According to two sources familiar with the situation, Airbnb is shutting down its domestic business in China. Employees in the country will be informed as early as Tuesday morning in Beijing, according to the company.
By the summer, all mainland Chinese listings, including homes and experiences, will be removed.
Airbnb began operating in mainland China in 2016, but has faced increasing competition from domestic players. According to sources, the segment was already expensive and difficult to run. The pandemic exacerbated these problems and amplified their impact.
Despite in-country branding and putting Airbnb cofounder Nathan Blecharczyk in charge of efforts, Airbnb stays in China have only accounted for about 1% of revenue in recent years.
According to sources, Chinese outbound travel has been a bigger opportunity for Airbnb, and the company will refocus on providing listings for Chinese tourists visiting other countries. According to one source, there was little overlap between Airbnb’s outbound and domestic businesses. According to one source, Airbnb will keep a large office in Beijing with hundreds of employees.