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18 Feb 2022


China: Olympic sponsor Airbnb accused of profiting from Xinjiang, Tibet listings; incl. company response

"Olympic sponsor Airbnb profits from Xinjiang, Tibet listings" 18 February 2022

[...] Airbnb is one of the Olympics' biggest backers with a reported $500 million sponsorship deal running until 2028.

The online platform's steady growth in China is partly driven by around 700 accommodation listings in the troubled far west, according to data compiled by the London-based nonprofit Free Tibet that was exclusively obtained and verified by AFP. They include about 380 listings in the northwestern Xinjiang region [...] A further 300 are in neighbouring Tibet [...]

In a statement to AFP, Airbnb said it operates "where the US government allows us to" and "has a "rigorous process... to help ensure we follow applicable rules".

The company said that it had a "long-term partnership" spanning several Olympics and had spoken to the International Olympic Committee about "the importance of human rights".

It said China was "an important part of our purpose to connect people from around the world", but that it only accounted for around one percent of its revenue in recent years. [...]