China's Home-Sharing Services Face Issue Due to Lack of Unified Standards and Regulations

| Mar 28, 2017 09:26 AM EDT

Airbnb China Social Marketing Specialist Haina Xiang speaks during Connecting with Hosts Around the World at Clifton's Cafeteria.

The home-sharing and home rental services in China are currently facing concerns due to the lack of unified standards and regulations.

A lot of travelers that are looking for a flexible and cost-effective travel use home-sharing services such as Airbnb, which enabled tourist to lease or rent short-term lodging including vacation rentals, apartment rentals, homestays, hostel beds or hotel rooms.

Besides Airbnb, domestic competitors are also opening their doors on the booming online home-sharing system. Domestic competitors such as Tujia, Mayi and Xiaozhu currently have over 800,000 properties that are up for rent

Despite the market's huge turnover last year, it is currently facing a plethora of issues from dissatisfied customers.

Landlords are only required to provide an ID card, owner certificate, lease contract and few pictures of their home. Due to the huge number of houses that are being registered each day, website owners aren't strict when it comes to the authenticity of the requirements.

Mr. Hong, a landlord that shares two private houses, said: "It is easy to list on these websites. The pictures I posted have been deliberately edited and sometimes 'beautiful' pictures I upload are 'stolen' from other listings."

There is also a lack of unified standards and regulations when it comes to both the tenant and the owner.

Chang Linglong, a tenant that used a home rental service, was disappointed when she arrived at Shanghai, as she found out that she is a victim of false advertising. The advertised 160-square-meter apartment turned out to be only 70 square meters. It is also beside a busy street, instead of it being quiet and exquisite as advertised.

Owners also experienced issues when it comes to their tenants. One instance is wherein a tenant brought two dogs in the house. After the tenant left, he found out that the dogs ripped the sofa and mattress, leading to expense.

Liang Shanying, an official that works at a tourism supervision department in central China, said: "The supervision lags far behind development, especially since professional renters and small startups joined in. It is hard for us to get a clear picture of the total number of short-term properties or renters."

"There should be legislation as soon as possible and a multi-layer credit-rating system to help the development of the industry," he added.

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