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Airbnb will shut down its listings in China following two years of restrictions in the nation “with no end in sight.”
According to a person familiar with the situation, the home-sharing company took the decision due to a drop in business in the world’s second largest economy, as well as “costly and difficult” operational constraints exacerbated by the impact of Covid-19. Airbnb will stop listing and offering hosted experiences in China starting this summer.
According to the source, Airbnb (ABNB) will continue to operate in the country. The company will maintain a Beijing office with hundreds of staff focusing on outbound tourists and worldwide projects.
Multinational corporations are experiencing a slowdown in China, which remains one of the last areas on the planet to pursue a “zero Covid” policy. Hundreds of cities across mainland China have been shut down in recent weeks as officials attempt to eradicate the coronavirus.
From Big Tech to consumer products, this approach has harmed the economy and disrupted practically every major line of business. International brands such as Apple (AAPL) and Estee Lauder (EL) have issued financial warnings about the limits.
In 2016, Airbnb began in China. Outbound travel by Chinese clients, mostly to other places in the Asia Pacific area, was a key opportunity for the company, as it was for the rest of the industry.
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That’s because, according to the World Travel Organization, China has historically been the world’s largest market for outbound tourism, accounting for the largest visitor spend globally.
However, since the outbreak, China’s traffic has plummeted and it has been closed to most international passengers.
According to the source, once China’s borders are fully opened, outbound tourism from the country is expected to resume.
Meanwhile, according to the individual, Airbnb’s domestic business, which has hosted more than 25 million guests since 2016, has only contributed 1% of the company’s earnings in recent years.