Airbnb to take down its listings in China
Airbnb will remove all Chinese homes and experiences from its platform by mid-summer, a source familiar with the situation tells Axios.
Why it matters: Airbnb’s exit from China, first reported by CNBC, is another example of a U.S. company finding the costs and risks of operating in the Chinese market as outweighing the benefits.
- Microsoft, which makes less than 2% of its revenue from its business in China, shut down a local version of its LinkedIn app late last year amid censorship pressure.
State of play: Since officially launching China-based listings in 2016, Airbnb has failed to gain popularity.
- Stays at Airbnb accommodations in China have accounted for about 1% of revenue for the past few years, according to the source.
- Continuing lockdowns in the country due to COVID have also made it difficult to forecast demand for travel into and around the country for the foreseeable future.
- Over the past year, Airbnb has also faced scrutiny for promoting tourism in Xinjiang, where the U.S. has declared genocide to be taking place.
What's next: Airbnb intends to maintain an office in Beijing with employees focused on Chinese tourists traveling globally and other global projects, according to the source.
- An Airbnb spokesperson declined to comment.
The big picture: There is pent-up demand among Chinese tourists to travel outside the country as the pandemic wanes globally, McKinsey noted earlier this year.
- The opportunity to capture that specific demand has now become the bigger priority for Airbnb than trips inside the country, according to the source familiar with the matter.