CHINA VOICES | The messy story of Airbnb China

6 min read

The following is an abridged translation of an unsigned article.
How Airbnb found its way in China: Drama and executive power shuffles

October 9, 2019
Just as Airbnb announces its 2020 IPO ambition, it is going through the biggest personnel shake-up in China since its entry into the market.

China’s guesthouse market was worth RMB 20 billion (about $2.8 billion) in 2018. Airbnb may be one of the big players but it’s not number one. According to Trustdata, its penetration rate for Q1 2019 ranked third at 36%, behind Tujia at 69% and Meituan’s Zhenguo at 43%.

After four years in China, Airbnb China is now a 400-strong company. And until now, the struggle for the right leader for greater China has been incessant.

In June 2017, Ge Hong became China CEO, lasting just four months. He was followed by another year of vacancy.

In September 2018, the local entrepreneur Peng Tao arrived on the scene. This was the third of three power shuffles at Airbnb China. With each leadership change, the

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