Short-term home rental behemoth Airbnb is in advanced talks to acquire Chinese rival Xiaozhu.com in a bid to establish a bigger foothold in China, according to Bloomberg.
Airbnb, valued at about $30 billion after a fundraising round in September, already has about 75,000 listings in China, according to Bloomberg. It plans to expand its Chinese staff to about 300.
Xiaozhu said it has 10 million active users and more than 100,000 listings across more than 300 cities in China. It announced a $65 million fundraising round earlier this month.
Venture-backed U.S. startups have had a hard time going it alone in China, and Airbnb has already inked a partnership with Tencent, parent company of the popular messaging app WeChat. Up to 70 percent of Airbnb’s China logins came through WeChat, according to Bloomberg.
Meanwhile, in New York, Airbnb is engaged in a battle with New York regulators. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill last month that would impose a hefty fine on hosts who use the platform for short-term rentals that violate the state’s multiple dwelling law. [Bloomberg] – TRD