Airbnb is expected to close its business operations in China amid the country’s harsh COVID-19 policies and local competition.
All of mainland China’s homes and experiences on the platform will be removed by this summer, a person familiar with the decision told The Hill. The company’s bookings and experiences in China accounted for roughly 1 percent of Airbnb’s overall revenue.
Airbnb, which has operated in China since 2016, will reportedly maintain an office of hundreds of employees in Beijing with a focus on Chinese travelers looking to go abroad, according to CNBC, which first reported the change.
But in China, the dominance of other apps that compete with the company coupled with COVID-19 policies that have stalled much of the travel industry made Airbnb decide maintaining its operations was simply not worth it, CNBC noted.
Earlier this month, Shanghai, one of China’s largest cities, announced that it had reached “zero-Covid at the community level” status, meaning no cases were detected outside of designated quarantine facilities or neighborhoods under harsh lockdown requirements.
But still, residents in the city feared continuing harsh lockdowns, which for weeks have complicated Shanghai residents’ efforts to get essentials such as food and medicine.
At the time, officials pledged to resume normal life promptly, though almost no private cars were on the streets and several residential compounds remained surrounded by tall fences.
Updated 9:55 p.m.