Airbnb’s increasing popularity with young Chinese travelers has made the country an important growth driver over the past year. Revenue from Airbnb’s China division is expected to climb by more than half to roughly $130 million this year, two people familiar with the matter said.
Airbnb’s efforts in China will soon be in the hands of Tao Peng, a local entrepreneur who will start in September as president of Airbnb China. That appointment came last week after a shift in hiring strategy. Airbnb had previously tried but failed to lure executives who had worked at large Chinese travel companies like Ctrip, those people said. Airbnb co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk, who will remain the company’s chairman in China, eventually looked to hire a leader with more experience at startups who would be comfortable making quick decisions, one of the people said.
Shanghai, Beijing and Chengdu now all crack the top 50 cities globally with most Airbnb listings, a relatively new development. But none of the cities is among the top cities by revenue, according to AirDNA. Average nightly rates in China are generally much lower than in other countries.
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