Airbnb removes listings in Beijing as the Chinese capital prepares to host a five-yearly Party Congress next week, when security is at its highest. Samantha Vadas reports.
If you're looking for somewhere to stay in Beijing this month, you can forget Airbnb. The company has suspend all listings for the rest of October, as the Chinese capital prepares for the biggest event on the political calendar; the week-long Party Congress, kicking off on October 18. Airbnb says homes around the city are unavailable due to 'external circumstances', it hasn't officially mentioned the Party Congress, but the timing is hard to ignore. Search for a place to say before the end of the month and you'll see nothing available in the city centre. But refine your search to the following week in November and the properties are back on the map. China often ramps up surveillance and online censorship around high-profile events, with authorities keeping an extra close eye on who's in the city. And ahead of a much-hyped Party Congress that could increase the already immense power of President Xi Jinping, security officials won't be taking any chances.