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Airbnb to double staff in China

By Zheng Xin in Guangzhou | China Daily | Updated: 2017-12-07 08:18
Nathan Blecharczyk, co-founder, chief strategy officer and chairman of Airbnb China. [Photo/VCG]

Airbnb Inc, a US-based home-sharing service provider, has pledged to double its investment in China next year, while also doubling its size of local workforce in the country to expand its presence in more domestic cities.

"China is an incredibly important destination for Airbnb globally," said Nathan Blecharczyk, co-founder and chairman of Airbnb China.

"It has been proven in the past few decades that China has a stable growth environment and we believe that China's domestic policy and operating environment is firm and positive, and that this environment will contribute to economic growth."

"We have confidence in the future development of Airbnb in China," he added.

He said China is expected to be the top origin market for Airbnb globally by 2020.

Airbnb currently has 140,000 active listings in China. As of the beginning of August 2017, there have been more than 2.25 million guest arrivals at Airbnb listings in China, an increase of 287 percent year-on-year, according to the company.

Airbnb said it would continue expanding its presence in more Chinese cities through increased local hiring, deeper commitments to quality listings and continued partnerships with local governments.

The company plans to broaden its customer support operations within China, hiring 150 staff including a China customer service leader based in Beijing next year, while further investing in customer service coverage across the social platforms most important in China, such as WeChat and Weibo.

Airbnb will open operations in key cities and regions including Shanghai, Sichuan and Guangdong provinces in 2018, hiring more Chinese employees, and expanding its presence to more Chinese cities through continued partnerships with local governments in the future, said Blecharczyk.

Airbnb has already formed partnerships with numerous Chinese cities so far by signing agreements with Shanghai's Pudong district, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Guilin.

By providing training programs and encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship, Airbnb helps them benefit from the sharing economy through local tourism development and cultural communication, he said.

"China is undoubtedly a leader in the sharing economy, which is closely integrated with the digital economy and undoubtedly one of the key innovations in recent years."

"Airbnb in China hopes to play a bigger role in the partnership between the digital economy and people-to-people exchanges and we are continuing to localize our products and services to better serve our users here."

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