Airbnb Shuts Down Its Business in China, Removing 150,000 Listings

RBNB, a home rental company, plans to close its local business in China, a further indication of Internet decoupling between China and much of the rest of the world.

RBNB, which has been operating in China since 2016, is retreating from the country after struggling to compete with local “super apps” that charge lower fees and lower average per night than other regions, said a person familiar with the situation. The epidemic exacerbated RBNB’s business difficulties, the person said, because China’s “zero-covid” policy has sent millions into severe lockdown.

The RBNB move highlights the growing divide between China’s Internet and the rest of the world. Many US Internet companies have left China after Beijing’s domestic businesses, the use of censorship and other demands from companies. LinkedIn, the only remaining US social network to operate in China, pulled out of the country in October, citing a lack of success in its social media and information facilities. RBNB is the last remaining US Internet company in China.

The San Francisco-based RBNB will continue to run a business serving Chinese tourists traveling outside of China, said a person familiar with the situation. It will keep its Beijing office open with several hundred employees, the person added.

As part of its retreat, Airbnb will remove about 150,000 listings in China from six million worldwide. In recent years the country’s share of RBNB’s business has been about 1 per cent, the person said.

RBNB generated revenue of $ 6 billion last year, up 77 per cent from a year earlier. Like many tech companies announced in recent years, it is under pressure to turn a profit. RBNB’s stock has fallen 34 per cent between wide routes this year, though tourism has risen and demand for travel services has risen.

CNBC had earlier reported RBNB’s decision.

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