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In an entirely unsurprising move, Rocket Internet’s Airbnb clone for China, Airizu, has closed. The Airizu URL now redirects to Wimdu, another vacation home rental site run by Rocket that operates in over 40 countries.
Airizu launched exclusively in China in early 2011, but a few months ago rumours swirled that 80 percent of the Arizu team had been laid off.
Rocket Internet now has only two of its many startups operating in China – Wimdu and the multi-country subscription e-commerce service Glossybox. No more China-only sites from Rocket.
But Wimdu, it doesn’t look too promising. Even with the language settings changed to Chinese, the site is mostly in English and it doesn’t accept any Chinese bank cards (or something like Alipay) for payments. So Wimdu’s only chance is with wealthier Chinese users who are pretty fluent in English, and it could perhaps find a niche due to its large selection of overseas holiday home rentals.
But China’s top short-term rentals site Tujia also has a large selection of overseas properties thanks to its tie-up with investor HomeAway. Other China-only startups in this holiday rental space include Mayi and Xiaozhu.