile regardless of our operating performance;

 

·              if we are unable to maintain existing relationships with travel suppliers and strategic alliances, or establish new arrangements with travel suppliers and strategic alliances similar to those we currently have, our business may suffer;

 

·              if we fail to further increase our brand recognition, we may face difficulty in retaining existing and acquiring new business partners and customers, and our business may be harmed;

 

·              if we do not compete successfully against new and existing competitors, we may lose our market share, and our business and results of operations may be materially and adversely affected;

 

·              our business could suffer if we do not successfully manage current growth and potential future growth;

 

·              our strategy to acquire or invest in complementary businesses and assets involves significant risks and uncertainty that may prevent us from achieving our objectives and harm our financial condition and results of operations;

 

·              our quarterly results are likely to fluctuate because of seasonality in the travel industry in Greater China;

 

·              our business may be harmed if our infrastructure and technology are damaged or otherwise fail or become obsolete;

 

·              our business depends substantially on the continuing efforts of our key executives, and our business may be severely disrupted if we lose their services;

 

·              inflation in China may disrupt our business and have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations; and

 

·              if the ownership structure of our affiliated Chinese entities and the contractual arrangements among us, our consolidated affiliated Chinese entities and their shareholders are found to be in violation of any PRC laws or regulations, we and/or our affiliated Chinese entities may be subject to fines and other penalties, which may adversely affect our business and results of operations.

 

51



Table of Contents

 

These risks are not exhaustive. Other sections of this annual report include additional factors that could adversely impact our business and financial performance. You should read these statements in conjunction with the risk factors disclosed in Item 3.D. of this annual report, “—Risk Factors,” and other risks outlined in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Moreover, we operate in an emerging and evolving environment. New risk factors may emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for our management to predict all risk factors, nor can we assess the impact of all factors on our business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements.

 

You should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

 

ITEM 6.                        DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEES

 

A.      Directors and Senior Management

 

The names of our current directors and senior management, their ages as of the date of this annual report and the principal positions with Ctrip.com International, Ltd. held by them are as follows:

 

Directors and Executive Officers

 

Age

 

Position/Title

James Jianzhang Liang

 

43

 

Co-founder; Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer

Min Fan

 

48

 

Co-founder; Vice Chairman of the Board and President

Jane Jie Sun

 

44

 

Chief Operating Officer

Jenny Wenjie Wu

 

38

 

Chief Financial Officer

Neil Nanpeng Shen(1)

 

45

 

Co-founder; Independent Director

Qi Ji

 

46

 

Co-founder; Independent Director

Gabriel Li(1)

 

45

 

Vice Chairman of the Board, Independent Director

JP Gan(1) (2)

 

41

 

Independent Director

Suyang Zhang(2)

 

54

 

Independent Director

Jianmin Zhu

 

44

 

Senior Vice President

Maohua Sun

 

41

 

Senior Vice President

Lan Tang

 

45

 

Senior Vice President

Dongjie Guo

 

46

 

Senior Vice President

Xiaoping Li

 

51

 

Senior Vice President

Xiaoliang Ding

 

48

 

Vice President

Xiaofan Wang

 

38

 

Vice President

Yuxiang Zhuang

 

37

 

Vice President

Hao Jiang

 

39

 

Vice President

Jiqin Fang

 

43

 

Vice President

Tingting Zhang

 

39

 

Vice President

Qi Shi

 

42

 

Vice President

Yaming Ye

 

49

 

Vice President

Yan Feng

 

36

 

Vice President

 


(1)      Member of the Audit Committee.

(2)      Member of the Compensation Committee.

 

52



Table of Contents

 

Pursuant to the current articles of association of our company, our board of directors shall consist of no more than nine directors, including (i) three directors appointed by our co-founders consisting of Messrs. James Jianzhang Liang, Neil Nanpeng Shen, Qi Ji and Min Fan, subject to the approval of a majority of our independent directors; and (ii) one director who is the then current chief executive officer of our company. Each of our directors will hold office until such director’s successor is elected and duly qualified, or until such director’s earlier death, bankruptcy, insanity, resignation or removal. There are no family relationships among any of the directors or executive officers of our company.

 

Biographical Information

 

James Jianzhang Liang is one of the co-founders of our company. Mr. Liang served as our chief executive officer from 2000 to January 2006 and resumed the role of chief executive officer since March 2013. He has also served as a member of our board of directors since our inception and has been the chairman of the board since August 2003. Prior to founding our company, Mr. Liang held a number of technical and managerial positions with Oracle Corporation from 1991 to 1999 in the United States and China, including the head of the ERP consulting division of Oracle China from 1997 to 1999. Mr. Liang currently serves on the boards of Home Inns and 51job.com Inc., and serves as an independent director of Jiayuan.com International Ltd. listed on NASDAQ. Mr. Liang received his Ph.D. degree from Stanford University and his Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from Georgia Institute of Technology. He also attended an undergraduate program at Fudan University.

 

Min Fan is one of the co-founders of our company. Mr. Fan has been a member of our board of director since October 2006 and has served as the vice chairman of the board since March 2013.  Mr. Fan has served as our president since February 2009. He also  served as our chief executive officer from January 2006 to February 2013, as our chief operating officer from November 2004 to January 2006, and as our executive vice president from 2000 to November 2004. From 1997 to 2000, Mr. Fan was the chief executive officer of Shanghai Travel Service Company, a leading domestic travel agency in China. From 1990 to 1997, he served as the deputy general manager and in a number of other senior positions at Shanghai New Asia Hotel Management Company, which was one of the leading hotel management companies in China. Mr. Fan currently serves on the board of directors of China Lodging Group, Limited. Mr. Fan obtained his Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He also studied at the Lausanne Hotel Management School of Switzerland in 1995.

 

Jane Jie Sun has served as our chief operating officer since May 2012 and before that, she has served as our chief financial officer since December 2005. Ms. Sun has extensive experience in SEC reporting, finance and accounting. Prior to joining us, Ms. Sun served as the head of the SEC and external reporting division of Applied Materials, Inc., where she worked from 1997 to 2005. Prior to joining Applied Materials, Inc., Ms. Sun worked with KPMG LLP in Silicon Valley, California for five years. Ms. Sun is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and a member of the State of California Certified Public Accountants. Ms. Sun currently serves on the board of TAL Education Group, a company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Ms. Sun received her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from University of Florida with High Honors. She also attended Beijing University Law School and obtained an LLM degree.

 

Jenny Wenjie Wu has been Chief Financial Officer of our company since May 2012 and served as the Deputy Chief Financial Officer between December 2011 and April 2012. Ms. Wu also serves as an independent director of Kingsoft Corporation Limited from March 2013. Prior to joining Ctrip, Ms. Wu was an equity research analyst covering China Internet and Media industries in Morgan Stanley Asia Limited and in Citigroup Global Markets Asia Limited from 2005 to 2011. Prior to that, Ms. Wu worked in the Department of Enterprises Operations and Management in China Merchants Holdings (International) Company Limited, a company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, from 2003 to 2005. Ms. Wu holds a Ph.D. degree in finance from the University of Hong Kong, a Master’s degree in philosophy in finance from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and both a Master’s degree and a Bachelor’s degree in economics from Nan Kai University, China. Ms. Wu is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

 

Neil Nanpeng Shen is one of the co-founders of our company and has been our company’s director since our inception. Mr. Shen is the founding managing partner of Sequoia Capital China. Mr. Shen served as our chief financial officer from 2000 to October 2005 and as president from August 2003 to October 2005. Prior to founding our company, Mr. Shen had worked for more than eight years in the investment banking industry in New York and Hong Kong. Currently, Mr. Shen is the co-chairman of Home Inns, an independent director of Focus Media Holding Limited, a NASDAQ-listed media advertising company based in China, and a non-executive director of E-House (China) Holdings Limited, a leading real estate services company based in China and listed in the New York Stock Exchange, a non-executive director of Peak Sports, a Hong Kong listed sports apparel company in China, a non-executive director of Le Gaga Holdings Limited listed on NASDAQ, as well as a non-executive chairman of Mecox Lane Limited listed on NASDAQ. He was awarded “Economic Figure of the Year” by CCTV in 2006 and was voted as the Top Venture Capitalist in China by Zero2IPO, Forbes Magazine and Global Entrepreneur Magazine. Mr. Shen received his Master’s degree from the School of Management at Yale University and his Bachelor’s degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

 

53



Table of Contents

 

Qi Ji is one of the co-founders of our company. He has served as our director since our inception. Mr. Ji is the executive chairman of China Lodging Group, Limited, or Hanting, a leading economy hotel chain in China. He was the chief executive officer of Home Inns from 2002 to January 2005. He was the chief executive officer and the president of our company from 1999 to early 2002 consecutively. Prior to founding our company, he served as the chief executive officer of Shanghai Sunflower High-Tech Group which he founded in 1997. He headed the East China Division of Beijing Zhonghua Yinghua Intelligence System Co., Ltd. from 1995 to 1997. He received both his Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

 

Gabriel Li has served at different times on our board of directors since 2000. Mr. Li has been vice chairman of our board since August 2003. Mr. Li is the managing director and investment committee member of Orchid Asia Group Management, a private equity firm focused on investment in China and Asia for over the past 18 years. Prior to Orchid Asia, Mr. Li was a managing director at the Carlyle Group in Hong Kong, overseeing Asian technology investments. From 1997 to 2000, he was at Orchid Asia’s predecessor, where he made numerous investments in China and North Asia. Previously, he was a management consultant at McKinsey & Co in Hong Kong and Los Angeles. Mr. Li is also a director of a number of privately held companies. Mr. Li graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Berkeley, earned his Master’s degree in Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Master’s degree in Business Administration from Stanford Business School.

 

JP Gan has served as our director since 2002. Mr. Gan is a managing director and a member of investment committee of Qiming Venture Partners. From 2005 to 2006, Mr. Gan was the chief financial officer of KongZhong corporation, a NASDAQ-listed wireless Internet company. Prior to joining KongZhong, Mr. Gan was a director of The Carlyle Group responsible for venture capital investments in the Greater China region from 2000 to 2005. Mr. Gan worked at the investment banking division of Merrill Lynch, in Hong Kong from 1999 to 2000, and worked at Price Waterhouse in the United States from 1994 to 1997. Mr. Gan is a member of the boards of directors of Taomee Holdings Ltd. and Jiayuan.com International Ltd., both US-listed companies. Mr. Gan obtained his Masters of Business Administration from the University Of Chicago Graduate School of Business and his Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Iowa.

 

Suyang Zhang has served as our director since November 2004. He previously served as our director from December 1999 to June 2004. Mr. Zhang is currently a vice president of IDG Capital Investment Consultancy (Beijing) Co., Ltd., where he has worked since 1996, and the general manager of Shanghai Pacific Technology Venture Fund Co., Ltd., where he has worked since 1994. Mr. Zhang has led his firms’ investments in a number of high-tech projects in the areas of electronics, telecommunications and software in recent years. He previously served as a division manager of Shanghai Bell, deputy director of Shanghai Telephone Equipment Manufacturing Company, and general manager of Shanghai Vantone Industrial Co. Ltd. He currently serves on the boards of several privately held companies, including Baud Data Communications Co., Ltd. Mr. Zhang holds a Bachelor of Electronics Engineering from Shanghai University and an Executive Masters of Business Administration from China European International Business School.

 

Jianmin Zhu has served as our senior vice president since January 2008. He has served in a number of managerial positions in our company since 2000. Prior to joining us, he worked with several software and system integration companies, including Compaq and RPTI International Ltd. He was a senior consultant at Compaq from 1999 to 2000 and technical director of RPTI International Ltd. from 1995 to 1998. Mr. Zhu received his Bachelor’s degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

 

Maohua Sun has served as our senior vice president since December 1, 2009. Ms. Sun joined us in 2000 and has held a number of managerial positions at our company. Prior to joining us, Ms. Sun worked at the Jinjiang Group, a hotel management company in China, from 1994 to 2000. Ms. Sun received her Bachelor’s degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

 

Lan Tang has served as our senior vice president since April 2005 and was promoted to serve as our senior vice president in January 2011. Prior to joining us, he worked as a marketing manager in Perfetti Van Melle Co. Ltd. in Shanghai from 2000 to 2005. Prior to that, Mr. Tang worked as a marketing manager and a financial analysis manager at YueSai Kan—Coty Cosmetics Inc. in Shanghai from 1997 to 2000. Mr. Tang received his Bachelor’s degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and Master’s degree in Economics from Virginia Commonwealth University in the United States.

 

54



Table of Contents

 

Dongjie Guo has served as our vice president since March 2008 and was promoted to serve as our senior vice president in January 2013. Prior to joining us, he worked as marketing director in Beijing Tourism Group, one of the largest tourism enterprises in China, from September 2007 to March 2008. From July 1998 to August 2007, Mr. Guo served as vice president and the president of China Comfort Travel Service Group consecutively. From 1988 to 1998, Mr. Guo held various senior positions at China Youth Travel Service Group. Mr. Guo received his Master’s degree in Business Administration from Fordham University and his Bachelor’s degree in Literature from Beijing University.

 

Xiaoping Li has served as our vice president since January 2009 and was promoted to serve as our senior vice president in January 2013. Prior to joining us, Mr. Li worked as deputy general manager of the commerce department of Shanghai Airline from 1997 to 2008. Previously, Mr. Li worked in the China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co., Ltd. Shanghai Branch. Mr. Li received his Masters of Business Administration from Fudan University and his Bachelor’s degree from East China Normal University.

 

Xiaoliang Ding has served as our vice president since 2007. Prior to joining us, he was general manager of Beijing Jianguo Hotel, one of the first joint-venture hotels in China, from late 2004 to February 2007. Previously, he was general manager of the marketing division of Beijing Tourism Group, one of the largest tourism enterprises in China, from August 2001 to December 2004. From 1994 to 2001, Mr. Ding held various senior positions at Beijing International Hotel, Hualong International Hotel Management Company and Intel (China) Corporation. Mr. Ding received his Master’s degree from Business School of Rutgers University and his Bachelor’s degree from Beijing Institute of International Politics.

 

Xiaofan Wang has served as our vice president since January 2008. Ms. Wang joined us in 2001 and has held a number of managerial positions at our company. Prior to joining us, she served as finance manager in China eLabs, a venture capital firm from 2000 to 2001. Previously, Ms. Wang worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers Zhong Tian CPAs Limited Company. Ms. Wang received her Master’s degree from Catholic University Leuven, Belgium and her Bachelor’s degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

 

Yuxiang Zhuang has served as our vice president since January 2008. He has served in a number of managerial positions in our company since 2000. Prior to joining us, he worked as assistant general manager in Shanghai Ba-shi Travel Agency from July 1998 to February 2000. Mr. Zhuang received his Bachelor’s degree from Fudan University.

 

Hao Jiang has served as our vice president since July 2009. Mr. Jiang joined us in 1999 and has held a number of managerial positions at our company. Prior to joining us, he served at several software and system integration companies from 1996 to 1999. Previously, Mr. Jiang worked in a scientific research institution. Mr. Jiang received his Bachelor’s degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

 

Jiqin Fang has served as the vice president since January 2013. He has served in a number of managerial positions in our company since 2000. Prior to join us, Mr. Fang worked with BizExpress International Limited from 1999 to 2000. Mr. Fang received his Bachelor’s degree from East China University of Metallurgy.

 

Tingting Zhang has served as the vice president since January 2013. Ms. Zhang joined us in 2000 and has held a number of managerial positions at our company. Prior to joining us, she worked at Amoy Food Limited, a subsidiary company of DANONE Group, from 1997 to  2000.  Prior to that, Ms. Zhang worked in the Shanghai office of DANONE Group from 1995 to 1997.

 

Qi Shi has served as the vice president since January 2013. He has served in a number of managerial positions in our company since 2000. Prior to joining us, Mr. Shi held various senior positions of human resource management at GlaxoWellcome China Ltd, and Van Houten Food Co., Ltd. Mr. Shi obtained his Master’s degree in business administration and Bachelor’s degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

 

Yaming Ye has served as our vice president of technology since January, 2013. Prior to this role, he served as the chief architecture officer and general manager of Ctrip’s research and development center from 2011 to 2012. Before joining the company, Mr. Ye performed various engineering and management roles during work in Silicon Valley, California. From 2010 to 2011, Mr. Ye was an eBay director of technology platforms and eBay China development center. From 2005 to 2009, he was a senior manager of application architecture and frameworks at eBay. Mr. Ye holds a Master’s degree in mathematics from Wayne State University, a Master’s degree in computer science from University of Science & Technology of China, and a Bachelor’s degree in computing mathematics from Jilin University, China.

 

Yan Feng has served as the vice president since January 2013. Ms. Feng joined the company in 2004 and has held a number of managerial positions at the company. Prior to joining the company, she worked with PricewaterhouseCoopers Zhong Tian CPAs Limited Company from 2000 to 2004. Ms. Feng obtained her Master’s degree in business administration and Bachelor’s degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

 

55



Table of Contents

 

B.     Compensation

 

We have entered into a standard form of director agreement with each of our directors. Under these agreements, we paid cash compensation (inclusive of directors’ fees) to our directors in an aggregate amount of US$0.8 million in 2012. Directors are reimbursed for all expenses incurred in connection with each Board of Directors meeting and when carrying out their duties as directors of our company. See “—Employee’s Stock Option Plans” for options granted to our directors in 2012.

 

We have entered into standard forms of employment agreements with our executive officers. Under these agreements, we paid cash compensation to our executive officers in an aggregate amount of US$1.9 million in 2012. These agreements provide for terms of service, salary and additional cash compensation arrangements, all of which have been reflected in the 2012 aggregate compensation amount. See “—Employee’s Stock Option Plans” for options granted to our executive officers in 2012.

 

Our PRC subsidiaries are required by law to make contributions equal to certain percentages of each employee’s salary for his or her pension insurance, medical insurance, housing fund, unemployment and other statutory benefits. Except for the above statutory contributions, we have not set aside or accrued any amount to provide pension, retirement or other similar benefits to our executive officers and directors.

 

Employee’s Share Incentive Plans

 

Our board of directors has adopted four share incentive plans, namely, the 2007 Share Incentive Plan, or the 2007 Plan, the 2005 Employee’s Stock Option Plan, or the 2005 Plan, the 2003 Employee’s Option Plan, or the 2003 Plan, and the 2000 Employee’s Stock Option Plan, or the 2000 Plan. The terms of the 2005 Plan, the 2003 Plan and the 2000 Plan are substantially similar. The purpose of the plans is to attract and retain the best available personnel for positions of substantial responsibility, to provide additional incentive to employees, officers and directors and to promote the success of our business. Our board of directors believes that our company’s long-term success is dependent upon our ability to attract and retain superior individuals who, by virtue of their ability and qualifications, make important contributions to our business.

 

As of February 28, 2013, the 2005 Plan, the 2003 Plan and the 2000 Plan have all terminated and there were 824,941 options issued and outstanding under the 2005 Plan. Under the 2007 Plan, the maximum aggregate number of ordinary shares which may be issued pursuant to awards was 5,000,000 as of the first business day of 2011, with annual increases of 1,000,000 ordinary shares on the first business day of each subsequent calendar year until the termination of the plan. Under the 2007 Plan, 3,770,223 options and 788,458 restricted share units were issued and outstanding as of February 28, 2013.

 

On November 17, 2008, our board of directors amended our 2007 Plan. The main substantive amendments relate to the addition of provisions that explicitly allow us to adjust the exercise price per share of an option under the plan.

 

In February 2009, our board of directors approved to reduce the exercise price of all outstanding unvested options that were granted by us in 2007 and 2008 under our 2007 Plan to the then fair market value of our ordinary shares underlying such options. The then fair market value was based on the closing price of our ADSs traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market as of February 10, 2009, which was the last trading day prior to the board approval. In addition, our board of directors approved to change the vesting commencement date of these unvested options to February 10, 2009 with a new vesting period. Other terms of the option grants remain unchanged. All option grantees affected by such changes have entered into amendments to their original share option agreements with us.

 

In December 2009, our board of directors approved to extend the expiration dates of all stock options granted in 2005 and 2006 to eight years after the respective original grant dates of these options.

 

In February 2010, our compensation committee approved an option modification to extend the expiration dates of all stock options granted in and after 2007 to eight years after the respective original grant dates of these options.

 

In January 2012, the compensation committee approved an option conversion, which allows all options granted under 2007 incentive plan with exercise price exceeding US$120.00 per ordinary share, to be converted to restrict share unit (RSU) on a 4:1 ratio.

 

The following table summarizes, as of February 28, 2013, the outstanding options granted under our 2005 and 2007 Plans to the individual executive officers and directors named below, and to the other optionees in the aggregate. The table gives effect to the amendments described above.

 

56



Table of Contents

 

 

 

 

Ordinary Shares
Underlying Options
Granted

 

Exercise Price
(US$/Share)

 

Date of Grant

 

Date of Expiration

 

James Jianzhang Liang

 

16,667

 

58.39

 

February 13, 2007