On Wednesday, Airbnb announced the launch of Aibiying, its new brand in China. The name means: "Welcome each other with love." The home-sharing company emphasized its desire to serve Chinese Millennials in particular. "There's a whole new generation of Chinese travelers who want to see the world in a different way," CEO Brian Chesky wrote in a statement.
A 2015 Goldman Sachs report estimated that Millennials constitute 31 percent of China's population, which is roughly 415 million people.
According to reports from Airbnb, outbound travel from China grew 142 percent in 2016, and 80 percent of the company's users in the country are younger than 35. The short-term lodging platform has coordinated 1.6 million guest arrivals in China.
The company plans to debut a collection of "Trips" and "Experiences," its newest features, in Shanghai. The app also supports popular local payment processors like Alipay, and allows users to sign up via WeChat. Further solidifying its commitment to the People's Republic, Airbnb intends to triple its local work force, including engineering talent, and double its investment in China. Continuing its new habit of coordinating closely with municipal authorities, the company has signed memoranda of intent with Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chongqing, and Guangzhou.
Saliently for Airbnb's investors, China is the largest luxury market. What's more, there has been an increase in the number of affluent young people starting to fill out the post-industrial work force. "Chinese Millennials are likely to travel farther afield -- and to spend more while traveling -- as their disposable incomes and appetite for adventure grow," Sammy Suzuki, who specializes in emerging markets at AllianceBernstein, wrote in 2015. "This suggests they're likely to prove an increasingly lucrative market for the global travel and tourism industry when they start to make longer-haul trips."