Airbnb is hiring a

Director, China Engineering

Beijing, China

Director, China Engineering

  • Required level: director level, reports into Kum Hong Siew (Interim Head of China)

  • Growing team of 50+ engineers.

Airbnb & Airbnb China

Airbnb is the world’s biggest community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique places to stay while traveling. Founded in San Francisco, Airbnb is one of the fastest growing startups in history, and a signature success of the sharing economy.

China’s tourism industry is currently experiencing unprecedented growth, and it is the key to Airbnb’s future success. Like a startup within a startup, Airbnb China is tasked with the exciting responsibility of bringing Chinese people into the Airbnb community.

What We Do and our Eng Culture

At Airbnb China, we aim to reinvent Airbnb’s global platform by tailoring it to local needs. We rethink and improve upon global products and infrastructure, and also build completely new products to meet the unique needs of our Chinese community.

At Airbnb, engineers own their impact end-to-end. Our engineers are expected to contribute to the road map, run product experiments, drive data analysis, and come up with next steps from the learnings. Our processes are set up to help us quickly understand what our users need.  

China Engineering is highly cross-functional requiring deep collaboration across:

  • Data Science, Design, Product Management

  • Marketing, Operations, Public Policy (Government Relations)

  • Finance, Legal, Compliance

About the Position

As China Engineering Director, you will be a critical part of the China Leadership Team, leading all engineers in the China business. You’ll partner closely with the Data Science, Design and Product Management leads, and also collaborate with other leadership team members. You will have engineering responsibility for the entire Airbnb platform for China. The team builds technology that enables our Chinese community to belong anywhere, and works across the stack (frontend, backend, mobile, full stack) on both user-facing products (on web and mobile) and large-scale infrastructure (Java/Scala services, APIs, big data pipelines). 

You’ll manage a fast-growing team of engineers and managers located across Beijing and San Francisco, and work closely with engineering and product leaders in other parts of the company to help drive the technology agenda for the China business. As Airbnb’s China business continues its explosive growth, you’ll be expected to grow and scale this team in parallel.


Roles & Responsibilities:

  • Partner with China business and product leaders and provide thought leadership regarding engineering and product strategy and execution

  • Retains, mentors and grows senior leaders in the China Engineering team

  • Sets up and maintains frameworks and processes to ensure every engineering member in the China Engineering team has growth opportunities

  • Fosters and promotes a culture where quality, scalable technology is developed with an entrepreneurial mindset

  • Plays a critical role in the health of the China Engineering team and the broader cross-functional team

  • Sets direction for and up-levels the team, to substantially drive Airbnb’s mission and business for China

  • Influences strategy and impact on China but also at the company level


For this role, we value Engineering Leaders who have:

  • 12+ years of relevant engineering work experience and 8+ hands-on technical management experience (leading both engineers and managers)

  • Much of our backend technology is Java based, so having prior background in writing high performance Java code is beneficial, but not required

  • A demonstrated passion for working with data at scale and empowering organizations through data

  • Exceptional understanding of distributed systems, data stores, and data modeling

  • Exceptional architecture abilities and experience with architectural patterns of large, high-scale applications

  • Expertise in the specific challenges of extending global product and infrastructure into China, as well as building and maintaining product and infrastructure for China

  • Track record in partnering with recruiting to build incredible engineering teams

  • Managed teams across different geographies and multiple locations and has exceptional communication skills

  • Actively coached and mentored both engineers and managers in their careers

  • Been actively involved in setting data product strategy

  • Independently started self-sustaining teams

  • Consistently made culture choices that positively impact all of engineering

  • Shipped several large scale projects with multiple dependencies across teams

  • Ideal prior past roles

    • CTO/SVP/VP/Director Engineering roles at consumer technology companies

    • Experience across building both user facing product (web, mobile) and deep online/offline infrastructure


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Made by Marc Köhlbrugge