The assumed reasons for the resignation of Airbnb’s China head, Ge Hong, may not be why he actually left, as suggestions that staff impropriety may be the reason. Chinese sources and The Information are reporting that the reason was in fact that Ge was pushed out for having a relationship with a female employee.
Earlier this week we reported on Ge Hong’s departure after just four months in his new role. Airbnb did not give any reasons. However, an account by WeChat channel Guixingren (硅星人) claims that the reasons assumed for Ge’s departure—the difficulties Airbnb is facing in China, the US HQ being lazy or restrictive, the company’s poor service or even the reaction to the company’s new Chinese name—may not be the case. Guxingren claims to have had it verified that the reason was in fact that members of the Chinese team have been accused of “moral failings” including an alleged relationship with an employee.
US-based tech news site The Information also claims to have spoken to someone “briefed on the decision”. According to The Information, “The company found that his relationship with a female Airbnb employee violated the company’s code of ethics and hurt the office culture in Beijing, the person said. The exact nature of the relationship was unclear.”
This development could mean that some of the assumed problems may not be as severe as thought.