Airbnb is the world’s largest platform for linking consumers who seek housing accommodation while traveling with people and businesses that offer such services on a short-term basis.
Recently, Peng Tao, the President of Airbnb China, Airbnb’s Chinese branch, shared recently with journalists that he felt the home-sharing markets of China and the United States are strikingly different. Tao went as far as to say that the two home-sharing markets are as different as Android and iOS, the mobile operating systems of Google and Apple, respectively.
Peng Tao knows a lot about the industry
Peng Tao has a far deeper insight into the world of home-sharing than most people, especially considering that he holds a doctoral degree in computer networks, a field that’s directly related to the technology companies like Airbnb use to connect short-term home renters with potential clients.
Mr. Tao also recognizes the difference in the computer programs used to communicate with one another between Chinese and American people. In the United States, SMS text messaging, iMessage, and Facebook Messenger are a few of the most popular digital means of communication, whereas Chinese people make extensive use of Taobao, Baidu, and WeChat to talk with one another. Chinese people also use mobile apps differently than people living in the rest of the world.
Peng Tao has been the President of Airbnb China since Aug. 2018. Tao had previously worked in the establishment and early growth of mobile apps CityHunter and Breadtrip, experience has further helped him understand the intricacies of Airbnb’s mobile-based home-sharing platform. He also is a co-founder of CityHome, an intermediary similar to Airbnb that links consumers with short-term apartment and home rentals.
Increased competition has really spurred growth in the Chinese home-sharing market
Before home-sharing became so popular in China, most people found accommodation through hotels and hostels. Chinese consumers have collectively gained interest in top-tier accommodations in recent years. This market factor has further caused home-sharing service providers to grow in the Chinese market, according to Peng Tao.
In just the past year, from the first quarter of 2018 to the first quarter of 2019, the dollar amount increase of revenues that Airbnb alone experienced was by a factor just short of three.
As millennials have made up a greater portion of the market, they’ve also helped home-sharing intermediaries, property renters, and others in the home-sharing business see greater interest from the Chinese market in rentals available on a short-term basis.
What is Airbnb doing to beef up business in China?
Landlords and property management companies that offer short-term rentals in second- and third-rate cities in China have been much slower than their first-tier counterparts to latch on to the growth in the home-sharing industries.
Peng Tao shared that Airbnb China has just begun to pour resources into educating these property managers and landlords about the potential boost to business they could gain simply by diversifying their listings to the likes of home-sharing mobile apps and web-based platforms.