CHINA VOICES | The messy story of Airbnb China

The following is an abridged translation of an unsigned article. How Airbnb found its way in China: Drama and executive power shuffles Latepost October 9, 2019 Outline 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.…

Briefing: Airbnb rival Xiaozhu to test facial recognition-enabled smart lock

Chinese home sharing site Xiaozhu to roll out facial recognition-enabled smart locks in Chengdu pilot scheme-SCMP What happened: Chinese Airbnb rival Xiaozhu is planning to introduce facial recognition-enabled smart locks in 80% of its listings in the southwest Chinese city of Chengdu, aiming to improve the security of users. Xiaozhu is equipping more apartments with smoke detectors, gas alarms,…

Airbnb’s latest challenge is coming from Taiwan

The concept of home-sharing was popularized by Airbnb and the like nearly a decade ago. Despite the rise of the maturing sharing economy, short-term rental services are still grappling with regulations all over the world. The controversy is global. Conversations about legalizing Airbnb have sprouted up in the US, Canada, Australia and European countries including Germany, the Netherlands, and…

Airbnb China notifies hosts they may begin sharing their information with the government

Airbnb hosts with a listing in China were notified by Airbnb China by email that their information could be shared with Chinese government agencies without further notice starting from 30 March 2018. Airbnb China explained that this was necessary for complying with local laws and regulations. A big “deactivate my China listing” button was included should hosts want to remove their listing. The…

Shanda Group-backed Malaysian company NIDA aims to be Airbnb for economy hotels

Chinese conglomerate Shanda Group invested $5.6 million Series A in Malaysian startup NIDA on February 2017 in order to further tap into Southeast Asia regions, the next booming travel destination for Chinese tourists. In fact, Southeast Asian countries remain top destinations for Chinese outbound tourists. Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines are among the 10…

China’s Airbnb equivalent Xiaozhu raises $120m in funding

Chinese peer-to-peer home rental platform Xiaozhu announced Wednesday that it has received $120m in the latest financing round. The firm said vaguely in the statement that the current round has bumped the startup to unicorn status, which means the valuation of this round would be around $1 billion or higher. Yunfeng Capital, the VC firm backed by Alibaba chairman Jack Ma and Target Media founder…

Inappropriate relationship with an employee may be the reason behind Airbnb China head’s resignation

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…

Airbnb’s China head Ge Hong leaves after four-month tenure

US home rental giant Airbnb announced today that its China head Ge Hong is leaving the company. The firm didn’t disclose the reasons for his departure. The company’s co-founder and chief strategy officer Nathan Blecharczyk is going to take his place. Ge Hong (L) VS Nathan Blecharczyk (R)Ge was appointed as vice president and China head of Airbnb this April. Along with his appointment comes…

China’s Airbnb rival Tujia receives $300 million for online unit

It seems that China’s online travel and accommodation industry is still feeling the heat from the Golden Week. China’s home rental unicorn Tujia.com, often dubbed the Airbnb of China, announced today that it just completed a $300 million Series E for its online arm at a valuation of over $1.5 billion. The current round marks the first independent financing for Tujia’s online unit since the…

Airbnb expands its Beijing tech team to target China’s millennials

Airbnb is planning to quadruple its engineering team in China, hoping to tap into the country’s young and travel-hungry demographic, reports Bloomberg. The world’s fourth largest startup in 2017 is showing no signs of slowing down its expansion in China. After appointing a Chinese chief, Hong Ge, to run operations in the world’s second largest economy, Airbnb now plans to ramp up its investment…