PHOTO: Airbnb rebranded itself in China. (Photo via Flickr/Dennis Jarvis)
Airbnb just kicked down the door and announced itself to prospective Chinese clientele in a new way.
The popular home-sharing service announced on Wednesday that it would expand its presence into China; It has even decided to change its name to better resonate with users in that market.
So, folks, let us introduce to you Aibiying.
As the company’s release explains, Aibiying means ‘welcome each other with love’ and explains that it, “reflects Airbnb’s mission of belonging and bringing people together from communities and neighborhoods all around the world to reimagine how we travel.”
The market will also get its iteration of Trips, which is a way for the service’s guests to book local tours and experiences.
These varied Trips have us filled with immediate wanderlust as the collection includes opportunities “from learning about dough figurines (also known as Miansu), a 4,000 year old Chinese folk art that is rarely practiced today, to going behind-the-scenes of traditional Kun Opera.”
Brian Chesky, CEO, Co-founder and Head of Community at Airbnb, explained the impetus behind the move:
“There’s a whole new generation of Chinese travelers who want to see the world in a different way. We hope that Aibiying and our Trips product strikes a chord with them and inspires them to want to travel in a way that opens doors to new people, communities and neighborhoods across the world. I’m really excited about our future here.”
Earlier this month, we reported on Airbnb reaching a $30 billion valuation after a highly successful round of funding.
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At the time, it was speculated that the new funds might help the company expand globally. There is no word whether this is the final push that moved Airbnb into this tremendous market, but an extra $1 billion at the end of funding undoubtedly aided the effort.
The Independent reports Airbnb is already successful in China, but this reinvigorated effort and marketing push aims to capitalize on tremendous potential. Airbnb boasts 80,000 listings within China, all of which have amounted to almost 1.6 million guests.
The Independent notes there is still vast room for growth: “Nonetheless, China is still only a small part of Airbnb’s business. Overall, the company has 3 million listings on its site in 191 countries.”
Airbnb is already a popular global brand, but its latest push to further its presence in China may soon make it the home-away-from-home version of Uber.