The winners of a competition hosted by the property-rental app will be able to stay overnight in one of the ancient Wall’s roofless beacon towers, converted into a bedroom with basic amenities. To qualify, users have to submit a short essay about why it’s important to break down cultural barriers.
“It’s been an honor to work with historians and preservationists groups in Beijing to bring this once-in-a-lifetime experience to the world,” said Airbnb China chairman Nathan Blecharczyk. “We are so proud to partner in this truly collective effort to highlight such an incredible landmark that now serves to unify people rather than divide them.”
Laws in China prohibit building any facilities on the Great Wall that are not for conservation purposes. But there are no laws banning people from sleeping at the site, and some companies even offer camping trips, according to the South China Morning Post.
In response, Airbnb said it won’t “hammer one nail” on the Great Wall. On Tuesday, it followed up with a longer post -- saying it’s been coordinating with government departments for months on the event, and stressing that the activity is free-of-charge, with the main goal being to showcase Chinese culture.
Still, there were more concerns from Chinese netizens.