Briefing: Zhejiang province to require user data from home-sharing platforms

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Chinese province asks home-sharing platforms to hand over guest and host information to authorities – SCMP

What happened: The eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang will require online home-sharing platforms, including Airbnb, to report owner and guest information to the province’s Public Security Department. The platforms will need to check, register, and report the identity of both parties, including the time the guest plans to arrive and leave the property. The policy will come into force on Jan. 1, 2019.

Why it’s important: The policy is the first of its kind in China and aims to bring players in the home-sharing industry under the same rules as those that apply to hotels.  It is estimated about 78 million Chinese hosts and guests will be affected by the changes. According to a government spokesperson, the lack of identity information from online home rentals brings “potential risks.” US-based home rental platform Airbnb began disclosing host information to the Chinese government in March.