Chinese Airbnb Competitor Shows the Power of Knowing Your Market

Chinese Airbnb Competitor Shows the Power of Knowing Your Market

When it comes to vacation home rentals, it seems like no one can really beat Airbnb. But that’s not the case in China.

A Chinese startup called Tujia is growing quickly in that market, currently worth more than $1 billion. And it’s succeeding thanks to some unique features that are specific to the Chinese market.

Co-founder Melissa Yang says that there are some fundamental differences between Chinese travelers and those in other markets. So the company’s whole goal is to focus specifically on the needs of Chinese customers.

For example, Tujia makes its properties instantly bookable, since the pace of booking rentals is much faster in China. It also includes some extra amenities for travelers booking expensive rentals, since customers there don’t want to pay for an expensive stay and then have to take their own trash out, as is the case with a lot of Airbnb rentals in other markets.

The Power of Knowing Your Market

Tujia demonstrates the power of knowing your market. When there’s a big company that offers a unique service as Airbnb does, you could try to compete with them on a larger scale, likely with fewer resources at your disposal. Or you could focus on one specific niche market. A smaller geographical region or other subset of the larger market are two examples of this. Get to know those specific customers so well you can tailor your product or service just for them.


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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.