Global rental site AirBnb has closed its Russian subsidiary,
the Kommersant newspaper reported Tuesday.
In a statement, AirBnb said that the decision was made
in a bid to simplify the company’s operating structure across the globe.
The company decided that “it was easier for us to conduct
operations through [our offices in] Berlin, Dublin and London,” said company
spokesperson Yekaterina Kukureko. “Therefore, there was no reason to keep the
Russian subsidiary open.”
However, analysts have speculated that the move could be a way for
AirBnb to avoid new Russian legislation coming into force, Kommersant reported.
The legislation could entail handing over users’ data to local tax
authorities and reforms of how Russian businesses are expected to handle cash
transactions, the news outlet said.
Airbnb launched in the United States in 2008 and opened its
Russian subsidiary in February 2012.
The company, which operates in 191 countries across the
globe, was valued by investors at $30 billion in June 2016.