‘China’s Airbnb’ calls for global sharing economy standards to drive progress of sector

‘China’s Airbnb’ calls for global sharing economy standards to drive progress of sector

Chinese Airbnb sharing economy rival Tujia estimates the annual growth rate in the sector in China over the next five years will be 40%.

Data shows that last year the sharing economy in China was valued at around $680 billion.

Last October Tujia raised $300 million in a funding round led by Skyscanner parent Ctrip which valued it at $1.5 billion.

This has brought the start-up to the attention of the global tourism sector and earlier this month chief operating officer Yang Changle addressed the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) symposium in Geneva.

Changle told the event that the sharing economy is among the most dynamic and innovative business sectors in China.

He said the firm has provided services for 130,000 landlords and operators in the country, 80,000 of which operate more than one property.

Tujia says it is helping home owner to revitalise properties bringing much-needed business to home furnishing and appliances suppliers.

But a sector that is still in its early stages of development faces problems of inadequate laws and regulations, Changle told the UNCTAD symposium.

He said “many individual accommodation operators are still unsupervised” and there are a “lack of mature standards and procedures”.

In addition hygiene and check-in experiences, as well as generating a lot of customer complaints, are concerning government regulators.

Changle said these issues are holding back the development of the industry and Tujia has been working to introduce industry standards.

The firm has recently released a new Grading Standards for Accommodation as well as setting out requirements for facilities in line with national tourism guidelines.

As part of its 2018 strategic plan it is also introducing third-party rating and review systems to highlight bad practice, access background checks and create blacklists.

The firm is also using technology for identity authentication to combat fraud and claims to have “largely eliminated” security risks.

“Tujia not only aims at doing business, but hopes to focus on the user experience and employ innovation and technology to drive the global accommodation industry,” said Changle.

And he called for governments, private companies and industry bodies globally to work together to address the issues that are holding back an industry which has “much room for progress”.

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