Airbnb to close its domestic business in mainland China from July 30th

Airbnb to close its domestic business in mainland China from July 30th

Airbnb, which has been struggling in China, recently revealed that it would stop taking bookings in the country from July 30th. It is the latest Western tech company to pull out of the China market.

In a statement, Nathan Blecharczyk, Airbnb's co-founder, said the company is planning to focus on outbound travel and the high cost of doing business in China given the COVID-19 pandemic has made it decide on its withdrawal from the country. He added that Chinese users would still be able to book experiences and listings outside the country.

The vacation rental firm did not provide a statement regarding its decision to stop operating in China, but its exit from the country is part of a broader trend among Western tech companies that have decided to pull out of the country due to censorship issues.

Several other major internet platforms, including Google and Facebook, also stopped providing services to end-users in China due to various factors. Some of these include operational difficulties and censorship.

Reliable sources confirmed that Airbnb would remove around 150,000 listings in China. Around 1% of the company's global revenue comes from stays in China as the country accounted for a small portion of Airbnb's overall business of 6 million listings in the world.

The company started offering services in China in 2015. It had also made efforts to expand its operations in the country by partnering with local platforms, such as Tencent's WeChat. Its main competitors in the country are Meituan, Tujia, and Xiaozhu.

Speaking of which, Meituan's subsidiary, Meituan Minsu, announced that it would create a special team to help its hosts place their listings on Airbnb. Tujia has also made a similar announcement.

Airbnb's shares rose 0.7% but have since retreated by 1.6% in post-market trading.

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Rashi Thakkar

Rashi Thakkar

Rashi started her journey in content when she was completing her MBA. Since then, she has helped well-known startups and businesses boost their online presence. Currently Rashi pens downs insightful articles for AlpenHornNews and various other websites, covering an array of sectors from finance and business to technology and healthcare.