Online booking service Airbnb is closing domestic rentals in China, where lockdowns continue under a ‘zero Covid’ policy, reports Euronews television channel .
All advertisements from Chinese users will be removed from the company’s website by summer. For Airbnb, this is a small loss. In recent years, the rental of apartments and houses in China brought the company only 1% of its income.
Things are different with Middle Kingdom citizens traveling abroad. Before the pandemic, the number of Chinese travelers nearly tripled in less than a decade to reach 155 million in 2019, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization.
But since 2020, China has enforced some of the strictest health restrictions in the world, making travel to the country extremely difficult.
Airbnb opened its business in China in 2016. Since then, around 25 million customers have booked their stay through this online rental company. But there is evidence that domestic rental operations for travelers visiting China were complex and expensive even before the pandemic. Business has also been sluggish due to competition from local contractors.
Airbnb has also temporarily suspended work in Russia and Belarus and banned citizens of those countries from renting accommodation on its platform.