Airbnb China Expansion Brings New Name And Hefty Investment: Meet 'Aibiying'

Brian Chesky CEO and Co-founder of Airbnb speaks to the Economic Club of New York at a luncheon at the New York Stock Exchange in New York

Airbnb has also made a decision to have a new name for its Mandarin speaking Chinese customer "Aibiying" which means in mandarin "welcome each other with love".

The name means: "Welcome each other with love".

Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky announced the company will triple the size of its local workforce from 60 to 180 this year and double the investment in the country.

It has more than 3 million lodging listings in 65,000 cities and 191 countries, and the cost of lodging is set by the host.

Chinese travelers offer an increasingly important market for Airbnb outside of China. There have been 5.3 million guest check-ins by Chinese travellers at Airbnb listings around the world, and outbound travel from China grew by 142 percent in 2016 alone, the company said.

As CEO, Chesky-the only one of the three founders with no prior business experience-has scaled with the company and then some, steering Airbnb through regulatory opposition, headline-generating safety incidents and an existential crisis around discriminatory behavior on its platform.

In an interview with Reuters, Chesky said, "Africa is a incredibly exciting, emerging market for travel", adding, "When we started Airbnb, I don't think a lot of people in the United States and other places talked about going to Africa". It has signed MOU (memorandum of understanding) agreements with Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chongqing, and Guangzhou, "to help maximise the benefits of home sharing".

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And even though Airbnb's larger China success will come up over time, the company already seems to have registered a decent presence there.

Tujia has staked a huge claim on its home turf, with more than 430,000 listings covering 312 cities and towns across China.

The popular home-sharing service announced on Wednesday that it would expand its presence into China; It has even chose to change its name to better resonate with users in that market. "We hope that Aibiying. strikes a chord with them", he said, according to a company statement.

More than 8 percent of Airbnb's users in China are aged under 35 - its biggest proportion of millennials globally.

To better adapt to local culture, Airbnb is coordinating with Chinese payment method Alipay and social app WeChat to offer customer support to customers in Mandarin. Uber, for example, opted to leave China in August after tight competition from Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing.

The company has also customized its service in China to further localize the product.

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