Airbnb is closing its domestic business in China, with all 150,000 Chinese mainland listings – homes and experiences – to be taken down by this summer, reports CNBC.
Airbnb launched its Chinese mainland business in 2016, and renamed its Chinese operation Aibiying 爱彼迎 – meaning to 'welcome each other with love.'
However, the platform faced mounting competition from domestic players, with the COVID-19 pandemic only adding to the company's woes; stays in China accounted for just 1% of Airbnb's revenue in recent years.
Airbnb will still maintain an office in Beijing, according to CNBC sources, with the company refocusing on providing listings for Chinese travelers going abroad to other destinations.
Before the pandemic, Chinese travelers heading abroad had tripled in less than a decade, reaching 155 million journeys in 2019, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization.
With China's 'zero-COVID' policy still very much in place, however, quite when Chinese nationals will be able to travel abroad as simply as before remains to be seen.
[Cover image via Wiki]