Home rental service Airbnb is closing its business in China because an epidemic lockdown shows no signs of ending there, a source close to the company told AFP on Monday.
Airbnb will no longer book visitors or “experiences” in China, but will focus on helping people there with travel plans, the source said.
The San Francisco-based company declined to comment.
Airbnb started its business in China six years ago and has booked accommodation for about 25 million guests there. Accommodation bookings in China accounted for only one percent of Airbnb bookings in recent years, the agency said.
Airbnb faced stiff competition in China, and the Covid-19 made its operations there more complex and costly.
China has remained steadfast in its zero-cove policy, imposing strict lockdowns and movement restrictions in several cities, and even transitioning to coronaviruses in most parts of the world.
Sanctions have caused a heavy economic loss, including orders to stay at home in the economic center of Shanghai and continued sanctions across Beijing.
Airbnb hopes that outbound tourism from China, which had increased before the epidemic, will return as the Covid-19 restrictions eased and the border reopened.
Bookings on Airbnb reached a new high in the first quarter of this year, the company said in a recent earnings report, citing the demand for travel halted by the Kovid-19 epidemic.
Despite Omicron growth and continued levels of transmission, Airbnb bookings for accommodation and travel “experience” peaked at 102 million in the first three months of this year, setting a new quarterly record, the company said in a earnings statement.
“Guests are booking more than ever,” Airbnb said in a letter to shareholders.
“Looking ahead, we see strong sustainable paint-up demand.”
The agency said the tendency of people to book is to stay away from urban areas and relatively close to home, but guests are returning to the city and traveling across the border.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)