Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has announced that it is ceasing Kindle device sales to shops in China due to its latest withdrawal from the Chinese market.
As of June 30, 2023, Amazon will cease selling Kindle ebooks in China, and users will no longer be able to download previously bought titles from the e-shop. According to the corporation, it has already stopped third-party sales and is issuing refunds to anyone in China who purchased the gadget after January 1.
China has some of the strictest censorship restrictions and a highly competitive local technology environment, making this latest withdrawal by American internet companies in China surprising.
Microsoft’s LinkedIn also shut down its social-media service in China last year, citing “a substantially more difficult operating environment and more compliance requirements in China.”
Furthermore, China’s draconian Covid-19 lockdowns have exacerbated the agony of rising local competition for Airbnb Inc.’s domestic operations in the nation.
For years, Amazon has been reducing its presence in China’s local market, which is very competitive. On its Chinese website, Amazon stopped its third-party marketplace and reduced seller services, essentially handing up its primary online retail operation to the country’s local e-commerce heavyweights.
Presently, Amazon’s international e-commerce operation, known as Amazon Global Store, will remain in China along with its marketing, shipping, and cloud businesses.
In China, the Kindle still maintains a significant share of the e-reading device market, but as smartphone and tablet technology has advanced, so has the attraction of these devices as e-reader substitutes.
Ivan Lam, an analyst at tech market-research company Counterpoint Research, said that competition has intensified from next-generation devices that mix tablet and e-reader characteristics created by local competitors such as Huawei Technologies Co. and iFlytek Co.
Counterpoint estimates that Amazon’s Kindle captured 65% of China’s e-reader market share last year, outpacing Xiaomi Corp.’s Durkan and iReader Technology Co.’s gadget, which tied for a distant 2nd place with 10%.
According to Mr. Lam, e-readers account for 7 to 8 percent of all reading in China, with the Kindle app being the country’s most prominent storefront, with at least 700,000 items to choose from.
Mr. Lam expects a further drop in e-reader sales this year after last year’s 12.5% drop to 2.1 million devices.
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