Vacation rental firm Airbnb Inc. will shut down all experiences and listings in mainland China from July 30, joining a lengthy list of Western internet firms that have opted out of the Chinese market.
The firm announced this on its official WeChat account without elaborating on the reasons behind the decision. The San Francisco-based Airbnb said Chinese users will still be allowed to book experiences and listings aboard.
Nathan Blecharczyk, the co-founder of Airbnb, wrote that they had made the difficult decision to refocus their efforts in China on outbound travel and suspend their homes and Experiences of Hosts in China, starting from July 30, 2022.
The Global Times newspaper, citing a source close to the firm, reported Airbnb had decided to shut the domestic business in China because it was too complex and costly to operate, further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Airbnb joins a long list of western internet firms, such as LinkedIn and Yahoo, to have exited China in the recent months in a sign of an internet decoupling of the world’s second-largest economy from the majority of the rest of the world.
It was reported that Airbnb would remove nearly 150,000 listings in China out of six million it had worldwide. The firm had made efforts to localize its services in China, including integration with Chinese platforms like WeChat.
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