Airbnb to End Domestic Listings in China, Citing Cost, Competition

Airbnb won’t be going forward with its domestic listings in China, CNBC wrote Monday (May 23), citing costs and competition.

The Chinese version of the popular vacation rental site was rolled out in 2016. Since then it has had competition from domestic players as well as being generally expensive and complicated to work with.

The pandemic only exacerbated the trends — early on, as people had to hunker down at home for several months, Airbnb’s business went on a downward spiral before recovering months later as people began venturing out.

The report notes that the outbound travel in China was a bigger opportunity for Airbnb. Because of that, the company wants to do more work giving Chinese travelers listings for when they go abroad. It will maintain a Beijing office, the report said.

CNBC also reports that there wasn’t really an overlap between Airbnb’s outbound and domestic businesses.

The company has taken some hits this year, with the report saying shares have fallen over 30% due to a larger sell-off in tech stocks. However it is still trading well above its 2020 IPO price of $68.

See also: NYC Has More Airbnb, Vrbo Rentals Than Apartments

Airbnb is doing well in the U.S., though, with the number of rentals with the site and competitors in New York City now higher than the number of available apartments to actually rent, PYMNTS wrote — a condition that has further emaciated the housing market there.

The total number of active short-term rentals from Airbnb and Vrbo, which is owned by Expedia Group, is now over 22,000, while rental inventory was just around 7,500, according to the report from third-party data tracker AirDNA.

Airbnb’s business model has brought it under fire from critics in the past, who say the company is geared to make homes unaffordable while at the same time encouraging tourism.

Airbnb operates more in urban markets while competitor Vrbo lists more vacation homes.