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Amazon is shutting down its China marketplace business
Published on: 2019-04-19
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040Amazon is preparing to close a Chinese online store that caters to mainland consumers, according to people familiar with the matter.
 

Amazon’s other Chinese operations, such Amazon Web Services, Kindle e-books, and cross-border teams that help ship goods from Chinese merchants to customers abroad, will continue to operate, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private.

042Amazon entered the Chinese market in 2004 through the acquisition of Joyo, a domestic online shopping market. Joyo was rebranded to Amazon China in 2011. It enjoyed success in the early days with market share of over 15 percent in 2011 to 2012, according to China-based analyst Choi Chun of iResearch. That has now plummeted to less than 1 percent, according to another China-based market research firm, Analysys.

043Amazon had a reputation in the early days of its China operation for being a site that would have legitimate products and so was trusted by Chinese consumers. Chinese players like Alibaba struggled with policing fake items on their sites. Chinese e-commerce players, however, have been taking proactive measures to fight counterfeit goods.

044Not only is Amazon trying to compete with e-commerce giants like JD and Alibaba, who are often able to deliver goods to Chinese customers faster, but smaller domestic like Pinduoduo and VIP.com are also offering a challenge.
 

The U.S. giant has also not been as aggressive on the marketing front as some of its rivals. Alibaba and JD both do huge sales promotions and big advertising campaigns on Nov.11 each year, known in China as Singles Day.
 

Amazon said in its statement that it is emphasizing cross-border trade. While that may have been a unique part of the business in the past, China’s domestic players have put a big focus on that in recent years. In November, Alibaba announced plans to help global businesses sell $200 billion in goods to China in the next five years. However, analysts said Amazon can still compete for now.
 

In its statement Amazon said its “commitment to China remains strong.”

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