Airbnb Reportedly Shutting Down Listings In China
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Topline

Airbnb plans to shut down all its listings in China by this summer, following years of pandemic-related difficulties and increasing competition from Chinese businesses, CNBC reported Monday—even as the hospitality industry and Airbnb begin to bounce back.

Key Facts

The short-term vacation rental company will remove all listings for homes and activities in China, but will keep a Beijing office with hundreds of workers, CNBC reported, citing unnamed sources.

Airbnb stays in China have accounted for just 1% of the company’s revenue in recent years, but the company still plans to focus on booking stays in other countries for outbound travelers from China, CNBC reported.

Though the hospitality industry has begun to bounce back from Covid-19 as lockdowns end and Covid-19 concerns diminish, CNBC says Airbnb’s operations have been slow to recover in China, where the government’s strict “zero-Covid” policy has extended lockdowns.

Airbnb did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Key Background

Like much of the hospitality industry, Airbnb suffered due to lockdowns and hesitancy to travel during the first year of the pandemic. However, as the number of listings dropped, guests stayed far longer, the New York Times reported last year. This trend has continued even as the pandemic wanes, with the number of long-term Airbnb stays hitting an all-time high during the first quarter of 2022, more than doubling since the first quarter of 2019, the company said. International bookings have already returned to pre-pandemic levels, the company says.

Tangent

Though some renters using the Airbnb platform lost revenue during the pandemic, many found that the value of their homes increased over the same period. Median home sale prices have leapt by 37% over the last two years to $428,700, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Further Reading

“Airbnb is closing its domestic business in China, sources say” (CNBC)

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