Airbnb rebrands and doubles investment in China
Airbnb said last week that it will be called Aibiying in China; the name translates to “welcome each other with love.” China accounts for 80,000 of Airbnb’s host listings, or about 2.7% of the company’s 3 million-plus listings worldwide.
As part of its rebranding effort, Airbnb will more than double its investment in China, and will more than triple its workforce there. In addition to engaging in a “major marketing campaign” during the next few months, Airbnb is improving translation capabilities and other features on its China website.
Additionally, Airbnb launched its first Trips initiative for China by debuting in-destination booking capabilities in Shanghai last week. Prospective guests can book Shanghai tours for local-led activities such as learning how to make miansu (dough figurines) and getting a behind-the-scenes look at traditional kun opera.
Airbnb, which was founded in 2008, entered China during the summer of 2015. Airbnb hosts have globally accommodated more than 5.3 million outbound Chinese guests, while China’s 80,000 listings have accommodated 1.6 million guest arrivals.
By boosting its China presence, Airbnb is ratcheting up its competition against China-based Tujia, the home-based accommodations service that was founded in 2011. HomeAway acquired about a 10% stake in Tujia 2012 (Expedia acquired HomeAway in 2015), and Tujia in 2015 received a $300 million round of funding that valued the company at more than $1 billion.