Chinese vacation rental platform Tujia has appointed Gang Chen, CEO of Qunar.com, as the platform's CEO on February 23. Tujia’s former CEO Changle Yang will serve as CEO advisor.
The move is seen as a decision by the leadership of the Trip.com Group (formerly Ctrip), which invested in both Tujia and Qunar.
Mr. Chen was CEO of the ground transportation unit that he created as well as senior vice president of the Trip.com Group before being appointed CEO of Qunar.com in December 2017. Prior to that, he also served as CTO of Tieyou.com, an online ticket booking platform managed by the Trip.com Group.
Mr. Chen will retain his CEO post at Qunar after taking on the Tujia CEO role.
Mr. Yang was appointed CEO of the Tujia Group on February 26, 2019. He joined one of Tujia’s main backers Trip.com Group in 2010 and served as senior manager, VP of product of the wireless business unit and senior VP of Qunar, after Qunar was acquired by the Trip.com Group in October 2015.
Launched on December 1, 2011, Tujia.com provides online search and booking of vacation rental offerings such as apartments, vacation accommodation, cottages and home-stay properties. Tujia had acquired a 100% stake in short-term rental website Mayi.com in June 2016. In 2017, Tujia secured USD300 million in its series E funding led by the Trip.com Group. It also acquired the apartment and home rental operations of Trip.com Group and Qunar in the same year.
Mr. Chen said in an internal communication that the COVID-19 outbreak will continue to hit the travel industry in the short term, but it also gives Tujia an opportunity to consolidate its strategic map. He said the group should focus on core business, leverage partner resources and build collaborative yet competitive relationships with leading companies in the travel industry. (Translated by Elena)