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Airbnb In China: The Company Leaves The Giant Asian Country This Summer
Booking an Airbnb in China won’t be an accommodation option for travelers in the country anymore. The online platform where people can list or rent properties for short-term use announced it will be removing all 150,000 of its listings in China from July 30, the vacation-rental company announced on Tuesday.
“We have made the difficult decision to refocus our efforts in China on outbound travel and suspend our homes and Experiences of Hosts in China, starting from July 30, 2022,” Airbnb co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk wrote in a letter posted on Airbnb’s official WeChat account.
Airbnb made the decision because of a decline in business in the Asian giant economy due to its two years of lockdowns along with recent announcements of new lockdowns, a source told CNN. The company evaluates, according to the source, that this situation makes its business operations in China “costly and complex”.
The same person also said that Airbnb (ABNB) will maintain its office in Beijing with hundreds of employees who will focus on outbound travelers and global projects.
The US media outlet reveals that many global companies established in China are doing the same. They are feeling a slowdown in China as it continues to be one of the last places on Earth pursuing a “zero Covid” policy. Many of those companies say that the Chinese government’s decision causes negative impacts on the economy and hit hard several sectors in the country.
China’s ‘zero-covid’ policy helped the country to control the pandemic, according to Chinese authorities. However, with the highly contagious omicron variant in China since March, lockdowns in many cities are back.
Considered the world’s biggest market for outbound tourism, accounting for the largest visitor spend globally, China has always been a very important country for Airbnb’s strategic business. The company started its operations in China in 2016.
However, with the pandemic, China has experienced a drop in domestic tourism and has also been closed to most international travelers, which are the main source of Airbnb’s revenue in China. Domestic business, which has accommodated some 25 million guests since 2016, only accounted for 1% of the company’s revenue over the last few years, the source told CNN.