Summary of Airbnb’s China Game Plan

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China is a challenge for Western tech companies. One by one, giants such as Facebook, Twitter, Google and Uber came and went. They all managed to create lucrative markets but were unable to hold onto them and were eventually ousted by complex government regulations and aggressive competitors. Airbnb, on the other hand, has been growing steadily since opening China operations in 2015 and is not showing signs of slowing down. In fact, China is becoming the company’s biggest market and an important experimental playground to test new product ideas. Having spoken to Airbnb co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk, TMTPost reporter Gao Mengyang provides a thorough overview of the company’s recent developments and plans for future growth. getAbstract highly recommends this case study to current and future travelers in China and to managers – especially in the tourism industry – who’d like to find out how to succeed in China.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why Airbnb is thriving in China when most other foreign tech companies aren’t,
  • What Airbnb China is planning for 2018, and
  • Why putting people and communities first is important.

About the Author

Gao Mengyang is a columnist at TMTPost reporting on travel, hospitality, ride-sharing and real estate.



Airbnb, the peer-to-peer housing rental service, has done exceptionally well in China. In 2017, it had more than 2.25 million active users domestically, representing 287% year-over-year growth. During the same period, the number of active rental listings doubled. Such growth is no easy feat in a country where foreign tech companies typically struggle to integrate locally. Skeptics questioned how Chinese traditions and customs would mesh with Airbnb’s unconventional model and how the company would navigate complex local government regulations.