Luo Jun, founder and CEO of the vacation home rental website Tujia, announced on Wednesday that it would acquire Mayi Duanzu or “Ant Short-Term Rental”, an accommodation platform targeting families traveling within China. Buy acquiring the subsidiary that used to belong to 58 Ganji, China’s largest classified ad platform, Tujia now possesses 58 Ganji as a new shareholder.
“In the future, Mayi Duanzu and Tujia will continue to be run independently, with its CEO directly reporting to me,” said Luo.
Though often coined as “the Airbnb of China”, Tujia differs from Airbnb in that it does not exactly connect property owners with travelers. Instead, it manages properties listed on their website and cooperates with Chinese real estate developers to rent out unsold inventory.
Founded in 2011, Luo defines the model of Tujia as “O2O + B2C”, i.e. “online-to-offline plus business-to-customer”. The company has started trailing on the model of customer-to-customer (C2C) since this year, as it announced at a press conference this March that it was recruiting individual property owners worldwide. The efforts are expected to be enhanced with the acquisition of Mayi, whose major focus is on C2C.
Tujia raised USD 300 million in financing last year and is valued at USD one billion. By joining hands with Tujia, Mayi can utilize Tujia’s resources to gather more property listings, cover more cities, and raise its brand awareness, thereby gaining a better stance to confront the already strong competitors in the field such as Airbnb China, Onehome, and Muniao.
While Tujia has over 410,000 properties available online, more than 800,000 properties in stock, and a coverage of 329 domestic cities and 1,085 overseas destinations, Mayi Duanzu has over 300,000 properties and a coverage of more than 300 cities in China.
According to the leading statistics portal Statista, China had an online travel booking market revenue of USD 17.67 billion in 2015, while that of the US was USD 58.46 billion.
(Top photo from Baidu Images)