Airbnb Works with Alibaba and Meituan's Units for Smooth Business Shift in China

Airbnb China last month announced to exit to the domestic business and shift focus to outbound tourism amid "challenges from the pandemic".

BEIJING, June 3 (TMTPOST)— Airbnb is working with some rivals in China to facilitate its latest business shift plan in the world’s second largest economy.

Source: Visual China

In a statement Friday, Airbnb China said it has opened one-click assesses to many homestay and rental platforms for homeowners and rental listings to transfer their personal information and property details conveniently, as part of efforts for help homeowners’ smooth transition and long-term development. In particular, the homestay booking giant has settled partnerships for the transfer with Fliggy, the travel service platform under e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, Meituan Minsu, a vacation rental unit of China’s largest food delivery company Meituan, and Tujia, a short-term lodging rental platform launched in 2011.

Homeowners in mainland China on Airbnb platform can apply for transfer with Airbnb app by July 25, 2022, and when obtaining applicants’ authorization, the company will help them move the homeowner’s information including their names, phone numbers, the Superhost status, host ratings, as well as information related to rental property such as the location, profiles, pictures, amenities and servicers, certificates, reviews to other platforms, according to the statement. Moreover, Airbnb’s partners will offer qualified hosts or rental properties various subsidies from traffic privileges to cash coupons.

This recent move suggests Airbnb moves closer to exit to China’s domestic travel business after more than five years’ operation. Last month, the company announced to refocus on outbound travel and suspend its homes and Experiences of Hosts in China amid “challenges from the pandemic”, starting from from July 30, 2022, suggesting its users would no longer have access to homestay booking in the country from the end of July. Airbnb said it would shift focus to outbound tourism, as the domestic tourism business has been facing challenges including high operation costs. Since the business adjustment is set to affect homesharing hosts in China, Airbnb promised to provide information and service support for hosts through multiple channels, including service fee waivers for domestic booking of listings. Prior to the announcement, CNBC cited sources that Airbnb decided to take down all mainland Chinese listings by this summer and noted stays in China just account for about 1% of the company’s overall revenue for the past few years.  

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