Airbnb will close its domestic business in China this year, removing all listings by the summer and retreating after a years-long push to crack the difficult market. A source familiar with the company’s plans confirmed Airbnb would continue to run a large office in Beijing, but that it would deal exclusively with outbound travel—the lucrative business of facilitating trips overseas, reports the Financial Times.
Chinese tourists spend vastly more money on international travel than those from any other country, according to statistics from the UN’s World Tourism Organization, which said the country’s tourists accounted for $255 billion in 2019, compared with $135 billion for those from the US.
Since launching its business on the Chinese mainland in 2016, Airbnb has registered about 25 million stays in the country. Bookings within the country—including foreigners travelling into China—have generally accounted for about 1% of Airbnb’s overall revenue, the person said.