Airbnb listing Xinjiang rentals on land owned by organization sanctioned by US: report

Airbnb has listings for rentals in Xinjiang on land that is owned by an organization that is sanctioned by the U.S., according to an Axios investigation. 

Axios found more than a dozen rental properties on land owned by the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC).

The organization was sanctioned by the Trump administration due to what the U.S. describes as genocide of Uyghur Muslims in the area. The sanction forbids U.S. companies from any financial transactions with XPCC that involve property. 

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Airbnb did not disclose the properties to the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which is in charge of enforcing the sanctions, but told Axios it does not believe the sanctions apply to the listings. 

"We take our obligation to comply with U.S. Treasury rules incredibly seriously. OFAC rules require Airbnb to screen the parties we are transacting with, not the underlying landowners," Airbnb spokesperson Christopher Nulty said in a statement to The Hill. 

"We screen all hosts and guests against global government watchlists, including OFAC’s Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons list, including the hosts associated with the listings raised by Axios," Nulty added.

Airbnb has made around $6,500 from the listings Axios found in the past year, while five of the listings had zero reservations during that stretch. 

The company is also among the top-level sponsors of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. The Biden administration is considering a diplomatic boycott against the Games in protest of the treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang.

The Hill has reached out to the Treasury Department for comment.