Airbnb gets nod to op­er­ate in Ja­pan

New Straits Times - - Business World -

Airbnb Inc is fi­nally get­ting the green light to do busi­ness in Ja­pan af­ter years of op­er­at­ing in grey ar­eas of the law.

Prime Min­is­ter Shinzo Abe’s cab­i­net ap­proved rules yes­ter­day that lim­its home-shar­ing by pri­vate cit­i­zens to 180 days a year, ac­cord­ing to the fi­nal draft of the leg­is­la­tion.

The bill, which also leaves room for lo­cal au­thor­i­ties to im­pose their own re­stric­tions, is now sub­mit­ted for de­lib­er­a­tion and ap­proval by the Par­lia­ment.

Airbnb, which just closed a US$1 bil­lion (RM4.45 bil­lion) fund­ing round that val­ued the com­pany at US$31 bil­lion, has found a more re­cep­tive au­di­ence in Ja­pan, com­pared with the clashes it had with mu­nic­i­pal gov­ern­ments in New York, Barcelona and its home­town of San Fran­cisco.

A tourism boom has cut into the sup­ply of avail­able ho­tel rooms and helped make Ja­pan Airbnb’s fastest-grow­ing mar­ket.

Over­seas vis­i­tors will prob­a­bly con­tinue to set records as Ja­pan pre­pares to host the World Rugby Cup in 2019 and the Olympics in 2020.

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