Amazon to pull plug on China retail operations

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As Chinese online retail giants such as Alibaba and JD.com bloom, Amazon Inc has chose to shut off access to online retail services in Chinese site. "We will continue to invest and grow in China across the Amazon Global Store, Global Selling, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Kindle devices and content".

With Alibaba and rival JD accounting for a combined 82 per cent of the Mainland China online market, there was little room for Amazon to eke out a commercially viable market share within a reasonable time frame. In 2008, Amazon's share of the market was 15.4%, eMarketer said.

In November 2015, Amazon China launched its Amazon Global Store service to enable Chinese users to buy goods directly from markets outside China through its online marketplace.

The e-commerce giant will shut its operations in China down from 18 July, it announced today.

Amazon will reportedly scale back its retail presence in China this summer.

A spokesperson told Caixin that Amazon China President Elaine Chang will be reassigned to a new position, without elaborating on her new position or replacement as president.

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During China's 2018 "Double 11" annual e-commerce festival, Amazon launched a "True Black Friday" in China, which offered the country's shoppers discounted goods from the company's stores in the U.S., U.K., Japan and Germany.

Alibaba, founded by Jack Ma, in January reported its slowest quarterly earnings growth since 2016, while JD.com is responding to the changing business environment with staff cuts. The online retailer now plans to focus on selling overseas products to Chinese customers rather than local goods.

Similarly, the country appears to factor less in the global aspirations of fellow U.S. tech majors Netflix Inc, Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google, Wedbush Securities' Pachter said.

Amazon will make "operational adjustments" to its China business to focus more on cross-border sales amid stiff competition from domestic operators in the world's largest e-commerce market.

'Amazon has been unwilling to localise in China, which feels kind of arrogant, ' Mr Li said. The company has committed to spend $5.5bn on ecommerce in India to better compete against its local rival there, Flipkart.

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