Since introducing Airbnb in China, we’ve seen rapid growth in one of the world’s largest and most vibrant markets. We’ve had nearly 10 million guest arrivals by Chinese travelers on Airbnb since 2008, with over half of those occurring just in the past year. And we’re just getting started. Today, I am announcing three new commitments to build upon our momentum and make travel even more magical for Chinese travelers anywhere they go.
Ensure Airbnb has the best customer service for Chinese hosts and guests, bar none.
Going forward, we will design and deliver service to our customers on a simple, yet profound, foundational principle: “If you’re in China or from China, you’ll be served swiftly and effectively by a Chinese customer service officer.”
Over the next 12 months, we’ll broaden our customer support operations within China, hiring 150 staffers including a China Customer Service leader based in Beijing. We’re also further investing in customer service coverage across the social platforms most important in China, like WeChat and Weibo. And, with Chinese customers in mind, we’re evaluating community policy guidelines and protocols to explore whether any need to be strengthened, and will be announcing new enhancements to improve quality, reduce fraud, and to assist our hosts and guests.
Deliver the highest quality supply of homes in China.
We will expand our official presence to more Chinese cities through increased local hiring, deeper commitments to quality listings, local communities, and continued partnerships with local governments.
In 2018, we will open operations in key cities and regions including Shanghai, Sichuan and Guangdong, hiring more Chinese employees, and continuing to learn from existing China markets. Extending beyond Shanghai, we’ll continue to launch and iterate new services like Experiences to bring magical, people-powered travel experiences to even more Chinese travelers. We’ll also be collaborating regularly with governments to build innovative tourism programs that benefit local communities. In tandem, we’ll ensure that Chinese domestic travelers have the best possible experience by aggressively increasing the quantity and quality of homes in China. And, we’ll build upon our partnerships to foster inclusive tourism and help address poverty through programs like the Airbnb and Guilin Rural Community Tourism Project, introduced in October 2017.
Bring more international Chinese travelers into our community.
For Chinese guests traveling outside of the country, no other business can match our global network of 4 million homes in 191+ countries. And with China projected to be our largest origin market by 2020, we’re aligning our strategy to meet that demand. With a focus on top markets for Chinese travelers, like Thailand, we will design and launch new value-added services and products to welcome Chinese guests. During peak travel moments – like Golden Week and Chinese New Year – we’ll offer new ways in top destinations to help guide travelers to unique, authentic and local travel experiences and provide them with conveniences that make travel easier.
Driven by an appetite for authentic travel, Chinese millennials are increasingly turning to Airbnb for unique travel experiences — and we couldn’t be more honored to welcome Chinese hosts and guests into our community. With more than 400 million Chinese millennials driving business and consumer trends, Airbnb is perfectly positioned to serve the Chinese market. And that’s reflected in our numbers: Today, 80 percent of our user base in China is under 35; and in 2019, 62% of all outbound Chinese tourists will be aged 15-34.
All told, we’re expecting that more Airbnb guests will call China home than any other country by 2020. Our commitments announced today will ensure we deliver the best possible experiences for our Chinese community. From here on out, I’ll be in China each month delivering updates, launching partnerships, meeting with government and community leaders, and getting to know the Chinese hosts and travelers driving unique travel experiences now and into the future.