Amazon shuts down Kindle service in Chinese mainland due to fierce competition

A view of the Amazon logo is displayed in Douai, northern France, April 16, 2020. Photo: VCG

US e-commerce giant Amazon said it has suspended its Kindle e-book service in the Chinese mainland market from Sunday, following the company’s decision last year that it would shutter its Kindle e-bookstore in China.

Market analysts said the withdrawal can be attributed to the intensifying competition brought by the rapid expansion of China’s domestic e-commerce platforms.

Amazon said it closed the Kindle e-book service starting Sunday, while its cloud downloading service will also be discontinued, according to an announcement seen on its website. As a result, the company’s eBooks that have not been downloaded will not be able to be downloaded and read.

The announcement stirred up a controversy on Chinese social media, with many netizens lamenting its closure. For those Chinese consumers who have purchased Kindle devices, the shutter is a significant blow, as they won’t be able to access millions of Kindle e-books.

On Chinese social platform Weibo, some netizens speculated Amazon shut down the service due to the company’s changing market strategy. 

“The e-book market in China has become more competitive, prompting Amazon to close its Kindle e-book store in the Chinese mainland. While Kindle had previously seen a success in China, the decision to exit the Chinese mainland market reflects the dynamic nature of its business strategy,” wrote ‘Essay’, the pseudonym of a Chinese netizen, on Weibo on Monday.

Kindle entered into the Chinese mainland in June 2013, marking an important step in Kindle’s globalization strategy. The Chinese mainland market has emerged as the leading market for Kindle devices, with millions of Kindle units sold since the e-reader was first introduced three years earlier, 21jingji.com reported.

In recent years the company had struggled to keep up with Chinese competitors and made quite a few bad commercial decisions that ultimately led to its failure in the Chinese mainland market, Zhang Yi, CEO of the iiMedia Research Institute told the Global Times on Monday.

Amazon has been gradually scaling down its operations in China. In 2019, Amazon discontinued its third-party online marketplace and cut seller services on its Chinese website, surrendering its core retail business to Chinese rivals. Meanwhile, according to its previous announcement, Amazon China said it would cease operations of its app store services starting July 16, 2023.

Since 2022, Amazon has revealed plans to gradually exit the e-book market in the Chinese mainland. It announced the closure of its Kindle store in China on June 30, 2023, though purchased books would still be available to download for another year after that, new e-books were no longer available to download, the China Securities Daily reported.

Zhang said Amazon’s failure in the Chinese mainland market resulted from its inability to innovate, adapt to local market demands, and offer competitive pricing, and most importantly, the intensifying competition in Chinese e-book market.

As a growing number of Chinese tech firms have eyed on this profitable business, Kindle has faced stiff competition from local Kindle-like e-reader services such as iFlytek, iReader, Onyx Boox and WeChat Reading, leading to a decline in Amazon’s market share.

According to a report by digital commerce agency TMO Group in February 2023, Amazon ranked in 12th place among e-commerce platforms in China, lagging behind Taobao, JD.com, and Douyin.

 

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Source Link: https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202407/1315175.shtml

Amazon shuts down Kindle service in Chinese mainland due to fierce competition:

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