From July 30 onwards, the company said it will shut down all listings and experiences in mainland China, joining a long list of Western internet platforms that have opted out of the China market.
The company posted a letter to its official WeChat account, addressed to Chinese users, without elaborating on the reasons behind the decision. Chinese users would still be allowed to book listings and experiences abroad, according to the San Francisco-based company.
Starting from July 30, 2022, Nathan Blecharczyk, co-founder of Airbnb, wrote in the letter that they decided to refocus their efforts in China on outbound travel and suspend their homes and experiences of hosts in China.
Aribnb joins a long line of Western internet firms such as LinkedIn and Yahoo that have retreated from China, in a sign of the internet decoupling of the world's second-largest economy and much of the rest of the world.
Almost all major Western internet platforms, including Alphabet s Google and Meta s Facebook, have ceased to provide services to end users in mainland China, citing issues ranging from censorship to operation difficulties in the country.
Blecharczyk said the decision was difficult and he was proud of what Airbnb had achieved in China.
The decision was not easy for us and I know that it is even more difficult for you, he said. Since 2016 we have welcomed more than 25 million guest arrivals and built and grown a thriving Host community in China together. As part of its retreat, Airbnb would remove 150,000 listings in China, out of six million it had around the world, according to the New York Times. In the last couple of years, stays in China have accounted for about 1 percent of Airbnb's business, according to the reports.
In 2008, Airbnb started providing services in mainland China in 2015. It had tried to localize its services, including integrating with Chinese platforms like Tencent Holdings WeChat.