Airbnb Inc. is making it easier for Chinese authorities to keep track of travelers in the country.
Airbnb is one of the few Western tech companies that’s managed to gain momentum in China, where it has 150,000 active listings and has forged agreements with local authorities in cities including Shenzhen and Shanghai. The San Francisco-based company has had over 3.3 million guest arrivals since it ramped up efforts in the country more than three years ago, and said last year it would double its investment and triple its local workforce.
Still, Airbnb faces tough competition from local, well-funded rivals Xiaozhu and Tujia, and must also comply with stringent government regulations. The U.S. company has lacked a permanent China chief since Hong Ge left the company in October with co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk serving as China chairman in the meantime.
The company on Thursday said Shanghai would be among the 13 cities to launch Airbnb Plus, a collection of the company’s best homes and accommodations that will be inspected and verified in person. Airbnb Plus hosts also get access to design consultations and photography support.
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