Airbnb is the latest tech casualty of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The company announced today that all Beijing check-ins for the remainder of February have been suspended. Previously, the company had activated its “extenuating circumstances policy” to allow for more lax cancellations and refunds. Airbnb stated that the suspension is due to municipal policy.
“Airbnb appreciates that disease control efforts are causing overall travel disruptions that also affect our community of guests and hosts,” the company stated. All customers with existing bookings in Beijing will be refunded.
Wuhan is...still available? — Business Insider did some basic searches and confirmed that Beijing is indeed blacked out until March — but the publication was able to find listings in Wuhan, the region at the heart of the coronavirus outbreak. It’s not clear why bookings are still available in Wuhan if Airbnb is working to curb the spread of the virus.
Airbnb hasn’t yet commented on whether or not other areas of China will be affected by the shutdown.
Consequences of the virus are far-reaching — Airbnb isn’t the only company whose operations are affected by the coronavirus outbreak — not by far. Tech manufacturers like Nintendo and Apple are delaying operations with no end in sight, and this year’s Mobile World Congress is all but ruined because of the virus. And somewhere around 50 million Chinese citizens have been put on lockdown to curb the spread of the virus.
Until experts are able to confirm whether or not the spread of the virus has been halted by current quarantining methods, we’re going to continue to see more closures and delays.