Chinese Airbnb rival Tujia aims for profitability in 2019 as it prepares for IPO

Tujia controls nearly half of China’s home-sharing market along with Alibaba-backed rival Xiaozhu.

Source: Unsplash.

As it builds up for an IPO, Tujia, one of China’s largest home-sharing platforms, says it has passed 1.4 million global listings and expects to break even in the second half of 2019, 36Kr reports.

Backed by Ctrip, China’s largest online travel operator, Tujia controls nearly half of China’s home-sharing market with Alibaba-backed rival Xiaozhu. Airbnb, which entered the market in 2016, straggles with a 7% market share.

Xiaozhu claimed over 500,000 active listings across 710 cities in January. In October 2018, the startup raised USD 300 million from Jack Ma’s Yunfeng Capital at an unknown valuation and was worth north of USD 1 billion after a USD 120 million investment round in November 2017.

Airbnb, meanwhile, reiterated recently that it expects China to be its biggest market by 2020. As of August 2018, over 8.6 million Chinese tourists had used the platform, which had about 150,000 listings in China. The global home-sharing platform counts 6 million listings worldwide.

Tujia and Airbnb were reportedly on the verge of a merger in 2017 before the latter pulled out of the deal—deciding instead to try its hand in China alone.

After the deal fell through, Tujia raised USD 300 million (RMB 2.01 billion) from Ctrip and All-Stars Investment at a USD 1.5 billion valuation in October 2017.

Last May, Tujia said it was growing three times as fast as Airbnb, claiming one million listings: 700,000 in 300 Chinese cities, and the rest across 1,000 overseas locations, including Japan and Thailand.

About 147 million people used home-sharing platforms in China last year, according to market researcher iiMedia, which expects the figure to break 300 million in 2020.

In 2017, China’s home-sharing market was worth RMB 14.5 billion (USD 2.1 billion), up nearly 71% year-on-year, according to China’s State Information Center, which projects revenues to reach RMB 50 million in 2020.

36Kr is the parent company of KrASIA.