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HONG KONG (Reuters) – Co-working space startup WeWork Cos revealed plans on Thursday for a Chinese unit with the backing of China’s Hony Capital and Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp, as it seeks to benefit from booming demand for shared office space in the world’s second-largest economy.

SoftBank and Hony Capital, one of China’s largest private-equity firms, led a $500 million investment to set up WeWork China, which will use the funds to expand beyond current locations Beijing and Shanghai to at least five more large cities in the next six to 12 months, WeWork co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Adam Neumann said in an interview.

State-owned real estate developer Greenland Group and hospitality company Jin Jiang International (Holdings) Co Ltd – parent of Hong Kong-listed Shanghai Jin Jiang International Hotels Group – will also be part of the local unit, he said.

Reporting by Julie Zhu and Elzio Barreto; Editing by Christopher Cushing