Airbnb en­cour­ages el­derly to in­te­grate into com­mu­nity

China Daily (Canada) - - BUSINESS - By FAN­FEIFEI fan­feifei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

House-shar­ing ser­vice provider Airbnb Inc will pro­vide train­ing for the el­derly in China to im­prove their qual­ity of life and help them par­tic­i­pate in so­cial and cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties.

The US-based com­pany signed in early Septem­ber a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing with Home Huashou, a so­cial ser­vice or­ga­ni­za­tion reg­is­tered by the Min­istry of Civil Af­fairs and un­der the ju­ris­dic­tion of the Na­tional Com­mis­sion on Age­ing. It mainly pro­vides com­mu­nity old-age care ser­vices.

Mike Orgill, head of pub­lic pol­icy for Airbnb Asia-Pa­cific re­gion, said: “We are very hon­ored to be a for­mal part­ner of Home Huashou and the two par­ties will work to­gether to care for the el­derly peo­ple.”

Orgill said the com­pany hopes to make con­tri­bu­tions to China’s age­ing is­sue and en­cour­age the el­derly to in­te­grate into the com­mu­nity bet­ter af­ter re­tire­ment.

At present, Home Huashou of­fers spe­cial­ized lodg­ing ser­vices for the el­derly. Through the co­op­er­a­tion, Airbnb will also launch re­lated sup­port­ing projects and train­ing cour­ses about el­derly peo­ple, with an ex­pec­ta­tion to es­tab­lish a suc­cess­ful old-age sup­port model in China.

Founded in 2008 and based in San Fran­cisco, Airbnb may be the shar­ing-econ­omy leader. It has con­nected 50 mil­lion users in more than 34,000 cities of 190 coun­tries.

TheChi­nese main­land is the fastest-grow­ing mar­ket for Airbnb, ac­cord­ing to the lodg­ing web­site.

Xiao Cai­wei, deputy di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Com­mis­sion on Age­ing, said: “China’s aged pop­u­la­tion is in­creas­ing and we have a great con­cern about this is­sue. The gov­ern­ment en­cour­ages and sup­ports this co­op­er­a­tion with Airbnb. We ex­pect to ex­plore a new sus­tain­able mode of car­ing for the el­derly.”

“We hope to in­tro­duce ad­vanced modes and ex­pe­ri­ence from for­eign coun­tries through col­lab­o­ra­tion with Airbnb to serve the Chi­nese age­ing pop­u­la­tion,” said Chen Zhao­hui, di­rec­tor of Home Huashou.

China has the world’s largest num­ber of se­nior cit­i­zens. There were more than 220 mil­lion peo­ple aged 60 or older in China by the end of 2015, 16 per­cent of the to­tal pop­u­la­tion.

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