Airbnb ends rentals in China to focus on outbound tourists

BEIJING (AP) — Airbnb Inc. will stop listing homes and experiences in China this summer and will instead focus its business in the country on serving Chinese tourists looking for accommodation abroad, an official said Tuesday. responsible for the company on social networks.

Airbnb started listings in China in 2016, but they still accounted for only about 1% of the company’s revenue in recent years.

The San Francisco-based company has found Chinese operations expensive and complicated to manage, and the pandemic has made matters worse.

There was little overlap between Airbnb’s operations in China and catering for outbound travelers, which Airbnb hopes will limit the impact of the suspension of domestic offerings.

Airbnb joins a string of foreign internet companies, including Yahoo Inc. and eBay Inc., that pulled out of China after facing stiff local competition and regulatory hurdles.

“We have made the difficult decision to refocus our efforts in China on outbound travel and to suspend our homes and guest experiences in China, effective July 30, 2022,” said the Chief Strategy Officer. Airbnb China, Nathan Blecharczyk, in a statement. on his social media account.

Landlords represented by Airbnb have recorded more than 25 million guest arrivals since 2016, according to Blecharczyk’s statement.

The Chinese government has blocked foreign tourists from visiting since the pandemic hit in early 2020 and has told the Chinese public to avoid overseas trips that are not essential for business or study.

International airlines and other travel agencies that operate in China expect borders to reopen and travel for Chinese citizens to eventually resume, although the timing is unclear.

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