What happened to Airbnb China?

Airbnb decided to shut down its listings in China due to a decline in business and “costly and complex” operation constraints worsened by the impact of COVID-19 and two years of lockdowns.

However, Airbnb is not completely halting its operations in China. The company will continue to maintain an office in Beijing with hundreds of employees who will focus on outbound travellers and global projects.

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Effects of Airbnb China to small accommodation providers

As a small hotelier who lists properties on Airbnb in China, this news has a few direct implications:

  • Loss of platform: Since Airbnb has shut down its listings in China, you can’t use this platform to reach guests. This could potentially lead to a decrease in the number of bookings you receive, especially if you were relying on a significant portion of your bookings to come through Airbnb.
  • Shift of focus to other platforms: With the closure of Airbnb’s listings, you may need to consider other platforms to list your properties. This could include both local platforms (like Tujia or Xiaozhu) and international ones (like Booking.com or Expedia). Diversifying your online presence can help you reach a broader audience.
  • Possible increase in domestic competition: If other small hoteliers or property owners who were using Airbnb also start looking for other platforms to list their properties, there could be increased competition in these spaces.
  • Changes in revenue: If Airbnb was going to be a major source of your bookings, this could impact your revenue, at least in the short term. You may need to review and adjust your business strategy accordingly.

Remember that while this change could present challenges, it might also offer opportunities. The shift to new platforms could allow you to reach different customer segments, and the changes in the market might lead to new partnerships or approaches. Let’s take a look at how to turn the shutdown into a positive.

What is the equivalent of Airbnb in China?

While Airbnb is gone, it certainly wasn’t the only option for Chinese travellers and international tourists in China. Here are just a few of the other popular options:

Airbnb China option 1: Xiaozhu

Often referred to as “China’s Airbnb” Xiaozhu is a major platform for short-term rental accommodations in China. Similar to Airbnb, Xiaozhu allows individuals to list and rent out their homes or apartments to travellers.

The platform has a wide range of listings, from budget rooms to luxury villas, and it offers features like 24/7 customer service and professional photography for listings.

Airbnb China option 2: Tujia

Another significant player in the vacation rental market, Tujia offers a variety of accommodation types, including apartments, villas, and even entire houses. It’s similar to Airbnb but has a broader focus, including professionally managed properties as well as individual listings.

Tujia also offers additional services like cleaning and maintenance, which are particularly attractive to property owners who do not live near their rental properties.

Airbnb China option 3: Ctrip (Trip.com)

Ctrip, which rebranded as Trip.com, is a leading travel service provider in China, offering booking services for hotels, flights, trains, and more.

While it’s more of a traditional online travel agency than a peer-to-peer rental platform like Airbnb, it has a vast range of hotel listings, and it could be a useful platform for a hotelier.

Airbnb China option 4. Qunar

Qunar is another online travel agency in China that provides a comprehensive range of travel services, including hotel bookings, flight tickets, and vacation packages. Similar to Ctrip, it caters more to traditional hotels than to individual property rentals.

Airbnb China option 5: Meituan

Meituan is a major e-commerce platform in China that offers a variety of services, including hotel bookings. Its hotel booking service, Meituan Hotel, is one of the leading platforms in China and covers a wide range of accommodation types, from budget to luxury hotels.

These platforms each have their own strengths and customer bases, so you might consider listing on multiple platforms to reach a broad range of potential guests. It’s also important to note that the terms and conditions, fees, and services offered by these platforms can vary, so it would be worth investigating these aspects when deciding which platforms to use.

airbnb china
Airbnb China: Everything you need to know and how you can take action

How is the Airbnb China alternative impacting the travel industry?

While there are several alternatives to Airbnb in China, Tujia is likely the one that has had the biggest impact. Its effects on the travel industry serve as a good example of what to expect now that there’s even more competition. Here’s Tujia’s story:

Tujia, one of the leading alternatives to Airbnb in China, has experienced significant growth. It’s now valued at US$1.5 billion after recent funding boosts, showing a considerable jump from its previous valuation of US$1 billion. This funding is helping the company expand rapidly and tap into the global market, targeting the growing number of Chinese travellers worldwide.

Tujia is also investing in the domestic high-end real estate market and foreign markets to further its growth. With the rapidly expanding market in China, it’s not unreasonable to predict that Tujia may eventually be as popular as Airbnb was​​.

In contrast to Airbnb’s model, Tujia has adapted to the Chinese market by offering additional services such as housekeeping and property management.

As such, it’s better suited to the Chinese market, where many property owners prefer not to manage their properties personally. This adaptation and understanding of the local market are arguably reasons why Tujia has been able to weather the impact of the pandemic​.

The success of Tujia suggests that other platforms like Xiaozhu, Ctrip, Qunar and Meituan could thrive as well, if they are also able to adapt to the unique conditions of the Chinese market.

What other booking platforms like Airbnb are also in China?


Booking.com is an online travel agency for lodging reservations and lists more than 28 million reported accommodation listings, including over 6.2 million homes, apartments, and other unique places to stay.

The website is available in 43 languages. It provides a platform for hosts and property managers to list their properties and manage bookings. Users can leave reviews and ratings, which are displayed on property listings.


Expedia is an American online travel shopping company for consumer and small business travel. Its websites, which are primarily travel fare aggregators and travel metasearch engines, include Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Hotwire.com, CarRentals.com, CheapTickets, Trivago, Venere.com, Travelocity, Orbitz, and HomeAway.

As a host, you can list your property on Expedia, which also allows users to book flights, car rentals, and cruises along with your hotel.


Agoda is a digital travel platform that offers a global network of 2 million properties in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. It’s particularly popular in Asia, including China.

Agoda focuses on providing discounted room rates and offers a “Best Price Guarantee,” where they promise to match or beat lower prices offered on other platforms.


Hotels.com has 85 websites in 34 languages, listing over 325,000 hotels in approximately 19,000 locations. Their loyalty program, Hotels.com Rewards, allows users to earn free nights at participating hotels.


HomeAway was a vacation rental marketplace that operated through 50 websites in 23 languages. It was acquired by Expedia Group in 2015 and rebranded as Vrbo in 2019. Vrbo provides a platform for homeowners and hotels to rent out their properties to travellers, similar to Airbnb. It has a significant presence in the United States and Europe, but still has listings in China.

TripAdvisor Rentals

TripAdvisor is a well-known American online travel company that operates a website and mobile app with user-generated content and a comparison-shopping website. It also offers online hotel reservations and bookings for transportation, lodging, travel experiences, and restaurants. TripAdvisor Rentals is a part of this platform, where hosts can list their properties for rent.


Hostelworld is one of the largest online hostel-booking platforms in the world, with over 8 million reviews across 36,000 properties in more than 170 countries. If you run a hostel, Hostelworld is a specialised platform that can help you reach your target audience in China.

What should Airbnb China hosts do?

As Airbnb is winding down its listings business in China, you have a few options to consider:

List on alternative platforms

There are several popular platforms in China that are similar to Airbnb, such as Tujia, Xiaozhu, Meituan, and Ctrip. Each of these platforms has its own advantages, and some may offer additional services that Airbnb does not. By listing on these platforms, you can continue to reach a wide audience of potential guests. Don’t exclude global booking platforms like Booking.com and Expedia as well; these aren’t China-specific but can still help attract revenue, particularly from tourism.

Direct marketing

You could consider marketing their properties directly, such as through their own websites or social media platforms. This removes the pain of having to pay commission to OTAs, but also requires a strong direct booking engine and channel manager.

Partner with local travel agencies or hotels

Some hosts might find it beneficial to partner with local travel agencies to help promote their listings. This could help you reach a broader audience, particularly if the agencies have a strong online presence.

Improve their offerings

Regardless of the platform you choose to list on, you could consider ways to make their properties more appealing to potential guests. This could include offering additional amenities, improving the decor, or offering unique local experiences. Deep analytics into guest and competitor behaviour is key for success here.

By Dean Elphick

Dean is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist of Little Hotelier, the all-in-one software solution purpose-built to make the lives of small accommodation providers easier. Dean has made writing and creating content his passion for the entirety of his professional life, which includes more than six years at Little Hotelier. Through content, Dean aims to provide education, inspiration, assistance, and, ultimately, value for small accommodation businesses looking to improve the way they run their operations (and live their life).