Airbnb plans to expand its small Beijing office tenfold to 300 employees over the next two years after years of tiptoeing into the country. The on-the-ground expansion would bolster recent momentum, as Airbnb says by the end of next month it will have doubled its listings year over year in China to 100,000.
China accounts for just 3% of total listings on Airbnb, which totals roughly 3 million. But CEO Brian Chesky has identified expansion there as one of the top five goals for the company for 2017, according to a person familiar with the planning. The effort will include growing its footprint inside the country, rather than just focusing like it has in the past on people traveling from China to other countries. The company will also need to make headway on hiring a CEO for its China operations, a position that’s been unfilled for the nearly a year and a half since Airbnb announced the role.