Airbnb Abandons China

Issue 124

Airbnb is closing its domestic business in China, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The company is planning to tell employees in the country as early as Tuesday morning in Beijing.

All mainland Chinese listings — homes and experiences — will be taken down by this summer.

Airbnb formally launched its mainland China business in 2016 and has faced mounting competition from domestic players. Sources say that the segment was already costly and complex to operate. The pandemic worsened these issues and heightened their impact.

Despite in-country branding and putting Airbnb co-founder, Nathan Blecharczyk, at the head of efforts, stays in China on the platform have accounted for approximately 1% of revenue for the last few years.

Sources say Chinese outbound travel has been a bigger opportunity for Airbnb and the company will refocus on providing listings for Chinese travelers going abroad. One source says the overlap between Airbnb’s outbound and domestic businesses was not strong. Airbnb will maintain an office in Beijing with hundreds of employees

Source: CNBC