Airbnb eyes China’s market with new partnerships

To keep pace with the rapid growth of China's outbound tourism and the increasing needs of Chinese travellers, U.S.-based online home rental service platform Airbnb has inked two strategic partnerships to maximise the market potential.

The platform has teamed up with investment firms China Broadband Capital (CBC) and Sequoia China to find a CEO for its China operations and expand its presence in the world’s largest outbound market.

Brian Chesky, co-founder & CEO of Airbnb, said on a statement that the number of Chinese outbound travellers using its service has grown 700% in the past year alone.

He added the partnerships will help the company “continue to navigate the China market and create a truly localised presence”.

“As we move into our next phase of expansion in China, we know we will need deep local knowledge and expertise to keep this momentum going,” said Chesky.

In addition to CBC and Sequoia China, Airbnb is also working with a larger group of investors including Hillhouse Capital, Horizon Ventures and GGV Capital.

According to the World Tourism Organization, the total number of trips abroad from China reached 109 million in 2014 and Chinese travellers have been the world’s top spenders in international tourism since 2012.

Airbnb claims its global network of hosts has covered more than 191 countries.