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Airbnb in the time of coronavirus

Hi all, it’s Eric. Airbnb Inc., like nearly everyone, is in a crisis thanks to the coronavirus. The home-sharing company, which seemed on track to go public this year, has some hard choices to make.

My colleague Olivia Carville and I reported on Wednesday that many of Airbnb's customers are upset they haven’t been able to get refunds for trip cancellations related to the coronavirus. Airbnb has extended its existing refund policy to make exceptions for travelers in mainland China, Italy and South Korea. But for many other guests, they’ve been left to plead with hosts for understanding. 

On Thursday we reported that Airbnb’s adjusted loss ballooned to $276.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2019. It's a big number—nearly double Airbnb's fourth quarter loss from 2018—and it would be even bigger if the company took things like interest, taxes, depreciation and stock-based compensation into account.