Airbnb to close in China

Airbnb to close in China

Airbnb to close in China
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As the country’s zero-Covid policy, lockdowns, and travel restrictions persist, Airbnb is shutting down its operations in China permanently.

Airbnb informed its Chinese users on Tuesday that as of July 30, it will no longer accept any bookings for lodging or activities in China. According to screenshots of the Airbnb notification published throughout Chinese social media on Tuesday morning, the option to book for dates beyond July 29 was suspended. The Guardian received an error notice when trying to make reservations after that date from outside China.

According to a person acquainted with the decision, Airbnb’s domestic business in China is suffering as a result of China’s pandemic limitations, with little evidence that authorities want to work with the virus or open their borders.

The government has doubled down on its policy of eradicating Covid-19 as a surge of Omicron cases has swept across China. City-wide or localised lockdowns have been imposed in major cities such as Shanghai and Beijing, and there are broad travel restrictions between cities and provinces.

Since 2016, the lodging provider has been operating in China, with domestic listings all across the nation. According to the firm, over 25 million people have made reservations during that period, but it is costly and hard to run, and it confronts fierce local competition. According to the source, money from China-based stays accounts for about 1% of worldwide takings, and Covid-19 has exacerbated the problems and increased their impact.

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According to Pheonix News, a Chinese news agency, Airbnb will keep a Beijing office with “hundreds” of staff.

On the record, the corporation declined to say further.

On Tuesday, the story trended on China’s Weibo social media network, with many comments highlighting on how small of a market share Airbnb had even before the outbreak.

International travel is severely restricted for Chinese citizens, affecting the worldwide tourist sector. The number of Chinese tourists travelling abroad than quadrupled between 2010 and 2019, reaching 155 million.

However, as the rest of the globe reopens, Airbnb claims to have set a new record for bookings in the first quarter of this year, with more than 102 million reservations for lodging and activities.

In a letter to shareholders, Airbnb stated, “Guests are booking more than ever before.” “We see substantial sustained pent-up demand in the future.”

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The business claimed that while individuals were still booking stays away from cities and staying close to home, they were also returning to cities and doing cross-border travels.

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