Web: Airbnb targets booming China demand

August 2015 by: From The Web

Home-sharing startup Airbnb is gearing up for a deeper push into the booming market of Chinese travelers.


Airbnb has forged a partnership with investment firms Sequoia China and China Broadband Capital, which contributed to a $1.5 billion investment this summer, to find a chief executive officer for its China operations and widen its foothold in the world’s most populous country.


“The last year and a half has really been us dipping our toe in the water, learning about the culture, trying to even validate, ‘Would the Chinese people even want to use Airbnb?’” Airbnb Chief Executive Officer Brian Chesky said in an interview at the startup’s San Francisco headquarters. “Now we’re getting really serious.”


Chinese travelers took 109 million trips last year, up 11 percent from a year earlier, and have been the world’s top spenders in international tourism since 2012, according to the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization. The country has been difficult for U.S. technology companies to navigate, with Facebook Inc. and Google Inc. among those that have faltered.

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