Today, I’m happy to announce that I will join Airbnb in September as President of Airbnb China. I have followed Airbnb’s success in China and around the world and have seen how they have helped millions of people feel like they can belong anywhere. I could not be more excited to join this incredible team. Life is a journey, I look forward to starting this new chapter.
I am joining Airbnb because I want to continue to redefine the way people travel and to achieve our shared mission of creating a world where anyone can belong anywhere. For the past six and a half years, I have been an entrepreneur, building companies like Breadtrip and CityHunter. In the last two years, I co-founded and helped grow CityHome, a company that offers short-term rentals in homes and apartments across China. All of these companies are a little different, but at their core, they were all about changing the way travelers see and experience new places.
BreadTrip and CityHunter had tens of millions of loyal users and were popular new ways for people to experience cities and share their travel memories with their friends. I’ve learned from all of these experiences that an innovative business model needs to rely on a platform of sufficient scale to fulfill its long-term potential. Airbnb has a massive global network that spans more than 191 countries and regions. As Airbnb grows stronger and becomes a one-stop-shop for travel and a platform that supports guests during the entire trip, I’m excited to leverage my experience and deep understanding of the Chinese travel industry to grow Airbnb China.
Of course, Airbnb has already made great progress in China:
- There have been over 10 million guest arrivals by Chinese travelers in Airbnb listings around the world since Airbnb was founded in 2008, with over half of those occurring just in the past year.
- The number of Airbnb listings in China has grown more than 125 percent in the past year. The growth comes as Airbnb has focused on quality and removed listings that do not meet our quality standards.
- In 2017, the number of Chinese guests traveling on Airbnb grew by 100 percent, year over year.
Helping more Chinese people find belonging and happiness anywhere while traveling is a dream job for someone like me and I can’t wait to get started. Another reason why I’m so excited is the incredible Airbnb China team. I have already had the privilege of getting to know some of the more than 150 Airbnb employees in China who bring a true passion and commitment to the work they do every day. I am grateful to have them as colleagues and look forward to working with them as we continue to make aggressive investments in China, support hosts, help Chinese travelers and ensure more guests can visit this amazing country.
Below, please find a statement from Airbnb Co-Founder, CSO, and Chairman of Airbnb China Nathan Blecharczyk:
“We heard from a wide range of individuals who were interested in this role, but from the very beginning, we wanted an entrepreneur who is deeply motivated by our mission, has demonstrated an ability to build a business and innovate, and is rooted in China. We have achieved incredible success, but we are still in the very early days of Airbnb China. To succeed, we need an entrepreneur who knows China and is supported by a team of experts so that we can move fast and execute at the highest level. Tao is an exceptional leader and I can’t think of anyone better suited for this role. Going forward, I will continue to serve as Chairman of Airbnb China. I’ll continue to make frequent trips to China and I am excited to work closely with Tao as we build our community.”