Airbnb is shutting down its home businesses in China, sources say

Airbnb is shutting down its domestic businesses in China, according to two sources familiar with the matter. The company plans to tell the country’s employees as early as Tuesday morning in Beijing.

All mainland China listings – homes and experiences – will be removed by this summer.

Airbnb formally launched its mainland China business in 2016 and faced growing competition from domestic operators. Sources say the segment was already expensive and complex to manage. The pandemic has made these problems worse and increased their impact.

Despite branding in the country and Airbnb co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk leading the efforts, stays in China on the platform have accounted for around 1% of revenue in recent years.

Sources say Chinese outbound travel has been a bigger opportunity for Airbnb, and the company will once again focus on providing ads for Chinese travelers going overseas. A source says the overlap between Airbnb’s outbound and home businesses wasn’t strong. Airbnb will maintain an office in Beijing with hundreds of employees, according to a source.

The company’s shares fell more than 30% this year due to a larger sell-off in tech stocks, but it is still trading well above the 2020 IPO price of $ 68. Airbnb struggled in the early days of the pandemic. covid, firing about 25% of the staff in May 2020, then went public in November of the same year. In its IPO prospectus, the company said hosts in China used a separate cleaning program to prevent transmission of covids compared to the five-step uniform cleaning process implemented in the rest of the world.

Business bounced back when people started traveling again and the company saw a long-term rental increase this year thanks to the flexible ways of working that many employers have implemented during the pandemic. However, China’s business recovery has been much slower, as the country has periodically stalled to fight off successive waves of infection.

Airbnb declined to comment.