SkyTeam has a dominant position in China with 4 of China’s airlines.
Star Alliance has Air China and Shenzhen Airlines. OneWorld has none unless you count Cathay Pacific.
Ok, I don’t want to get into a Taiwan debate, so for the record, SkyTeam has China Airlines and Star Alliance has Eva.
Delta loves state-subsidized airlines that it owns a stake or partners with and following last year’s investment in China Eastern, new in 2016 we get improved SkyMiles earning of miles, MQMs and MQDs on China Eastern. Compare the before and after here. This is not new news, but I had not yet posted it.
In recent years I had pushed my China domestic flights to Air China, where possible, because of better earning with United. This brings it closer to parity.
Awards on China Eastern are still limited value because of huge fuel surcharges on international flights, while cash rates for domestic flights make awards hard to justify.
Shanghai Pudong has a long way to go to be the Asia hub Delta wants. Flights are frequently, massively delayed due to air traffic control (military exercises, etc) and weather. International transfers are a pain requiring passing port of first entry style through immigration, baggage collection, re-check-in at departures level, and departure immigration, even when connecting in the same terminal. And many domestic flights are at Shanghai Hongqiao, a minimum 1-hour, with no traffic, away, and there usually is lots of traffic.
What we really need a way for Delta and Korean to kiss and make up. Does not seem likely.