March 24, 2020 / 9:49 PM / in 6 days

Oyo sees signs of recovery in China after coronavirus outbreak

March 24 (Reuters) - Oyo Hotels and Homes has started to see a recovery in bookings in China, its second-largest market, as the coronavirus outbreak eases up in some parts of the country, the Indian hospitality startup’s Chief Executive Ritesh Agarwal told Reuters on Tuesday.

Agarwal’s comments come as a rise in imported coronavirus cases and the lifting of restrictions on movement in some cities in China have raised the prospect of a second wave of infections that could thwart the country’s economic recovery.

“We run sizeable operations in China and we’ve seen that results have started to come back up there,” Agarwal said in a telephone interview.

Oyo, which is backed by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp , has cut thousands of jobs this year, including in China, as the company focuses on becoming profitable and grapples with the coronavirus outbreak.

Oyo said on Tuesday it would offer free accommodation at its roughly 300 U.S. hotels to doctors, nurses and other medical first responders who are helping to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.

“For us the least we could have done is try to reach out to them for support,” Agarwal said. (Reporting by Joshua Franklin in New York; Editing by Tom Brown)

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