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Experiences involving food in China

These information pages can help you get started in learning about some of the laws and registration requirements that may apply to your experiences on Airbnb. These pages include summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to government resources that you may find helpful.

Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your Experience, we encourage you to check with official sources or seek legal advice.

Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the laws or procedures have not changed recently.*

What are some of the basic principles?

Your guest’s health and safety should always be your first priority. For example, it would be a good idea to take your guests to and serve them food from reputable restaurants or reputable professional caterers who keep clean facilities, use fresh ingredients and have a good food safety track record. Also, ask your guests in advance about any food allergies they may have, or religious or ethical preferences that may impact the kind of food they eat.

I’m a foodie. What kind of food experiences can I provide in China?

The following food experiences are unlikely to trigger any regulatory issues:

  • Taking your guests to your favorite local restaurants.
  • Inviting your guests to your home or a picnic where you serve food that is cooked by someone else in a licensed facility (for example, take-out from your favorite local restaurants or food catered by a professional licensed caterer).
  • Providing facilities to allow your guests to make their own food in your house.
  • Providing cooking classes in your house.

If you’re thinking of serving home-cooked food, please also read our home-cooked food guidance.

I want to serve home-cooked food to guests visiting my home. Are there any specific rules I need to follow?

If you serve home-cooked food to guests and separately charge for that, you are likely be considered to be operating a food business and in such case, will likely be required to obtain a Food Operation License and also comply with the food safety standards under the Food Safety Law. This means that in order to serve home-cooked food to guests without getting an extra license or permit, you:

  • cannot charge for the home-cooked food you provide, and
  • should clearly mention in your Listing that home-cooked food will be provided “at no charge”.

We encourage you to check with the local Food and Drug Administration and local Administration of Industry and Commerce to ensure you’re correctly interpreting this exemption for your particular Experience. Failure to obtain such a license where required may be a criminal offense.

There are also local food safety regulations that may apply to you depending on which kind of specific activity you are carrying out. You should always check with the local Food and Drug Administration and local Administration of Industry and Commerce to ensure that you are compliant with the relevant laws and regulations.

Is there anything else I should think about?

If your experience involves combining food with another activity (for example, serving or providing alcohol during a guided city tour), please take a look at our other information sections to work out if any other rules might apply to your activity.

*Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).