Amazon chased out of China

Stiff competition will see the online retail giant shutdown its domestic ecommerce business in the country, but still offer goods and services from overseas

Written by Rhys Thomas

Posted 25.04.2019 | Retail

Amazon chased out of China thumbnail

Global ecommerce giant Amazon is to make a rare retreat from China and has confirmed it will pull domestic ecommerce operations in the country this July.

Amazon will continue selling imported products and services to consumers in China, but has abandoned its platform for third-party merchants in the country after running up against stiff competition from established domestic platforms like Alibaba and JD.com.

Chinese shoppers will still be able to order goods from sellers in the States, Japan and parts of Europe through Amazon Global Store, and Chinese merchants will be able to sell to overseas customers, too. Other Amazon divisons, such as its Kindle marketplace, online content hubs and Amazon Web Services, will also remain open to consumers and businesses in China.

Analysts say it’s no longer profitable for Amazon and growth is stagnant. Some point to Amazon’s failure to evolve its offering to suit local tastes: what works well in terms of web interface and tone of voice in the west doesn’t necessarily translate in China. Others blame the cost its sunk into logistics while rivals instead partner with smaller courier and fulfilment businesses.

Support for domestic sellers in China will be pared back over the coming 90 days, Amazon says. This will include a rethink of its logistics and fulfilment operations in the country which may lead to some closures, according to a Reuters source.

Though Amazon was an early entrant in China’s ecommerce sector, launching in 2004, domestic rivals like Alibaba’s Tmall and JD.com – whose billionaire founder has in recent days been accused of rape by a student – have proven increasingly popular with consumers, often offering free delivery and goods at a fraction of the price leaving Bezos’ behemoth with no competitive edge.


Spirit Riding Free gallops into Mattel portfolio thumbnail

Spirit Riding Free gallops into Mattel portfolio

New toy range strengthens partnership with Universal Brand Development

Licensing International to conduct first industry diversity study thumbnail

Licensing International to conduct first industry diversity study

Global study aims to understand current level of diversity in the licensing industry and use findings to grow talent pool ...

WBCP opens new Poland office thumbnail

WBCP opens new Poland office

Warsaw outpost joins network of European offices and will be headed by Dorota Pawlowska as the region’s Director of Licensing ...

Press Releases

Energizer spotlights Masha the Bear thumbnail

Energizer spotlights Masha the Bear

Animaccord and Energizer partner on Masha and the Bear licensed torches, heading to retail across EMEA in 2020

Elmo’s World comes to UK’s Tiny Pop in 2020 thumbnail

Elmo’s World comes to UK’s Tiny Pop in 2020

Kids’ TV channel expands its Sesame Street content with new series of short-form, interactive episodes

Milkshake picks up Pirata & Capitan S2 thumbnail

Milkshake picks up Pirata & Capitan S2

UK kids’ block acquires second series of the Millimages pre-school animation after successful first run

Moorcroft is Chelsea’s Choice thumbnail

Moorcroft is Chelsea’s Choice

Moorcroft and RHS present the limited-edition vase Chelsea’s Choice, celebrating Chelsea Flower Show 18 Plant of the Year