Covid-19 sanctions, local competition forced ARBNB to close business in China

Following a series of cowardly-inspired lockdowns in the country, the house rental service RBNB is shutting down its services in China. According to a BBC report, in the last few years, only one per cent of RBNB’s revenue has come after home stay in China. The report also added that by the summer, all lists for homes and experiences in the country will be removed from the company’s website.

The San Francisco-based company first started its business in China six years ago and booked home stays in the country for about 25 million guests. Before the epidemic, the number of Chinese tourists traveling abroad had tripled in less than a decade. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, this figure has reached 155 million trips in 2019. However, since 2020, China has had some of the toughest COVID restrictions in the world, making travel in and around the country extremely difficult.

This year it became even clearer when mainland China erupted the worst Covid-19 in its two years. In early March, for more than three weeks, the number of COVID-19 cases with symptoms in mainland China was over 1,000 per day and touched regions across the country. The number of asymptomatic cases was much higher, CNBC reported.

Airbnb, in 2017, renamed the Chinese operation Aibiying, which was easier to pronounce for Mandarin speakers. There was also an attempt to expand services.

However, the recent decline in tourism has forced ARBNB to shut down its services in China. The BBC reports that local fares for tourists visiting China were complicated and expensive to operate even before the epidemic. The report added that guest details were sent to the Chinese government in accordance with local laws and regulations and that the company was facing strong competition from native Chinese home-rental platforms.

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