The popular lodging company Airbnb is sponsoring the Winter Olympics in China this month where the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is committing genocide against minorities, including torture, forced labor and disappearing people, including journalists.
For years, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has become known as one of the worst human rights violators in the world and has been systematically suppressing minorities in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). Witnesses of the abuse revealed killings, torture, rape, enslavement, forced separation of children from their parents, forced sterilization and abortion, enforced disappearances, and destruction of cultural and religious heritage.
Airbnb did not return American Military News’ request for comment on their rationale for sponsoring the Olympics despite China’s atrocities.
Like Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble, Airbnb testified in front of Congress’ Commission on China last year over its sponsorship of the Beijing Olympics given numerous credible reports on the nation’s genocide, including one from China expert Adrian Zenz, who characterized China’s suppression of Muslim Uyghurs – which has reportedly impacted over 1.5 million people – as “probably the largest incarceration of an ethnoreligious minority since the Holocaust.”
During his testimony, David Holyoke, Head of Olympics and Paralympics Partnerships for Airbnb, said everyone who uses their service must agree to a “global standard” that requires all community members to agree “to treat everyone in the Airbnb community—regardless of their race, religion, national origin, ethnicity, skin color, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or age—with respect, and without judgment or bias.”
Holyoke added that the “commitment applies to everyone who uses Airbnb around the world.”
While Airbnb’s remarks in front of Congress suggest a dedication to human rights advocacy, the company’s actions speak louder than its words. In addition to sponsoring the Beijing Olympics, Axios reported that Airbnb allows rental listings in Xinjiang, the very region where the Chinese Communist Party is facilitating genocide and forced labor, as well as other human rights atrocities, against Muslim minorities.
“Our current presence in [China] reflects our purpose of enabling individual economic empowerment and bringing people together from communities and neighborhoods around the world to bridge cultures, including in China, which is home to roughly 20 percent of the world’s population,” Holyoke said.
As Airbnb is aware, China is also home to roughly 1.5 million people who have been gravely impacted by the Chinese Communist Party-led enslavement, forced sterilization and abortion, and torture.
“That the Winter Olympics is held in Beijing sends a signal to the world that Xi Jinping’s government is normal,” said Renee Xia, Director of Chinese Human Rights Defenders, according to Human Rights Watch. “When the world rationalizes away such an abusive situation, it makes it harder for victims to stand up against injustice.”