Airbnb Handing Over Guest Information to Authorities in China

Airbnb will begin sending the government of China information about its customers that book accommodations in that country.

The data Airbnb will share with Chinese authorities includes dates of the bookings and passport details. Hosts listing their accommodations in China are to have their details sent to authorities once they begin to accept bookings.

The online giant of home-sharing said this move means it now complies with local regulations and laws, like other businesses that operate in China.

The location operation of the company, known as Airbnb China, has more than 140,000 listings.

In China, hotels must share guest information with government authorities as well as with local police.

Tourists as well as travelers that stay in private homes are technically required to register the accommodations details with local police within the first 24 hours of their arrival.

Airbnb says it is only following the line of the traditional hospitality industry within China.

A spokesperson for Airbnb said that information they are collecting is similar to data the hotels across China have been collecting for decades.

The spokesperson added that it is one step the company is taking as it explores ways in which to help its hosts as well as guests follow the rules in China.

Unlike the majority of countries, prior to customers being able to confirm an accommodation for Airbnb in China, they must provide passport information.

Airbnb says that its local entity for China already stores the data and would just share it with authorities upon request. However, now it is proactively sharing the data once a booking has been made.

Information about new hosts on Airbnb would be sent to Chinese authorities only when the host begins accepting bookings.

The company sent out an email to its hosts in China on Thursday that advised them their information would now be shared with the Chinese government starting Friday.

It added that hosts who became unhappy due to the new changes could de-list their offerings. Airbnb has focused on growing its operations across Asia especially those in China, which is one of the company’s fastest growing regions.

It launched its operation in China back in 2016 to help facilities Chinese mainland bookings.

The company said it was clear with users as well as with hosts that any data collected within China would remain in the country and would be shared.

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