Airbnb’s Chinese rival Xiaozhu is targeting the country’s younger generation, with Chinese rapper Huang Zitao endorsing it in a new advertisement that features igloos and tree houses.
“Huang had been through a lot before he became well loved, which is similar to Xiaozhu’s growth,” said Wang Liantao, founder and COO of Xiaozhu. “We hope to energize our audience in cooperation with vigorous Huang.” Huang Zitao started out working in a Chinese-Korean boy band, and has branched out into acting and modeling.
Xiaozhu has strengthened its brand building since 2018. It started by sponsoring several TV programs. This is the first time for it to feature a celebrity endorsement.
Unique home-stays such as courtyard filled with flowers, an Arxan igloo and a tree house were featured in the advertisement, to showcase the opportunities of sleeping all over the world provided by Xiaozhu’s platform.
“The sharing economy has been brought to everyone,” said Chen Chi, CEO of Xiaozhu. “Home-sharing is no longer a minor lifestyle. Our target audience is the new generations of millennials, who are the primary consumers in cities.”
A total of 350,000 houses from 395 cities in China and 225 others overseas have been registered in Xiaozhu’s platform, to serve 28 million active users. A one-stop service to help hosts design, clean and intelligently manage their rental properties was introduced this April, to lower the threshold to entry in this industry.
With the maturity of regulations and a good public reception, China’s home rental market is growing quickly. Data from China’s Sharing Economy Report 2017 shows that the country’s short-term home rental market is worth 10 billion yuan ($1.45 billion) in 2015, up from 140 million yuan ($20.3 million) in 2012. The annual turnover of this sector reached 24.3 billion yuan ($3.5 billion) in 2016 and the combined capital injection in this sector exceeded 4.6 billion yuan ($667 million).