Airbnb is gearing up for an expansion in China, one of the world’s fastest-growing travel markets, even as it fights hostile regulators at home in the US, Caixin reports. The San Francisco-based company, which operates an online platform for linking homeowners with travelers for short-term rentals, announced major changes to its Chinese operations in late October. They included creation of a new business entity, Airbnb China, to handle China-based bookings and listings beginning Dec. 7. By ramping up in China, Airbnb is diving into one of the fastest-growing sectors in the economy – travel – while taking on an increasingly competitive Chinese home-sharing industry, led by Tujia.com and Xiaozhu.com. Annual growth in China’s sharing economy will be about 40% over the next five years, and the sector will account for 10% of GDP by 2020, Airbnb said.
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