SHANGHAI: Airbnb, the online accommodation marketplace, has unveiled a new Chinese brand name while announcing plans to double investment and triple its local workforce in China.
The US company, which currently has just 80,000 listings in China compared with more than 3m worldwide, said in a statement that it plans to better serve Chinese travellers, especially millennials, who account for more than 80% of Airbnb's users in the country.
Airbnb is adopting the brand name "Aibiying", which is easier for Chinese consumers to pronounce, and it translates as "welcome each other with love". A major marketing campaign will support the new branding in the coming months.
In addition, Airbnb said it will promote its "Trips" programme, beginning in Shanghai, which provide users with "authentic and unique" experiences, such as learning about Chinese folk art or other cultural activities.
"There's a whole new generation of Chinese travellers who want to see the world in a different way," said Brian Chesky, CEO and Co-founder of Airbnb.
"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 neighbourhoods across the world."
Airbnb, which currently lags behind Chinese rivals Tujia and Xiaozhu, added that it has already made progress in tailoring its service to meet the needs of local users in China, but wants to go further.
For example, it has improved website translation, now provides 24/7 customer support in Mandarin, and offers local online payment methods, such as Alipay.
But Airbnb said it would now focus on rethinking its core booking experience "to go even further in meeting the needs of Chinese users", such as providing them with more information about the best neighbourhoods to stay in.
Data sourced from Airbnb; additional content by Warc staff