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Airbnb just made a big bet on China

Home hire app Airbnb has struck partnerships to expand into China after seeing a boom in users from the world's second-largest economy, the company said on Tuesday.

The San Francisco-based company is teaming up with "strategic partners" China Broadband Capital (CBC) and Sequoia China to navigate the market.

One of the first tasks will be to help Airbnb recruit a CEO for China.

The announcement comes after the "sharing economy" start-up raised $1.5 billion earlier this year led by U.S. private equity firm General Atlantic and included Hillhouse Capital and Tiger Global Management. With a valuation of $25.5 billion, the company is one of the most valuable private technology companies around.


Waldo Swiegers | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Airbnb has seen outbound travel from Chinese guests through its platform grow 700 percent in the past year, making it the fastest-growing outbound market, according to an official blog post.

"When we see this growth and hear the stories from our community, it's clear that Airbnb is uniquely positioned to connect Chinese guests to amazing travel experiences," Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO said in the blog post.

"And as we move into our next phase of expansion in China, we know we will need deep local knowledge and expertise to keep this momentum going."

Airbnb is banking on the experience of both Sequoia and CBC to help them navigate the choppy waters in China.

Chesky mentioned Sequoia China's Neil Shen as having "deep experience in the Chinese internet and hospitality sectors, having founded the enormously successful Chinese travel site Ctrip.com". The CEO also praised CBC's Edward Tian for "having co-founded AsiaInfo, the first Internet technology provider in China".

China is lucrative but difficult for companies with a tough regulatory environment for internet companies. Partnerships are seen as a way to help tap the market.

Earlier this year, ride-hailing app Uber said it was nearing one million trips a day in China and was looking for fresh funds to help it compete in the market.