Airbnb It will stop business operations In China According to a new report from Reuters And many other news outlets. The company will be officially closed in the country from July 30, Although Chinese customers will still be able to use the service for Overseas room rental.
“We’ve made the difficult decision to refocus our efforts in China on overseas travel and suspend our homes and host experiences in China, starting July 30, 2022,” Airbnb said in a WeChat post on Tuesday. by Reuters.
according to The New York Times. The company first started operating in China in 2016.
Oddly enough, the decision to exit the Chinese market has yet to be officially announced outside of the WeChat post, and when access was reached for comment late Monday, Christopher Nolte, Airbnb’s public affairs officer, declined to comment on the record of the exit from China.
The The Wall Street Journal Reports suggest that the reason for Airbnb’s departure from China can be attributed to both intense competition from local businesses and strict covid-19 lockdowns in the country, although the latter’s impact on leaving such a large market seems illogical. China has a population of 1.4 billion, and while the government shutdowns have been harsh, they have been local and relatively short for the vast majority of the population.
The most plausible explanation is that Airbnb simply cannot compete with apps that offer a variety of services through a single portal. For example, the Beijing-based magazine mentions Meituan, the so-called super app that does everything from food delivery to movie tickets. Meitunan also has a “residence market” that was rebranded in 2019 to take over directly with Airbnb. The name Meituan B&B makes the competition more clear.
WeChat and AliPay are two other super apps that are incredibly popular in China, providing a one stop shop for almost everything without visiting a standalone app like Airbnb.
Airbnb is not the only American brand that has been abandoned in the Chinese market recently. Urban Outfitters and Everlane left China in late 2021 after consumers decided that Chinese-made competitors were as good or better than their American counterparts.
As Reuters notes, other tech companies have also pulled out of China in recent years, including LinkedIn And Hey ho, although the decisions made by those companies likely have more to do with concerns about data sharing with the Chinese government. The US government even claimed in 2018 that China was using LinkedIn Recruitment of spies.
While some American companies are leaving China, others are coming forward in full force, such as Tesla, which recently opened a huge factory in Shanghai. But only time will tell whether companies like Tesla can cut it in China, as the company’s prominent CEO, billionaire Elon Musk, continues to embarrass himself on the world stage.