Amazon. is closing its Kindle digital bookstore in China and has halted sales of Kindle devices to retailers in the country in the latest retreat by a U.S. tech company there.
The company said it has already halted sales of the device to third-party sellers and is offering refunds to anyone who bought a Kindle in China after Jan. 1
- The pullback is the latest for American tech giants operating in China
China has some of the world’s most stringent censorship rules and a fiercely competitive homegrown technology ecosystem.
Microsoft Corp.’s LinkedIn shut down its social-media service in China, citing “a significantly more challenging operating environment and greater compliance requirements in China.”
*CNBC Tweet on amazon kindle
Amazon to shut down Kindle store in China https://t.co/34JxaknWL1
— CNBC (@CNBC) June 2, 2022
In 2019, Amazon discontinued its third-party online marketplace and cut seller services on its Chinese website, effectively surrendering its core online retail business to the country’s domestic e-commerce titans.
Amazon said it would continue to operate its international e-commerce business, called Amazon Global Store, in China, along with its advertising, logistics and cloud business.
“Amazon China’s long-term commitment to customers will not change,” Amazon said in a post on its WeChat social media page. “We have established a broad business base in China and will continue to innovate and invest.”
Although the Kindle dominates the market for e-reading devices in China, the overall size of the market has been falling in recent years as smartphone and tablet technology has improved, increasing their appeal as alternatives to e-readers.
Competition has also increased from next-generation devices that combine features of tablets and e-readers and made by domestic rivals such as Huawei Technologies Co. and iFlytek Co.
According to market-research firm Counterpoint Research, Amazon’s Kindle represented 65% of China’s e-reader market, well ahead of Xiaomi Corp.’s Duokan and iReader Technology Co.’s device, which tied for second place with 10% of the market.
*Overall e-reader sales last year fell 12.5% to 2.1 million units, with another decline expected this year.