Airbnb removes all listings in China – DW – 05/24/2022

Airbnb has announced the closure of all listings and experiences in mainland China, making it the latest in a long list of Western internet platforms that have shut down in the Chinese market.

“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 Nathan Blecharczyk, Chief Strategy Officer. of Airbnb China, in a press release. on his official WeChat account on Tuesday.

The short-term property rental service will now focus on Chinese tourists who want to make outbound travel reservations.

“Difficult” decision for the company

The US-based company joined a series of global internet companies, including Yahoo, LinkedIn and eBay, that pulled out of China in the face of intense local competition and significant regulatory hurdles.

“The decision wasn’t easy for us and I know it’s even harder for you,” Blecharczyk said, “We’ve built and grown a thriving host community in China together and have hosted over 25 million guests since 2016.”

The decision comes as the Chinese government pursues its controversial “Zero Covid” strategy, which includes a mandatory two-week quarantine for foreign travelers entering the country. The government has also urged the Chinese public to avoid overseas travel unless necessary for business or study amid the COVID-19 pandemic which was first reported in China in late 2019. .

China tightens COVID restrictions

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Airbnb is reportedly removing nearly 150,000 listings in China, which has accounted for about 1% of Airbnb’s business in recent years. Airbnb has around six million listings worldwide.

After entering the Chinese market in 2015, Airbnb took several steps to localize its services, including integrating with Chinese platforms like Tencent Holdings’ WeChat. However, he continued to face intense competition from local rivals like Tujia and Xiaozhu.

see/dj (AP, Reuters)

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