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Airbnb tells China users personal data to be stored locally

Agencies | Updated: 2016-11-02 10:00

Airbnb tells China users personal data to be stored locally

A customer browses the site of US home-sharing giant Airbnb Inc on a tablet in Berlin. [Photo/Agencies]

US short-term rental company Airbnb Inc has told Chinese users that it will store their personal data. The firm said in an email sent to Chinese users on Tuesday that personal data will be "transferred to, stored, used and processed by Airbnb China... in accordance with Chinese laws and regulations."

The comments follow a blog post last week in which Airbnb announced the launch of a separate Chinese entity which will oversee the management of local data from next month.

Along with the launch of the new Chinese entity, Airbnb also announced a series of agreements with local city authorities, including Shenzhen, Chongqing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

Airbnb is not the only company to proactively move user data to local servers. Consumer electronics giant Apple began using servers provided by China Telecom Corp Ltd on Chinese soil from August 2014.

Airbnb saw a fivefold increase in outbound customers from China in 2015, making it one of the company's fastest-growing markets.

Airbnb is facing a handful of highly-funded rivals in the local Chinese market, including, which raised $300 million in August 2015, valuing the home-rental site at over $1 billion., often dubbed China's Airbnb clone, also raised fresh funding in the third quarter of 2015, taking in $60 million at a valuation of over $300 million.

That is small compared with the fund raising for Airbnb in September that give it a valuation of $30 billion.

Chinese short term rental services also include value added services, including Tujia's cleaning services for high-end listings.

Xiaozhu offers a service where users can have a staff member visit individual houses and offer tips for improving listings.

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