Airbnb Tripling Presence in China Focusing on Chinese Traveler
The new name Airbnb will have in China is Aibiying said the company on Wednesday, which translated to “welcome each other with love.”
The company has been listing in China dating back to 2013, but the company’s focus was outbound travelers that were coming from China.
However, now it has invested in increasing the travel in China by both citizens of China and other international visitors and expanding its offerings for the growing numbers of Chinese looking to explore the rest of the world.
The tourism and travel sector in China is projected to expand by 7% annually for the next decade. By 2026, the sector should represent 10% of the total economy of China and employ as many as 100 million people, according to a tourism industry organization.
Airbnb, based in San Francisco, has at this time 80,000 listings in China, which have received over 1.6 million visitors, according to company records.
The company is planning to triple its number of people working in China as well as add access around the clock for customer support for those who speak Mandarin. It is also launching a Trips service for Shanghai.
This gives the hosts and others the ability to offer outings that include both individual as well as small groups to experience an activity or area for visitors that they would not normally have access to.
Airbnb is working with different cities to help the visitors choose neighborhoods of interest to book lodging.
This is the most recent in a number of steps that Airbnb has taken to master the market in China. Three years ago it created a new partnership with e-commerce giant Alibaba so users of Airbnb could pay using Alipay, the online system for payments used by over 450 million people in China.
Alibaba entered into an agreement with Tencent to be built into WeChat that some have estimated to have over 700 million users with the most being in China but also across Asia.
Airbnb also has moved to keep its data in China related to its operations in China to comply with the new security digital law that goes into effect this summer.