Airbnb is adopting the name “Aibiying” (‘爱彼迎) for its Chinese market, which means “welcome each other with love,” as it doubles investment in the country and triples its local workforce, having doubled its listings in the country to 80,000 in 2016.
Last valued at more than USD 30 billion, the company is accelerating its drive into Asia after recently turning profitable. The company has now raised more than USD 3bn to expand its business around the world.
The Chinese market, however, is dominated by local product Tujia, which lists more than 450,000 homes and is constantly adding more. Its backers include Ctrip — the world’s second largest online travel agency — and HomeAway.
Although smart partnerships by Airbnb – including with Alibaba Group’s Alipay and Tencent Holdings Ltd for messaging app WeChat and local governments such as Shenzhen – has put the US company in a strong position.
It also has a better global offering for the China outbound market, which Airbnb estimates grew 142% last year.