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Airbnb深耕中国市场的雄心面临挑战

更新时间:2017-3-23 18:30:53 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Airbnb’s Rivals in China Hold Hands in a Nervous New Market
Airbnb深耕中国市场的雄心面临挑战

HONG KONG — Sun Huifeng liked the idea of tapping Airbnb or one of its rising local competitors to rent out his spare Beijing bedroom.

香港——孙慧峰喜欢通过Airbnb或其他当地正在兴起的竞争对手的网站出租自己在北京的空卧室。

The problem: He didn’t like the idea of a stranger in his house.

问题是,他不喜欢陌生人来家里住的想法。

“I mainly worry about the quality of guests,” said Mr. Sun, 31, a marketer for an information technology company. “Or, to speak more plainly, I was even worried that some criminals might come.”

孙慧峰在一家信息技术公司担任市场营销员,他说,“我主要是担心客人的素质。或者更直截了当地说,我甚至担心一些罪犯可能会来住。”

Xiaozhu, a Chinese version of Airbnb, swung into action. It ran him through the company’s guest-vetting system, helped him install a password-based lock on the door to his Beijing apartment and provided bright pink cushions for his sofa. Twice a week, Mr. Sun carefully waters the plants Xiaozhu gave him.

为了让他放心,中国版的Airbnb“小猪”马上行动起来。给他演示公司的客户审查系统,帮助他在他北京公寓的房门上安装了一个密码锁,还给他的沙发提供了鲜亮的粉红垫子。现在,孙慧峰每周两次认真地给“小猪”送给他的室内植物浇水。

Airbnb sees big promise in China, where travel spending reached nearly $500 billion in 2015 thanks to a new generation of domestic tourists. On Wednesday in Shanghai, Airbnb unveiled a new Chinese name — Aibiying, which means “welcome each other with love” — as well as efforts to increase local hiring and deals to draw visitors to Shanghai with offers such as behind-the-scenes visits to the Chinese opera.

Airbnb在中国看到了很大的前景,由于新一代国内游客的涌现,中国2015年的旅游市场已达到近5000亿美元的规模。Airbnb周三在上海推出了一个新的中文名称“爱彼迎”,意思是“用爱来欢迎彼此”,公司也在努力招聘更多的当地雇员,并用各种优惠来吸引游客来上海,比如提供沪剧剧场的后台游。

“Our mission is to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere,” Brian Chesky, Airbnb’s chief executive, said in Shanghai on Wednesday. “If we are going to achieve our mission of belonging anywhere, anywhere must include China, and anyone must include Chinese travelers.”

“我们的使命是,创造一个所有的人在所有的地方都有归属感的世界,”Airbnb的首席执行官布莱恩·切斯基(Brian Chesky)周三在上海表示。“如果我们要实现我们在所有的地方都有归属感的使命,所有的地方必须包括中国在内,所有的人必须包括中国游客在内。”

But like other global tech firms with an eye on China, Airbnb faces challenges. Chief among them are domestic versions of the site, including Xiaozhu and another rival, Tujia, that offer more local listings. To counter Airbnb’s advantage with cosmopolitan Chinese who may have used its service in New York, Paris or Tokyo, the competitors are taking big steps to educate other skeptical Chinese about renting out — and crashing in — a spare bedroom.

但是,和其他渴望中国市场的全球技术公司一样,Airbnb面临着挑战。其中最大的挑战是包括“小猪”和另一个竞争对手“途家”在内的国内同类网站,这些网站上有更多的本地信息。Airbnb对也许在纽约、巴黎或东京使用过其服务的见过世面的中国人有吸引力,为了抵消Airbnb的这种优势,国内的竞争对手正在积极采取行动,教育其他持怀疑态度的中国人,如何将多余的卧室出租赚钱。

The cultural barriers are significant. In a country where a home is for family or for investment and tourism is still relatively new for many, the idea of posting homes online for random guests to rent takes some getting used to.

文化的障碍仍然很大。在中国,房子为了是家庭或投资,出游对许多人来说仍是相对较新的事物,把自家的信息在网上发布,以便出租给随便什么人的想法,需要时间才能让人习惯。

“There is a manager behind every property,” said Kelvin Chen, the chief executive of Xiaozhu. “We still need time to educate our users.”

“每处房产背后都有一名经理,”小猪首席执行官陈驰说。“我们仍需要很多时间来教育我们的客户。”

Airbnb offers the latest gauge of whether an American technology company can make it in a commercially thorny market. Uber and the online arm of Walmart bowed in the face of intense domestic competition and sold their businesses to local rivals.

Airbnb为美国技术公司是否能在一个商业上棘手的市场中站住脚,提供了一次最新的检验。Uber、以及沃尔玛的在线业务,在激烈的国内竞争面前退下阵来,已将自己的业务出售给了当地的对手。

Perhaps mindful of its regulatory scuffles in the United States and Europe, Airbnb is taking a careful approach in China. It has worked out agreements with Chinese tech giants like Alibaba and Tencent. It has also teamed up with officials in cities like Shanghai to promote tourism.

或许是因为对在美国和欧洲的监管冲突记忆犹新,Airbnb正在中国采取一种谨慎的策略。它与阿里巴巴和腾讯等中国科技巨头公司达成协议。还与上海等城市的官员合作,推动旅游业发展。

Crucially, like LinkedIn, another international hopeful in China, Airbnb complies with Chinese laws requiring it to keep Chinese data only on domestically based Chinese servers. Last year, Airbnb sent a message to its users in China informing them that data would be stored in the country.

至关重要的是,就像另一个有望在中国取得成功的国际公司领英(LinkedIn)一样,Airbnb遵守中国的法规——要求它将中国的数据只保存在位于中国的服务器上。去年,Airbnb给中国用户发了一条信息,表示他们的数据将被保存在中国的服务器上。

For Airbnb, which has only about 80,000 listings in China, its more than three million listings around the world put it in a strong position to cater to the millions of Chinese who travel overseas each year. It also has outreach efforts, like informational events for hosts and occasional promotions offering free photography for hosts with apartments they want to rent out.

对于在中国只有大约8万个房源的Airbnb来说,遍布世界各地的超过300万个房源,令它在满足每年数百万去海外旅游的中国游客的需求方面拥有了巨大优势。它也有一些延伸服务,比如为房东举办国际活动,有时也免费给房东和他们想租出去的公寓拍照。

Local rivals are going further to teach skeptical Chinese how to be good hosts and good guests.

在引导心存疑虑的中国人如何成为好屋主和好住客方面,本地竞争对手更进一步。

Natasia Guo, a longtime Airbnb host and entrepreneur in China, said most visitors tended to be younger, while the odd middle-aged guest did not seem to understand how the service was supposed to work. Of one 40-year-old guest, she said: “He treated my place like a hotel. And the reason I say that is he started smoking in the room.”

娜塔西亚·郭(Natasia Guo)是一名中国创业者,长期在Airbnb上出租自己的房子。她表示大多数住客往往比较年轻,零星的几个中年住客似乎不太会用这种服务。她这样谈起其中一位40岁的房客:“他把我家当成了旅馆。我这么说,是因为他开始在房间里抽烟。”

“I think he was using one of our bowls as an ashtray,” she said.

“好像他当时拿了我的一个碗当烟灰缸使,”她说。

Xiaozhu, which has about 140,000 listings, seeks to reassure hosts against such problems. It also works with the internet censorship department and the public security bureau, which helps weed out users with a criminal record. For the benefit of guests, it offers its own cleaning services as well as training events to teach hosts how to get along with customers and decorate their homes.

有14万条房源的小猪短租竭力打消房东的这种顾虑。它也和互联网审查部门和公安局合作,这有助于剔除有犯罪记录的住户。为房客的利益考虑,小猪短租提供自己的清洁服务,也举办培训活动教房东如何与客人相处,如何装饰自己的房子。

Tujia, a competitor with more than 420,000 listings, more directly manages many of the apartments it showcases, either itself or through management firms. In some cases, it works with property developers sitting on unsold units. For those it does not manage, it conducts inspections and also maintains a blacklist of problematic guests. Many of Tujia’s users stay for a longer period of time or use the properties for vacation.

有42万条房源的竞争对手途家会更直接地对网站上展示的许多公寓进行管理——自己管理或通过管理公司。有时候还和有未出售单元的房地产开发商合作。对于那些并非由途家管理的出租房屋,它会进行检查,还维护着一个问题房客黑名单。途家有不少用户租住时间更长,或是在度假时租住。

David Wang, 52, a Beijing resident, said his nephew first suggested renting out the spare room in his mother’s courtyard house in the capital. But Mr. Wang’s 89-year-old mother took some persuading. To assuage her concerns, the family segregated the room from the rest of the house, blocking the door to the courtyard, and created a new entryway from the road. Then they installed a closed circuit television. They listed the room on Xiaozhu, which provided linens, a picture frame, lamps, curtains and a small Ikea table.

52岁的北京居民戴维·王(David Wang)表示,一开始是他的侄子提议把他母亲的四合院空房租出去。但为了说服他89岁的母亲,王先生费了不少劲。为了减少她的顾虑,这家人把出租的房间与这座房子的其他部分隔离开来,封死了通往院子的门,然后在面向马路那一面新开了一个出口。之后又安装了监控。他们把这间房挂到了小猪短租的平台上,这家公司提供床品、一个相框、几盏台灯、一些窗帘和一张宜家的小桌子。

“Now she is happy because every cent from the rent goes into her account,” Mr. Wang said.

“她现在高兴了,每一分钱都会进她的账户,”王先生说。

The companies are counting on younger Chinese to catch on as both hosts and guests. “Chinese millennials are keen to have an authentic experience,” said Jens Thraenhart, president of Digital Innovation Asia, which connects Asian tourism business with digital know-how.

这些公司指望着年轻的中国人会跟上潮流——无论是作为房东还是房客。“中国的千禧一代渴望获得地道的体验,”将亚洲旅游业与数字专业知识连接起来的亚洲数字创新公司(Digital Innovation Asia)总裁晏子(Jens Thraenhart)说。

Zhu Jiamin, a 28-year-old from Shanghai, said he just started hosting on Airbnb, in part because of the positive experiences he had traveling overseas using the site and other services like Couchsurfing. He said he had no problem having long conversations with guests or sometimes showing them around. Other friends rent out apartments and pull out the stops to attract guests.

28岁的上海居民朱家明(音)表示,他刚开始在Airbnb上出租房间,促使他这么做的一部分原因在于,他在国外旅行时使用这个网站和Couchsurfing等其他服务,给他留下了好印象。他表示跟房客长时间聊天或偶尔带他们游览,对他来说没有问题。他有其他朋友也出租自己公寓,他们会使出浑身解数吸引住客。

“They have photos that are way too fancy,” he said. “The places are decorated with flowers, and some of them even hire models, some beautiful girls, for the photos.”

“他们贴出来的照片太花哨了,”他说。“房间里摆着花,有些人甚至雇模特,找一些漂亮女孩拍照。”

Mr. Zhu said that he chose to focus more on having meaningful exchanges with people who stay at his place. “You just feel that their photos don’t represent the people who live there,” he said. “It’s not a home. It’s a fancy place to take photos.”

朱家明说他选择把注意力更多地放在与住在他那里的人进行有意义的交流上。“你就感觉他们那些照片并不能代表住在那里的人,”他说。“那不是个家,是个精致的适合拍照的地方。”

Mr. Sun, who received the pink cushions from Xiaozhu, said he had also come to enjoy the company of his guests and the income he received from them, which totals about $300 to $600 a month. One was a Sichuan cook brimming with gossip about the entertainment business. Another played mah-jongg.

收到小猪短租赠送的粉色靠垫的孙慧峰表示,他也开始享受访客的陪伴,以及从他们那里获得的租金——每月大约300至600美金。其中有一位是个四川厨师,知道许多娱乐业的八卦。还有一位喜欢打麻将。

“Mah-jongg is my hobby,” he said. “If the guests want to play mah-jongg, I get pretty excited.”

“麻将是我的爱好,”他说。“如果有房客想要一起搓麻将,我还是挺兴奋的。”

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