June 23, 2017

Airbnb names new China head, rumored in talks with local rival Tujia



AirBnb Logo: Chinese Rausch horizontal lockup for web
Image Courtesy of AirBnb

After nearly two years in China, Airbnb finally appointed someone to head its China business: Ge Hong as vice president. This is another big move to accelerate its push into the country’s lucrative short-term rental market worth an estimated RMB 12.52 billion in 2017 (in Chinese). Ge Hong Ge will report to directly to Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky. He worked at Facebook and Google before he joined Airbnb in 2016, taking on product and technology-related roles.

Graduating from Tsinghua University and Yale University, Ge, who set up a local technology team in China with a batch of Silicon Valley-returned engineers last year, “has unparalleled knowledge of our product and what it needs to be in China, combining a deep technical expertise with an understanding of the local market,” Airbnb said in an emailed statement.

Breaking into the Chinese market has never been easy; American tech giants including Google and Uber have fallen out of favor in China in succession despite their great successes elsewhere in the world.

Along with the new appointment comes an adjustment to the company’s business strategy. The global short-term rental service has extended its focus beyond spreading awareness of the company’s brand among China’s vast number of outbound […]

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