Airbnb co-founder on China growth prospects


China’s growing middle class and a young, travel-loving population present a massive growth opportunity for Airbnb, one of the company’s co-founders told CNBC on Thursday.

Speaking at the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam, Nathan Blecharczyk said the start-up is doing very well in the world’s second-largest economy.

“China has been the fastest growing country for Airbnb domestically, out of all [of the] countries in which we operate, and second-fastest growing from an outbound travel perspective,” he said, suggesting that there are more opportunities to grow in that market. Blecharczyk is also chairman of Airbnb’s China operations and frequently spends his time in the country.

Broadly, the Asia Pacific region is very important to the the California-based company, according to Blecharczyk, and it is taking steps to solidify its presence there.

On Thursday, Airbnb announced it will invest $2 million through 2020 to support what the company called “innovative tourism projects” throughout the region.