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Airbnb ends rentals in China to focus on outbound tourists

BEIJING (AP) – Airbnb Inc announced yesterday it will stop representing short-term rental properties in China and focus its business in the country on serving Chinese tourists looking for lodgings abroad.

Airbnb joins a series of foreign Internet companies including Yahoo Inc and eBay Inc that pulled out of China after running into fierce local competition and regulatory barriers.

“We have made the difficult decision to refocus our efforts in China on outbound travel and suspend our homes and Experiences of Hosts in China, starting from July 30, 2022,” said the Chief Strategy Officer of Airbnb China, Nathan Blecharczyk, in a statement on its social media account. Landlords represented by Airbnb have had more than 25 million guest arrivals since 2016, according to Blecharczyk’s statement.

The Chinese government has blocked foreign tourists from visiting since the pandemic hit in early 2020 and has told the Chinese public to avoid foreign travel that isn’t essential for business or study.

Home rental service Airbnb is shutting down its business in China as a pandemic lockdown shows no sign of ending there, a source close to the company told AFP. PHOTO: AFP