150,000 Airbnb Homes in China, on Track to be Largest Market in 2020

Nathan Blecharczyk, co-founder and chief technology officer of Airbnb Inc., reacts during a Bloomberg Television interview in Singapore. Photographer: Sam Kang Li/Bloomberg

Nathan Blecharczyk, co-founder and chief strategy officer of Airbnb, made his first media appearance since he was appointed president of Airbnb China.

Airbnb has 150,000 listings in China and aims to make China Airbnb’s largest market in the world by 2020, he said.

Blecharczyk said rapid growth in China’s outbound tourism market is an opportunity to increase Airbnb’s global listings. There are 8.6 million Chinese travelers using Airbnb’s service, and half are millennials. Half of all Asian travelers using Airbnb come from China. Airbnb’s goal is to make China the largest Airbnb market by 2020.

In terms of domestic travel, he said the housing supply in China’s market has reached 150,000 houses, up by 100 percent. The number of Chinese Airbnb users reached 2.25 million, up by 287 percent. Shanghai is one of the most popular cities with 20,000 listings, 600,000 tenants and 80 experience programs.

Left: Nathan Blecharczyk, co-founder and chief strategy officer of Airbnb, president of Airbnb China

Blecharczyk said future strategies for the Chinese market would focus on three principles: quality, service and collaboration.

On quality, an audit of online listings will be conducted to make sure homes meet Airbnb’s threshold; on optimization of housing supply, offline on-site inspection will be implemented to support special recommendations of high-quality houses; on education, Airbnb will also launch mentorship for homeowners at the community level, such as matching a new landlord and an old landlord, strengthening its training of the homeowners and conducting online learning projects; on celebration, Airbnb will organize a carnival to reward active landlords.

On services, Airbnb will set up local customer service centers in China using telephone, WeChat, and microblog messaging.

Airbnb recently signed memorandums of understanding with Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Chengdu, Chongqing and Guilin, and opened three new offices in Shanghai, Sichuan and Guangdong.

This article originally appeared in Sina Technology and was translated by Pandaily.