Chinese home-sharing firm Xiaozhu is in discussions with Airbnb to cooperate in overseas markets, as the Chinese company seeks to establish a presence in Japan, South Korea and other Asian countries, reports China Daily.
Xiaozhu CEO Mr. Chen Chi said the two companies－which initiated talks last year－are discussing whether it is possible to cooperate on data and resources.
The partnership is also likely to cover China, the world's biggest outbound tourist market, but the talks are in early stages, Chen said.
"Different from the car-hailing sector, where Chinese player Didi Chuxing competed fiercely against its US rival Uber Technologies, we are more willing to cooperate with each other to grow the industry," Chen said in an exclusive interview with China Daily.
He said Airbnb Chief Financial Officer Laurence Tosi shared the same hope: that the home-sharing industry will be more open and different platforms can pool resources.
Chen denied reports that Airbnb will acquire Xiaozhu.
Xiaozhu, which has about 150,000 listings, is a major domestic home-sharing platform. In November, it raised USD 65 million in its latest fundraising drive. Its backers include Legend Capital, Joy Capital and Bertelsmann Asia Investment Fund.
The company started to branch into overseas markets in 2017, with about 1,000 listings in Japan as of today. "We plan to open a branch in Japan later this year, to meet Chinese outbound travelers' growing demand for personalized home experiences," Chen said.
According to Chen, the company is also eyeing South Korea and other Southeast Asian countries－all the top destinations for Chinese travelers－for opportunities.
Xiaozhu's domestic rival Tujia has also turned to Japan's home-sharing market by setting up a Tokyo-based subsidiary, capitalized at JPY 5 million (USD 44,500).
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