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Trade War, Slowing Economy Test China’s Biggest Travel Site

Photo: Ctrip CEO Jane Jie Sun

Ctrip.com, China’s biggest travel and hotel booking website, is getting pummeled by investors. After forecasting earlier this month that profits could fall to zero next quarter and warning it couldn’t predict next year because of the slowing pace of economic growth amid a trade war, shares of the New York–listed stock fell 19%. It now trades at about half its 52-week high, joining a growing list of Chinese stocks getting hit amid a broader decline in the tech sector. The big question: Will the Chinese continue spending as much money on travel?

In an interview with The Information, Ctrip’s chief executive, Jane Jie Sun, acknowledged that the company had felt the pinch from China’s slowdown, but said she remains upbeat about the company’s long-term prospects. In a wide-ranging discussion last month, Ms. Sun, who joined Ctrip as CFO in 2005, discussed how the company wants to tap China’s rising middle class while continuing to expand overseas. She also left the door open to taking the company private.

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