The head of Airbnb China has resigned within four months of taking the role. This was confirmed by the organization and is the latest leadership change for the unit in China. For Airbnb, China is a market where residency and movement are highly regulated.
Hong Ge, who previously worked for Facebook and Google, left Airbnb to pursue another role. The company has not found a replacement for Ge.
The company’s current regional director for the Asia Pacific region, Kum Hong Siew, will hold the interim position till the company finds an appropriate successor to Ge.
The company does face a tough regulatory challenge in China. Every movement of individuals between cities is closely monitored; they are even asked to register with the local police for temporary stays.
Earlier the company had made an announcement that its founder Nathan Blecharczyk would be the Chairman of the China unit. Airbnb operates under the name of Aibiying in China and faces tough competition from local service providers like Tujia.com and Xiaozhu.com.
Earlier this month authorities in China had put a ban on all short-term rental apps during the 19th Congress. The Congress is a high-profile event where the local police increase checks of illegal movement and those who fail to register their residences.
Airbnb also had to adhere to the 2016 compliance of cyber law that requires private user data to be stored locally. To date Airbnb has approximately 120,000 listings in China.