The announcement, which was made through the company’s official WeChat account, did not explain the reason for the company’s decision to leave China. It did, however, specify that Chinese users will still be able to use its platform to book homes and experiences in other countries.
“We have made the difficult decision to refocus our efforts in China on outbound travel and suspend our homes and Experiences of Hosts in China, starting from July 30, 2022,” Nathan Blecharczyk, co-founder of Airbnb, said.
China is estimated to account for nearly 150,000 out of the six million listings on Airbnb’s platform. In recent years, China has represented nearly 1% of the company’s business globally.
According to a source close to the company, the move came as a result of increasing costs and regulatory complexities associated with operating in the country, which have become particularly problematic since the start of the pandemic.
These challenges have also led other companies, including Alphabet, Yahoo, LinkedIn, and Meta, to shut their businesses in China.
Airbnb’s departure comes 14 years after the company began offering services in the country, leaving room for Chinese rivals Tujia and Xiaozhu to take over its business.