Airbnb makes a late play for China

Airbnb cofounder and CEO Brian Chesky has China on his mind

The company has rebranded itself as "Aibiying", which means "welcome each other with love", a name that the company reportedly says should be easier for Chinese travellers to pronounce than the English version.

Airbnb has unveiled a new Chinese brand name and plans to double its investment in a bid to grow the business in China.

Since entering the Chinese market in August 2015, Airbnb has seen nearly 80,000 Chinese premises registered.

Airbnb now has some 80,000 listings in China, which have hosted some 1.6 million guests.

"To get things right in China we've tried to learn from other companies, what they did right and what they did wrong", he said.

Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky said China was a key market for the firm to achieve its global ambitions. The report drew on the recent investment in Airbnb by state-owned sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corporation, which added to the ranks of major Chinese and Hong Kong investments in the company, as well as the incorporation of Airbnb China in late 2016.

"Chesky said this group was "moving away from mass tourism" of their parents and looking for authentic, local experiences: "(It's) a new generation that is travelling very differently". The company also launch Trips platform to better serve visitors' traveling experiences.

Airbnb will be going toe-to-toe with Ctrip and Tujia ( from Expedia's stables), which operate in the home-sharing space in the country as well as local players such as Mayi (acquired by Tujia) and Xiaozhu.

Like other US tech giants, Airbnb has struggled in China, where copycats hit the market quickly and have an easier time navigating often burdensome regulations.

Tujia president Zhuang Hai told CNNMoney in November that his company's understanding of Chinese cultural preferences gives it a big advantage over Airbnb.

The name change holds a lot of significance, specially in context of how the Chinese market and regulations go along with American, or Foreign tech companies.

The U.S. startup, which was recently valued at $31 billion, began quietly building up its business in China previous year.

"We hope that Aibiying and our Trips product strikes a chord with them and inspires them to want to travel in a way that opens doors to new people, communities and neighbourhoods across the world".

It's started to offer popular local payment methods such as Alipay, while letting Chinese users sign up via their WeChat IDs.