SHANGHAI: Amazon.com said it will stop supplying retailers in China with its Kindle e-readers from Thursday and close its Kindle e-bookstore there next year, in the latest withdrawal of a U.S. tech company from the restrictive Chinese market.
Amazon announced the decision on its official WeChat account on Thursday, saying it was adjusting the strategic direction of its operations and that its other business lines in China would continue.
Kindle China e-bookstore will stop selling e-books from June 30 next year, he said, although customers can continue to download any purchased books for a year beyond that.
It will also remove the Kindle app from Chinese app stores in 2024, he added.
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The company said the shutdown of Kindle’s business in China was not due to government pressure or censorship.
“We remain committed to our customers in China. As a global company, we periodically evaluate our offerings and make adjustments, wherever we operate,” an Amazon spokesperson said in an emailed statement. .
“Through our portfolio of businesses in China, we will continue to innovate and invest where we can bring value to our customers.”
Amazon’s remaining businesses in China include cross-border e-commerce, advertising and cloud services. It closed its online store in China in 2019.
Reuters reported in December last year on Amazon’s decade-long effort to curry favor with Beijing to protect and grow its business in China.
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The report detailed how the Kindle business was one it had sought to grow in China, and cited a 2018 internal Amazon briefing document which indicated that by the end of 2017, China had become the largest global Kindle market, “representing more than 40% of our world”. volume of device sales”.
Other Western internet companies, including Microsoft’s LinkedIn, Yahoo and Airbnb Inc, have reduced their services or pulled out of China altogether in recent months, amid government efforts to tighten control over online content and new laws targeting data sharing and customer privacy.
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